Stella Reese, Leah Chase Jr., Gretchen Bjork and Dooky Chase Jr. do a second-line through the restaurant with their umbrellas.

Since your guests will be out in the sun all day, buy some inexpensive hats—baseball or straw—and use them for the hand-delivered invitation. Just attach a note with the party particulars on it.

You can’t go wrong with Dooky Chase’s famous fried chicken, fried trout and potato salad! The centerpiece is a candle holder filled with colored gravel, then water and a single lily are added.

Personalize the second-line umbrellas for your guests. Buy umbrellas (these are from Target) and faux flowers (these are from Michael’s). Start by hot-glueing leaves at the top of the umbrella and then on the tips of the umbrella spines. When dry, sew the flowers in place with a few stitches.

Create a showstopping look with this umbrella centerpiece—the metal base is designed by Bev Church with Julia Yerkov.

BEV CHURCH
Jazz Fest is almost here and the excitement is starting to build. This is the time of year when your friends from out of town “just happen” to drop in. House guests are the norm for Jazz Fest, as well as for French Quarter Festival, so make it a weekend that no one will forget.
Begin early by making reservations at your favorite restaurant on the Wednesday night before Jazz Fest begins. Surprise guests with flowers on the table and flower-bedecked umbrella favors. I chose Dooky Chase restaurant because it is one of my favorites and you are guaranteed a fabulous New Orleans meal prepared by the legendary chef, Leah Chase. If you’re lucky, she might even make an appearance and regale you with stories about her historic restaurant.
You and your guests are starting the weekend well fed, energized and ready to dance, eat and shop at the Fest! •