Royal Sonesta New Orleans

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Announcing the 44th Annual Greasing of the Poles - annual kick off for Mardi Gras

On the Friday before Mardi Gras, February 28th at 10:00 a.m., the Royal Sonesta Hotel officially kicks off the big carnival weekend in the French Quarter with the 44th Annual “Greasing of the Poles.”  This year’s celebrity-studded event features dazzling performers, a spirited dance group, carnival royalty, a jazz band and, of course, a whole lot of petroleum jelly.  All the action takes place street-side in front of the Royal Sonesta Hotel’s main entrance at 300 Bourbon Street.
Burlesque vixen Trixie Minx and three members of her Fleur de Tease ensemble will vie for the title of “Best Greasing Performance of 2014” before a panel of celebrity judges Dancing with the Stars style. The winner gains bragging rights for an entire year and a trophy for the “Best Greasing Performance.”   The audience also has a voice and a chance to cast their vote for their favorite performance and the winner walks away with the “People’s Choice Award.”
This year’s celebrity panel of judges may give American Idol a run for their money. Restaurant R’evolution’s Executive Chef John Folse, a Louisiana treasure who wrote The Encyclopedia of Cajun and Creole Cuisine, certainly knows a thing or two about heating things up. A national touring comedian and talented creative writer, local funny girl Jodi Borrello will have the audience in stitches. Finally, Malcolm Jenkins, #26 for the New Orleans Saints and Founder and Chairman of the Malcolm Jenkins Foundation, will look dapper sporting a bow tie from his own line, Rock Avenue Bow Ties. These three notables will have one tough job selecting which “Greaser” takes home the gold!  
Award-winning actor, author and New Orleans native Bryan Batt will attempt to tame all of the chaos as this year’s Celebrity Master of Ceremonies. Best known for his recurring role in the popular AMC series Mad Men, Batt has held numerous starring roles both on the stage as well as in film and television.  He and his partner Tom Cianfichi live in New Orleans and own Hazelnut, a stylish home décor and furnishings boutique along the hip Magazine Street corridor. With Batt at the helm, Broadway comes to Bourbon.
The legendary jazz-trumpeter and prominent figure on the New Orleans music scene, Leroy Jones will lead his Original Hurricane Brass Band to kick things up a notch with music that captures the Mardi Gras spirit. Always a crowd favorite, Jones and his band have performed in every major US city and internationally on virtually every continent. Locally, his music may be enjoyed at the legendary Preservation Hall and occasionally gracing the stage at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse. He is a popular attraction at the annual French Quarter Festival and a fixture at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.
Everyone’s favorite all-female marching group, the Pussyfooters of New Orleans, will make a special appearance when they open the show with a brand new choreographed number for this year’s Greasing. Members of the New Orleans Saintsations along with mascots Sir Saint and Gumbo will join in the fun to cheer our Greasing competitors on to victory! 
Bowing to a royal greasing tradition, the Royal Sonesta’s President and General Manager Alfred Groos will play host to the 2014 King of Zulu, Garren Mims Sr. and his beautiful Queen Georgette Mims.  The royal couple and their entourage will be honored with a formal champagne toast that kicks off the greasing presentation.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to view Zulu Royalty up close before they parade through the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras day.  
2014 Greasing Recap
WHO:                         Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans
WHAT:                        44th Annual Greasing of the Poles
WHEN:                       Friday February 28th - 10:00 a.m. Sharp
WHERE:                     300 Bourbon Street     
WHY:                          Because it’s the most unique Mardi Gras experience you’ll ever have!
About the Event:
The ‘Greasing of the Poles’ ceremony embraces the free spirit of the Mardi Gras season.  The annual spectacle unfolds street side before hundreds of cheering revelers that converge upon world- famous Bourbon Street.   The Royal Sonesta Hotel originated this long-standing carnival tradition of greasing the support poles as a practical means to deter over-zealous revelers from shimmying up to the coveted balcony space above. Forty-four years later, this practice has evolved into a unique star-studded event that has even spawned its very own international fan club that hails from Switzerland for the event each year. Greasing of the Poles is a celebration that kicks off the final big carnival weekend in New Orleans and it’s a party that should simply not be missed.  For prime viewing, revelers should plan to arrive early!
The 500-room Royal Sonesta Hotel is located in the heart of the fabulous French Quarter, just steps from world-famous restaurants, antique shops, jazz clubs and premier tourist attractions. Its atmosphere reflects a strong European influence and Southern charm. The hotel surrounds a tropical courtyard, just off an elegant marble lobby. The guestrooms offer views of the beautifully landscaped pool, secluded patios or French Quarter life. The hotel boasts over 20,000 square feet of functional meeting space as well as a brand new, luxurious Board Room equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology. For hotel or restaurant reservations or more information, call your travel agent, 1-800-SONESTA, or visit their website at
Discover Royal Sonesta and Sonesta Hotels & Resorts in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Fort Lauderdale, Hilton Head Island, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Sint Maarten (3), Panama, Chile (4), Colombia (4), Ecuador, Peru (6), and Egypt (12). Sonesta ES Suites is an extended stay hotel brand managed by Sonesta found near Boston, Atlanta, Baltimore, Burlington, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Colorado Springs, Columbus, Detroit, Flagstaff, Houston, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Parsippany, Princeton, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Tucson. For more about the Sonesta Collection, visit or call 617.315.9200 or 800.Sonesta (800.766.3782) in the U.S. and Canada.

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