New Orleans Marquee Events
Top Picks for July 2011
CHERYL GERBER PHOTOGRAPH
After recently celebrating his 70th birthday, Bob Dylan continues to inspire generations as a prolific lyricist and brilliant musician. Outspoken and yet often elusive, Dylan, who was born Robert Zimmerman in Minnesota, has soulfully reinvented himself numerous times, expanding the boundaries of American music whether he’s singing folk music, Southern-inspired blues or rock and roll. A former resident of New Orleans, Dylan will return here to play the UNO Arena on July 26.
Listen for old hits as well as new numbers. Dylan’s band is young and brings a new energy to his act, and his profundity isn’t to be missed. It will certainly be delightful to see him in a setting of which he’s fond – New Orleans is mentioned in many of his songs as a place of wonder and mystery; it’s a place that helped shaped him into the artist he is today.
Information, arenaneworleans.com, bobdylan.com.
San Fermin in Nueva Orleans, July 7-10, is an annual summer festival that pays lighthearted tribute to the world-famous event in Pamplona, Spain, with the encierro as one of its signature events. The 15-minute dash through downtown starts at 8 a.m. outside the Ernst Café, giving daredevils (and early risers) the chance to get mauled by “bulls” – the Big Easy Rollergirls as well as other roller girls from around the country. Participants are encouraged to wear white and accessorize with red while they attempt to escape injuries from giant foam bats and other “weapons.” This encierro starts at 8 a.m. on July 9; the after-party will begin 15 minutes later as participants celebrate with food, drink and dancing on the streets. Other related fêtes that weekend include “La Fiesta de Pantalones” (or “Pants Party”), concerts, Spanish-themed dinners and an Ernest Hemingway talent contest.
Ranked among the top five “must-see” fireworks displays by the American Pyrotechnic Association (yes, that exists), the 21st annual Go 4th on the River Celebration takes place on July 4 at the Riverwalk, featuring the dueling barges fireworks extravaganza, live music and other entertainment for people of all ages. Information, go4thontheriver.com.
Tales of the Cocktail’s Paul and Ann Tuennerman
Last year, the annual Tales of the Cocktail drew a festive crowd of 18,000 to its various sites in the French Quarter.
This year, the expected turnout is even greater. The five-day festival was founded by Ann Tuennerman (née Rogers). She and her husband, Paul, Chief Business Officer, whom she describes as her “closest advisor and biggest fan,” are nicknamed “Mr. and Mrs. Cocktail” for their expertise and passion for the culture of fine drinking.
Here they talk about their love of all things liquor as they gear up for dinner pairings, cocktail demonstrations, tastings, seminars, competitions, parties and more.
What sorts of people does Tales of the Cocktail attract? Paul: It runs the gamut from the cocktail professional, to historian, academic and enthusiast alike.
Have you both always been passionate about cocktail culture? Paul: I’ve always been passionate about drinking.
Having grown-up in the kitchen, I’m a foodie at heart, which gives me tremendous appreciation for what’s been taking place behind the bar, for the last 10 or so years.
Ann: I have always been passionate about New Orleans culture and that’s what brought me to our dining and drinking culture. I wanted to share the stories of New Orleans’ great bars and restaurants with visitors and guests from around the world.
How has this event evolved? Did you ever imagine it would get to be so big? Paul: It’s been an adventure to say the least. Honestly, I had no idea. I’ve always said this is truly the industry’s event. Ann and I are simply tasked with helping us to stay true to our mission, vision and values, while promoting a culture of fanaticism around a well-crafted cocktail.
Ann: This will sound odd, but in some ways, yes. I always believed in the event and the concept and in the early days I would say that we will be the next Food & Wine Classic, and I think we’ve gone beyond that and are considered the world’s premier cocktail event. It is hard to believe that 2012 is our 10th anniversary.
So, who can drink more: Mr. or Mrs. Cocktail? Paul: Seriously? Mr. Cocktail!
Ann: Mr. Cocktail! This is no competition.
Tales of the Cocktail takes place July 20-24. Information,talesofthecocktail.com.
July 1-3. Essence Festival; Louisiana Superdome. Information, essencemusicfestival.com
July 1-4. Mandeville Seafood Festival; Fontainebleau State Park. Information, seafoodfest.com
July 4-10, 26-31. New Orleans Zephyrs home games; Zephyr Field. Information, web.minorleaguebaseball.com
July 6 and 15. New Orleans Jesters home games; Pan American Stadium. Information, nolajesters.com
July 7-10, 14-17, 21-23. Twelfth Night presented by the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival; Lupin Theater (Tulane University). Information, neworleansshakespeare.tulane.edu
July 8. New Orleans VooDoo vs. Milwaukee Iron; New Orleans Arena. Information, aflvoodoo.com
July 8. G-Eazy + Aquaforce; Republic. Information, republicnola.com
July 15. Britney Spears in concert with Nicki Minaj; New Orleans Arena. Information, britneyspears.com
July 15. New Orleans Beatles Festival; House of Blues. Information, houseofblues.com
July 16. Lost Bayou Ramblers; One Eyed Jacks. Information, oneeyedjacks.net
July 16. Mr. Legs benefit for Grace House and Bridge House; Generations Hall. Information, 821-7135.
July 23. Big Easy Rollergirls vs. Dixie Derby Girls Raging Rockets; U.N.O. Human Performance Center.
“One World, Two Artists: John Alexander and Walter Anderson”; Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Information, ogdenmuseum.org.