Weekend Watch: St. Patrick’s Day, Super Sunday
March 14, 2018
Battle your weekend woes with fun activities around New Orleans. Start your weekend with St. Patrick’s Day festivities on Saturday, then celebrate “Super Sunday” in an event honoring Mardi Gras Indians.
Daisy Rymer | Associate Artist
Saturday: St. Patrick’s Day
Throw on your green clothes, bring your friends and get ready to catch … cabbages? This Saturday, March 17, the Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Committee will be putting on its annual parade.
This parade occurs along the boundaries of the Irish Channel, mainly on Magazine Street between Napoleon Avenue and Jackson Avenue. Festivities are open to people of all backgrounds and ages, all begging for the covetable cabbages, potatoes and carrots thrown by floats. Of course, no New Orleans parade is complete without beads, music and dancing.
The Irish Channel itself came about due to the influx of Irish immigrants entering the city to work on the New Basin Canal. There have been many debates, however, about the boundaries of the Irish Channel and the origin of its name. Currently, this tight-knit community is full of ethnic diversity and is characterized by its distinctive shotgun houses, cottages and warehouses along the river.
Other St. Patrick’s Day events include the Irish Channel block party on March 15, Tracey’s St. Paddy’s Day Parade in the morning of March 17 and the Downtown Irish Club Parade in the evening.
Update 3/16/18: Super Sunday has been rescheduled for March 25 due to weather concerns.
Though to many Americans a “super Sunday” consists of football, parties and food, in New Orleans this celebration takes on a whole new meaning. Always occurring around St. Joseph’s day, this event is when Mardi Gras Indians come out to play.
On March 18, beginning at A.L. Davis Park, Mardi Gras Indians will take to the streets, showing off their radiant feathers, intricate beads and cultural dances. Attendees can also expect live music, with performances from bands including the Hot 8 Brass Band, DJ Jubilee and Rechell Cook.
It is unclear exactly how this tradition came about, but some suggest it started because Catholics were already celebrating St. Joseph’s day, and Mardi Gras Indians joined in on the festivities. By 1969, enough Indians were involved that their own parade was formed, and they walked through the streets at night. The parade was then switched to a Sunday afternoon event in 1970, and has remained that way since.
The origin of Mardi Gras Indians is also vague, but many draw a connection between Native Americans and black slaves who found refuge with them while escaping. Eventually the Mardi Gras Indians formed, complete with hierarchical positions and extravagant attire, competing against one another to be considered the prettiest. These competitions were once violent, but now are friendly celebrations of music, dance and costumes.
If you cannot make the parades this weekend, there will also be a downtown “Super Sunday,” generally termed “Big Sunday” on April 8, the weekend between French Quarter and Jazz Fests.
Update 3/16/18: Super Sunday has been rescheduled fk