Fests, festivals, fêtes and tomfoolery are part of spring’s fling. It is easy to forget how much gets crammed onto calendars between Mardi Gras and Memorial Day, before summer hits this city like a hot, wet blanket. With so many causes under pressure from the economy, needs have never been greater and groups have never been more creative.

New Orleans Museum of Art hosted an Iris Festival, launched a book club and added yoga in the garden to its activities. City Park, The Orleans Club and all manner of places staged Easter egg hunts for little ones who couldn’t care less about the stock market or defections to other banking institutions.

Le Petit Thèâtre sent out a cry for help to keep its doors open and who should answer but our own Tony Award winners and nominees Mary Louise Wilson of Full Gallop and Grey Gardens, Bryan Batt of Mad Men and Leslie Castay of Beauty and the Beast! Some performed at Le Petit, others hit the boards at Le Chat Noir.

Galatoire’s hosted the annual “Ducks Unlimited” major donor dinner where pork chops, not duck, were served to those who work hard to conserve our wetlands. It was jambalaya for Rex 2009 and a cadre of Carnival captains at The Dugan Westfeldt Sporting Clays Classic that benefited The Chartwell Center. Donald Vallee and crack shot and private instructor Dev Moring set a tough course. R. King Milling, who does so very much for
our coastline and the wetlands, can sip from his own seemingly bottomless cup of well-deserved good cheer now that he has a Times-Picayune Loving Cup in hand. He graciously concedes wife Anne was the first to bring one home.

When James Farwell’s much-anticipated play The Murder Game opened in London, a flock of pals flew across the pond to applaud. There were drinks, parties, luncheons, private home tours and a post-performance party at The Kings Head hosted by Tony and Katherine Gelderman and Leonard and Janet Tallerine. Bravo! Soon after, Tony and Katherine hosted an open house for three tiny, historic cottages they purchased and renovated – actually resurrected – once owned by Martha Ann Samuel in the Garden District. Ann Williams oversaw the down-to-the-studs salvation of what is now known as The Chestnut Cottages while Davis Jahncke and Oswin White get nods for their efforts.

New Orleans Magazine’s 20th anniversary of the Jazz All-Stars was celebrated at Tipitina’s Uptown, on April 14. Nods went to traditional and contemporary legends including Sullivan Dabney, Vernet Bagneris, Leah Chase, Sam Henry and others so legendary. Days earlier, Dress for Success, the organization that gives gals business-appropriate garb and professional pointers, held its first luncheon since Hurricane Katrina. Some 200 showed up for “Suits and Salads” at The Westin to hear WWL-TV anchor Sally Ann Roberts speak and sing its praises.

The circle of life: George Wogan Bernard III, Julia Smith, Gardiner Dunbar and Samuel “Tyler” Mizelle were welcomed into this world by their respective parents Katherine and Wogan, Courtney and Craig, Paula and Hayden and Katy and Samuel.

New Orleanians and their pals ate, danced and worked the sneakers at the Crescent City Classic Fest and Jazz Fest. But wait, wait! Now there is NOWFE, Wednesdays at the Square concerts and more!

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If so, please send it to:
St. Charles Avenue
110 Veterans Blvd., Ste. 123 Metairie, La. 70005
Attn: Diane Sustendal or e-mail Diane at: diane@renpubllc.com