NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Two of New Orleans’ most illustrious Mardi Gras organizations made announcements Saturday (Jan. 14) for the 2023 Carnival season.
The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club announced its 29th annual Lundi Gras Festival. The fest will take place Feb. 20 from 10:00 a.m.-6:30 p.m. at Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River in the French Quarter. The event is free and open to the public.
The celebration will consist of Grammy award-winning artists on multiple stages along with local food vendors and fun activities for kids.
Zulu president Elroy James said his organization is mostly known for its Mardi Gras parade and coronation ball, but the Lundi Gras Festival provides an economic boost for the city.
“What’s particularly important about it is that we take the time to showcase some of our locally grown musicians and our local culinary artists,” said James.
“And so this year we have the likes of Kermit Ruffins who will be out, Irvin Mayfield is bringing his band out, Teresa B., some of New Orleans’ great R&B artists that we find in some of our local night spots. So we’re excited about it.”
For a full list of event and music lineups, click here.
At the Rex Den on Saturday, the organization’s Pro Bono Publico Foundation announced its annual philanthropic endeavor, a $1.6 million grant to go towards New Orleans’ public schools and education.
The donation , in the foundation’s 16th grant cycle, represents the sustained commitment of Rex members in support of Greater New Orleans students and educators, the organization said. Since its founding in 2006 following Hurricane Katrina, the Pro Bono Publico Foundation’s giving exceeds $13 million, making the charitable arm of Rex one of the key local funders of efforts to support and improve the city’s public schools.
Rex member and pediatrician Dr. Stephen Hales said Carnival season is about bringing the city together, and that his organization is determined to find ways to give back.
“This is one of my favorite days at the Rex den,” Hales said. “(Today) we’ll have hundreds of educators who are working with our children in our public schools. Since Katrina, Rex has really focused it’s philanthropy on making sure that every child in this city has access to an excellent education.”
Rex donation by the Numbers:
· $913,000 will fund 65 annual operational grants
· $725,000 will fund two multi-year strategic grants; the first-year commitment totals $241,000.
· $1,154,665 total of 2022-23 grants
· $483,000 added to the Foundation’s Strategic Innovation Fund to fulfill performance-based, multi-year, strategic grant pledges
· $1.63 million in total grants and multi-year pledges.
· More than $13 million in total giving through 16 grant cycles.
· Eighth consecutive year of grants totaling more than $1 million.
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