Since the parade, my Google Alerts has captured several blogspots, flickr postings and many mentions of the parade. Opening these is always a wonderful surprise and intensely satisfying as they validate all of our hard work and serve to keep away the post-parade blues. It's super cool to see how many strangers we touched and what delight they had in experiencing what I like to think of as New Orleans street theater. The most fun and rewarding postings to read are by the folks who came across the parade by chance. How I envy those people that moment when they notice a woman dressed as Joan on a horse, riding through the French Quarter...or they catch a glimpse of a group of people walking with flickering candles...
I also feel warm and fuzzy in a civic sense, as I think we're giving the City of New Orleans a gift that keeps on giving beyond our 30 minute procession. One krewe member said her physical therapist brought her two girls, age nine and eleven, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER! to the French Quarter to see our parade. They came down early, shopped, had hot chocolate and beignets at Cafe du Monde, then caught the parade. If that doesn't warm your tourist industry heart and give the "be a tourist in your own hometown" sentiment some real encouragement and solid proof, I don't know what will!
Below is just a sampling of what's been showing up in my in-box. Thanks to all of you who took time to post words and photos of your experience! You encourage us and assist us by offering your perspective--and hopefully you inspire others to come out for future parades!
THIS HISTORY PROFESSOR HAPPENED TO BE SITTING AT CAFE DU MONDE AND HEARD WOLGEMUT'S PIPES LEADING OUR PARADE...NATURALLY, HE RAN AFTER THE SOUND!
THIS LOCAL LITERARY BLOGGER WROTE ABOUT JEANNE D'ARC's SOUL SISTER, EMILY DICKINSON, BEFORE HEADING OUT TO CELEBRATE JOAN'S BIRTHDAY WITH US
THIS LUCKY BRITISH FELLOW WAS TRAVELING AROUND THE COUNTRY AND STUMBLED UPON US...WOULD JOAN BE AMUSED TO SEE THIS PHOTO OF OUR JOANIE ON THE PONY LOOKING QUITE PISSED OFF...PERHAPS AT THE BRITS?
THIS NEW ORLEANIAN CAME FOR THE FIRST TIME AND WROTE AN EXCELLENT "DIARY" OF THE EXPERIENCE
THIS LOCAL BLOGGER TOOK SOME KILLER SHOTS--WOW--MYSTICAL MAGICAL STUFF!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Photos by Kim Welsh
New Orleans is a costume-lovers dream city. For kids, Mardi Gras season is dreamier than DisneyWorld. You get to wear cool stuff, get cool stuff for free, and walk at night down city streets that otherwise would be totally off-limits! I envy the little ones (and teenagers) who have joined the Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc with their parents...imagine being 7, 10, or 13 years old, carrying a sword, and walking through the French Quarter at night. Wow. No wonder they all look so happy! (King cake and candy help!)
Friday, January 7, 2011
Dear Friends of the Joan of Arc Parade:
Your presence last night meant the world to our still-young krewe honoring the not-so-young (599 years old!) Joan of Arc. Hundreds of citizens--locals and tourists, French and English, American and New Orleanian (ha!)--lined the French Quarter streets to show their love for the Maid of Orleans, to get some cool throws, honor our French heritage, hear great medieval music, and eat the first king cake of the season with us.
Several people came up to me asking how they could get in touch and offer donations. I regret that I have a rather medieval website (this blog and http://www.joanofarcparade.com/) that does not have a Paypal option yet set up. So if you were one of these folks--or one of the many others who just came up to say "thank you for doing this--for Joan and for our city!" or "This is my favorite parade!" or "I have seen you since the beginning and love how you keep building each year!" and you want to show your gratitude by ensuring we continue to grow and make more and other costumes, have more and other Joans,continue to offer king cake and Goldschlagger to the public, expand the route (maybe) and do other Joan related events throughout the year...we welcome your gifts!
Please email me at email@example.com or send a note or alms to our P.O. Box (made payable to our LLC, The Joan of Arc Project):
THE JOAN OF ARC PROJECT
P.O. BOX 56815
NEW ORLEANS LA 70156
We are a small krewe with minimal dues and many hardworking folks who donate their time to make costumes, throws, banners, food, and general merriment. If you want to see us shine on and to make Joan's 600th birthday (2012) as spectacular as it (she) deserves, please consider offering us your support in this way. After all, Joan was a peasant who ended up with a horse, sword, army, banners and quite elegant battle outfits--because she asked for them! (In some cases, she demanded them...but since our cause is not quite as dire as saving France nor urged by imploring voices from Heaven...we are just going to post this gentle nudge and opportunity!)
Monday, January 3, 2011
Although we are a secular group, we are after all celebrating the birthday of a Saint...and this is New Orleans, a largely Catholic town with many a girl named after Joan herself! So we can't help but pray while we party for Joan's 599th birthday. We eat king cake "as" her birthday cake, handle out candles for the procession "as" her birthday candles...and in exchange, we pray to her asking that our New Year be blessed by her! (We have also prayed to her for assistance with the Superbowl and an end to the oil spill...) While she is not technically the patron saint of New Orleans (that would be Our Lady of Prompt Succor, which is hard to beat) many citizens consider her to be so.
Here is a prayer composed by yours truly. You'll see it on prayer cards designed by the local design firm Deep Fried Advertising, with an image of Joan on her statue in bright shades of yellow, red, and blue. Look for these to be handed out by the krewe on Twelfth Night.
On this day of birth for Joan of Arc,
the Maid of Orléans, we celebrate the
rebirth of New Orleans.
We walk on this night to reflect on the
past year and rejuvenate for the New
Year. We honor all those who have fallen
by the sword, fire, and flood.
candles to brighen this Twelfth Night,
lighting the way for Mardi Gras season.
Joan of Arc, Saint, Warrior, Leader, and
Honorary Maid of New Orleans, we
thank you for shining your golden light
on us and ask you to bless New Orleans
in 2011, on this, the anniversary of the
599th year of your birth.
January 6, 2011
St Joan of Arc Parade-New Orleans
Joan of Arc January 6, 1412-May 31, 1431
MEDIA CONTACT: Amy Kirk Duvoisin, The Joan of Arc Project (504) 251-5046 firstname.lastname@example.org. To stay in touch with us “like” JOAN OF ARC PROJECT on Facebook.
CELEBRATE JOAN OF ARC’S 599TH BIRTHDAY WITH US ON TWELFTH NIGHT!
Third annual joan of arc parade rolls Thursday January 6 at 6 p.m.
Starts at Bienville statue at conti and Decatur--Ends at joan of arc statue at st phillip and Decatur--Main procession down chartres, across Jackson square
Parade highlights include:
• 599 candles and matchbooks will be handed out to parade goers to join in the procession
• Handmade throws include: 16 decorated wooden swords given out by our Maid of Honor (student Joan of Arc Mallory Young, from St. Martin’s Episcopal School); surprises from saintsforsinners.com (makers of the gorgeous hand-decorated boxes containing handpainted Joan of Arc medallions given to 100 lucky folks last year); Saints magnets handmade by Sister Rita of The Poor Clare Monastery; handmade wooden crosses, locally designed prayer cards, and other unique limited handcrafted items.
• Special guests this year include: Councilmember Kristin Gisleson Palmer riding as “Joanie on the Pony” in a golden costume; the new director of Alliance Francaise New Orleans, Lilian Cadet, walking as our krewe King
• Wolgemut will lead the parade with pipes and drums playing their “medieval music for modern minds”.
• Our hotel sponsor The Bienville House is generously donating meeting space for our pre-and post-parade gatherings as well as champagne glasses with the krewe insignia (Joan’s coat of arms).
• Gambino’s Bakery has donated king cakes for us to share post-parade at the Joan of Arc statue, in honor of Joan’s success in ensuring the coronation of her King and in honor of Twelfth Night!
• Remember the Benedictine monks last year handing out holy water? They’re coming back…all the way from Madison, Wisconsin! They are part of Lake Edge United Church of Christ’s annual volunteer trip to New Orleans (a trip they’ve been making since Katrina) which now includes a group of 8-10 of them in the Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc.
• Fire artist Monica Ferroe performs before we roll!
• KIDsmART students will participate in the procession as stiltwalkers.
• Pierre Pichon & Gypsy Swing Trio will play for the krewe post-parade party at The Bienville House Hotel (krewe members only).
• Our original warrior Joan of Arc, Caye Mitchell, will once again be clad in armor and will be donating horses for the parade c/o her company “Equine by Design”
• Pegasus Carriage Company joins us for the first time.
• New! Decatur Street will be closed at St. Phillip at the parade’s end to allow for crowds to enjoy the post-parade party at the statue and the Market Café.
BYOKC (BRING YOUR OWN KING CAKE):
…As always the public is welcome and encouraged to bring gifts and treats to share at the statue, especially King cake! Remember it’s a birthday party for Joan—AND the beginning of Mardi Gras! We have twelve king cakes donated by Gambino’s but they’ll go fast once the King and Joan cut the cake. So in the spirit of our first year when it was come one, come all…bring stuff for everyone--and for Joan!