Bald Eagles in New Orleans

A few months ago, there was word going around town that there were Bald Eagles flying around the city.

Imagine my surprise to find the active eagle’s nest around the corner from my house!

It’s really cool to watch them!

They’re a gorgeous pair!

And they have two of the cutest chicks!

One of them is now a fledgling… I caught him one morning returning to the nest.

Just another day in NOLA,

watching eagles.

Pretty awesome isn’t it?

 

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baby eagle

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eagle eating

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Le Diner en Blanc New Orleans

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The worldwide phenomenon that began 25 years ago in Paris has finally hit the Big Easy. It’s part flash mob, part picnic, part gourmet and full fun and festivity.

It’s Le Diner en Blanc!

The impromptu picnic where you bring your own food and wine, you meet a lot of new people, you dance the night away and you actually have to bring your own table and chairs.

Yeah, I know it sounds like a lot of work. It’s  totally worth the effort though.

New Orleans hosted its second Le Diner en Blanc last Saturday  at the Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom.

That wasn’t the intended location.

We were supposed to be along Bayou St.John but the weather didn’t allow for that to happen.
It rained cats and dogs the night before and if we would have been on the Bayou, it would have turned into

Le Diner en Mud.
Not too cool since we had to attend the gathering dressed in all white.

Now, I know that this is NEW ORLEANS and we’re supposed to be wayyyy too laid back to want to attend some “she-she-poo-poo” sort of thing.
Especially when we  have beaucoup festivals that we can go to for free…white linen night being one of them.
But really!
This IS New Orleans and if there’s another opportunity for us to kick back with friends  and eat a fantastic meal while listening to Big Sam’s Funky Nation bring the house down,

this born and bred New Orleanian will be all up in it!

And with over four thousand people on the waiting list hoping to get an invitation and 1600 able to get the coveted invite…

it seems to be the hottest ticket going around.

The event was lovely.

This was my first year attending. I was on the waiting list hoping to get an invite and it just so happened that a fellow Nyx Sister was already a member so, she sponsored me.

Once that happened, I received an invite immediately.
And because I attended the event, I am now a member and will receive an invite every year.

Getting the invite doesn’t mean you’ll get to go every year though. There’s a cap on how many people  attend the event so  if you receive an invite and really want to go, register early.

We had to meet at our  rendezvous spot for 6pm. That’s where the buses picked us up and brought us to the secret place of the picnic.

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We didn’t know where we were going until the last minute.

Let me rephrase that.

Uhhh, I didn’t know where we were going until the buses pulled up.

Once there, we had a bit of trekking to do. We had to get to the 2nd floor.

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Yeah, I know this looks very congested…but it beats being out there in the mud in white.

Once we were in the ballroom, everyone began setting up their tables.

Someone actually got a pic of me doing just that.

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Folks began decking out their tables. As you can see, mine is already decked. We had to move over a bit…not a problem.

My table turned out pretty nice.

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A lot of people were taking pictures of it. That’s always a good sign..lol

One of my dear friends gifted me with this beautiful cake she created. And talk about delicious!

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Once everyone had their tables set up,

it was on.

Big Sam’s  Funky Nation  had everyone jamming while we dined and danced the night away.

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Big Sam

The infamous napkin wave to begin the dinner.

The infamous napkin wave to begin the dinner.

 

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NOLA Elegance

 

So many people had beautiful tables.

So many people had beautiful tables.

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A lot of folks were going all out with their attire!  I loved it!

A lot of folks were going all out with their attire!
I loved it!

 

Moi with my Nyx Sister

Moi with my Nyx Sister

 

Life is for the living!

Life is for the living!

Just another great event in the Crescent City!

And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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The Scoop and the Skinny…A Day of Nyxcitement.

I had thee best time Wednesday! Sit down a spell and I’ll tell you all about my pretty darned awesome experience riding with the Mystic Krewe of Nyx.

me in all my nyx splendor!!
me in all my nyx splendor!!

My riding experience actually began Tuesday with float loading. All of the floats are pulled out of the barn and brought to a place undisclosed to the public. We’re given a 3 hour window to load and/or check our throws. You could feel the excitement around the floats as the sisters were busy getting their throws ready for the big night.  The men were just as awesome as ever….checking to see if anyone needed help carrying throws or putting bike hooks up (we use them to hold throws). We just needed the rain to hold up.

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float loading
float loading time!
float loading time!
some of my nyx sisters getting ready to ride.
some of my nyx sisters getting their float together.
Navy Seal getting my area  hooked up for me!
Navy Seal getting my area hooked up for me!
My nyx sister on the float we'll be riding.
nyx sister on our float.
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Moi

The weather wasn’t looking all that great for us. It rained Tuesday and light showers were expected around our time to roll.

But remember, I said it wouldn’t rain on Nyx the year I rode with them.

And the rain held up!

Wednesday morning  began with a light breakfast at home. I had some last-minute float things to do which took some time so I stayed pretty close to  home until it was time to leave.  Around 10:30 a.m. I dressed in full gear and headed out to the float loading area once again to drop off my decorated purses.

The pre-party began at noon. I arrived around that time and checked  in to enter the hall. Security is very tight at the pre-party and you have to show identification to enter. Once checked in, I received my wristband and I was good to go! The pre-party was off the chain! It was held at Generations Hall … they did a wonderful job. The staff was excellent and there was more than enough food and spirits to keep over 1200 women happy!

Mardi Gras  music filled the hall as the ladies  talked, laughed and enjoyed  being around other nyx sisters.

 

Our totally amazing Captain and Nyx Sisters.

Our totally amazing Captain and Nyx Sisters.

pre-party fun!
pre-party fun!

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me and my nyx sisters
me and my nyx sisters
A Seas of Sisters
A  Sea of Sisters!

After a while, we could hear the sound of brass in the building. Well, with a brass band in the house, only one thing was  going to happen…

time to second line!

Did you notice all the different color wigs and headdresses? That’s because every year, there is a headdress competition. Each float comes up with an idea that’s related to the theme of their float and create headdresses to wear. There were some pretty spectacular  headdresses…there’s a lot of creativity in the krewe.

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representing my float, CHICKEN CORDON BLEU!  YEAH BABY!!!
representing my float,
CHICKEN CORDON BLEU!
YEAH BABY!

The pre-party was about 4 hours long. I enjoyed every last-minute of it. It was wonderful being around so many happy women who were eager to spread that happiness on to the City of New Orleans.  Shortly after the headdress competition, we were called to board the floats. Each float had a designated sister  holding a sign and we followed that person to the float.

That’s when it really hit me!

The waiting patiently to  receive  an invitation to join,  all the hard work and  dedication it takes to create purses..its all been for this moment,

TIME TO RIDE!

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making our way to the floats!
making our way to the floats!
My float mate showing us the way!
My float mate showing us the way!

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Float 16 rocked the night!
A few of float 16 riders with our driver.

Once boarded up  and ready to go, we were escorted by the New Orleans Police Department to the staging area. During this time riders began organizing more of their throws or  just took a minute to take it all in.

I took it all in.

Here’s a short clip I created of the ride and how the floats move to the staging area.

floats at staging area
floats at staging area

This is where the bands and dancing troupes  are waiting to “fall in line” with the floats.

Once we reached the staging area and the band  scheduled to march in front of us fell in line,

IT WAS ON!

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nyx coming down the street.
nyx coming down the street.

Here’s  a clip of the parade coming down the street

We began to throw like crazy to the crowd!  You go through sensory overload with so many people screaming for throws for 5 miles, but I enjoyed every single second of it.

The joy that you see when you give someone a throw is priceless. I particularly loved giving decorated purses to those who did not think they would get one from me.

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The crowd was very gracious!

Posters for purses were everywhere! It was spectacular!

A sinus attack kicked in on me around Lee Circle and by the time I made it to the end of the route, I was toast.

I’d do it all in a heartbeat though…sinus attack and all.

It was just that fabulous!

Thanks to all my wonderful friends,family and readers who came out in the cold to support me and the krewe.  It means so much to me that you were there for my inaugural ride.

The city showed the Krewe of Nyx so much love that night.

I’m  looking forward to many years of riding

with this wonderful krewe,

in this fabulous city.

photo courtsey of Streetcar PR.
photo courtsey of Streetcar PR.

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Nyx Myx Masquerade Ball 2014

The Third Annual Krewe of Nyx Masquerade Ball was held Saturday at the Hilton Rivergate in the grand ballroom.

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It was spectacular!

Last year,I attended as a sister-in-waiting.

This year I attended as a full-fledged member!

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Whoo-Hoo!

It’s a formal affair with tux, full-length gown and masks required.

To keep the blog post short, I’m going to let the pictures tell most of the story.

The event began at 7 pm. Navy Seal and I got there around 6:45 because I knew they’d have a lot of people checking in to enter the ballroom.

And man, did they ever!  The krewe is now 1, 224 women strong and they were ready to party!

Waiting to check in.
Waiting to check in.
Lovely centerpieces adorned each table
Lovely centerpieces adorned each table

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Grand ballroom
Grand ballroom
Navy Seal and I enjoying the company of a friend.
Navy Seal and I enjoying the company of a friend.
Nyx Captain, Julie Lea; Nyx Goddess III Heather Nichols and Board of Directors
Nyx Captain, Julie Lea; Nyx Goddess III Heather Nichols and Board of Directors

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Warren Easton Marching Band
Warren Easton Marching Band
The Sirens performed for us again! They are always so wonderful to see!
The Sirens performed for us again! They are always so wonderful to see!
NOLA Nyxettes made their debut and will be dancing in the parade.
NOLA Nyxettes made their debut and will be dancing in the parade.
A historical moment. The meeting of the courts between the Krewe of Nyx and Zulu for the first time.
A historical moment. The meeting of the courts between the Krewe of Nyx and Zulu for the first time.
Captain Jullie Lea, Nyx Goddess Heather Nichols, Queen Zulu Georgette Mims and King Zulu Garren Mims Sr.
Captain Jullie Lea, Nyx Goddess Heather Nichols, Queen Zulu Georgette Mims and King Zulu Garren Mims Sr.
The Zulu Warriors entered the ballroom after the meeting of the courts and brought the house down!
The Zulu Warriors entered the ballroom after the meeting of the courts and brought the house down!
Zulu Warriors
Zulu Warriors
2nd lining with Zulu
2nd lining with Zulu
Dinner
Dinner
Dessert
Dessert
At 1 a.m. there was a breakfast buffet
At 1 a.m. there was a breakfast buffet
After dinner, it was on and popping! Time to hit the dance floor and party!
After dinner, it was on and popping! Time to hit the dance floor and party!
Ole' BayouCreole and Navy Seal on the dance floor!
Ole’ BayouCreole and Navy Seal on the dance floor!
Joy was the emotion of the night!
Joy was the emotion of the night!
Nyx Sisters know how to party!
Nyx Sisters know how to party!

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These beautiful ladies are my float mates. I just love them to pieces!
These beautiful ladies are my float mates. I just love them to pieces!PicsArt_1391427516481
A night filled with fun family and friends.
A night filled with fun, family and friends.

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Zulu Warrior with Nyx Sisters
Zulu Warrior with Nyx Sisters

It was truly an amazing night!!

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Krewe of Nyx Summer Social

Well ya’ll, I’ve been to my first function as an official Krewe of  Nyx member.

Yay!

Saturday, the krewe  held its 3rd Annual Summer Social Meet and Greet.

It was a wonderful event!

When I first walked in, I was like,

Lawd, what have I gotten myself into? I don’t know a soul up in here! 

But, the energy in the room was off the charts.

Everyone was so friendly and welcoming that,

I was chatting it up with new friends in no time at all.

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The food was great,the cocktails flowed abundantly (hey, this is New Orleans) and the DJ kept the music spinning so naturally,

we all hit the dance floor!

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We did more Wobbling and Cupid Shuffling than the law allows!

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the cake was delish!

It was a great girls night out.

The thing I love most about the krewe (aside from being on a float and throwing like crazy) is that, their purpose is,

To encourage, foster, promote, and cultivate a spirit of sisterhood amongst the members of the Krewe.

I like that purpose.

I love this krewe.

February 26, 2014

we roll.

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Zulu Election Day

May 26th, Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club held its election day. A day filled with food, friends and festivities (like any other day in NOLA)  members of the club (Zulu isn’t a krewe)  voted for the king and characters for Mardi Gras 2014.

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Congratulations to King Elect Garren Mims

BigShot Elect–Kreig Perkins
WitchDoctor Elect–Derek Rabb
AmbassadorElect-Joseph Aldor
MayorElect–Lawrence Westley
ProvincePrince–Melvin Labat
GovernorElect–Eric LaRose
BigStuffElect–Kevin McKnight

May you all have a wonderful reign!

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Zulu's Election Day

Zulu Election Chairman Bro. Albert Tyler

Better With M Dinner

Last Thursday,NS and I attended the ‘M&Ms Better With M Dinner’ at the Foundry (thank you Charlotte).   It was a star-studded event which celebrated the launch of their brand new marketing campaign ‘Better With M.’  Proceeds from the event went to New Orleans Habitat for Humanity.

No marketing campaign was needed to get me through the door, they had me at M&Ms.

I love me some M&Ms!

The three-course, chocolate infused dinner was created by New Orleans own Chef John Besh and for the entertainment…Vanessa Williams!

What a treat!

The event was spectacular!

As soon as you entered, there was a beautiful table set with gift bags of m&ms with your name on it. On the other side of the tag was the name of a street in New Orleans.  NS and I were on Frenchman St.  Later on, we learned that, the street was actually the table where we would be seated.

Nude posing M&Ms...too funny.
Nude posing M&Ms…too funny.

Cocktails were flowing in typical NOLA fashion (food and drinks everywhere) and the Grammy-award winning Rebirth Brass Band kept everyone grooving.  I usually take pics of the food but those hors d’oeuvres didn’t stand a chance.

NS was in heaven as they were serving Glenfiddich 21-year-old Scotch. I even imbibed a cocktail or two.

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Rebirth Brass Band
Rebirth Brass Band

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I didn’t get the chance to take pics of too many celebrities. I did catch Neil Patrick Harris walking in though,

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and I met Chef John Besh  as he was walking around the room, talking to everyone. He is such a sweet man!

I eye-spyed Chef Arron Sanchez (my husband in my next life) walking around and well, there was no way I was letting that moment of opportunity get away.

Chef John Besh,NS and Chef Aaron Sanchez
Chef John Besh,NS and Chef Aaron Sanchez

After cocktails, we were all ushered into the dining area.

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our table
our table

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1st course.
1st course.
2nd course

2nd course

Unfortunately, I have no pic of the desert, but it was delicious!  As soon as the wait staff began to bring out the deserts, Vanessa Williams hit the stage.

She looks incredible and her voice is flawless!

That woman can SANG!

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photo credit m&ms
photo credit m&ms

Her daughter Jillian was also there as one of the background singers.  I was floored by Vanessa’s performance. I always knew she had a beautiful voice, but I had no idea that she would put on such a great show.

For her last act, she changed her outfit and then sang her hit ‘Work To Do.’

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She put a spin on it and did a Salsa that would put these young’uns to shame!

Way to go Vanessa! If you ever hit the road, count me there!

The city is really being hammered with festivities. We began with a week-end of parades, followed by the Super Bowl and now we’re back to parading with the Krewe of Druids and the Mystic Krewe of Nyx kicking it off Wednesday night.

I wouldn’t change it for anything.

The good times are rolling in full force,

and everything  has been much better

with M.

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Nyx Myx Masquerade Ball

The Mystic Krewe of Nyx’s Nyx Myx Masquerade Ball was held Saturday at the Riverside Hilton.

How do you put such a wonderful event into words?

Words would never capture how awesome the event was so, I’m gonna let some pictures tell most of the story.

The ball was from 7:30 p.m. to 3:30 a.m.

I know y’all used to seeing the ole’ BayouCreole in jeans and sneakers hanging at the festivals, parades and stuff.

This was a formal affair with mask required. We had to glam it up.

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nyx myx ball

The ballroom was beautifully decorated. Everyone was given a Krewe of Nyx light up martini glass.

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It wasn’t until I started looking at the pictures the day after the ball did I realize that, the ballroom was decorated to match the Captain’s gown.

Captain Julie Lea, Nyx Goddess II Lauren "fleuty girl" Thom,Board of Directors and Grand Marshall Laura Buchtel
Captain Julie Lea, Nyx Goddess II Lauren “fleuty girl” Thom,Board of Directors and Grand Marshall Laura Buchtel

The evening began with Cocktails and Hors d’oeuvres.  It was a great way to mingle and meet so many fabulous Nyx sisters. Everyone looked beautiful.

The presentation of the Float Lieutenants,Grand Marshall,Nyx Goddess,Board of Directors and Captain followed.

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The ladies threw beads as they were presented. I was hit on the head with a bead and became a little misty as I said to myself,

“I was just hit on the head with a bead… it’s REALLY carnival time!”

John Mac’s Marching Trojans ushered the Mardi Gras mood into the room as they played throughout the ballroom.
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The float lieutenants second lined afterwards.  Everyone was so happy…the energy was palpable.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The ball consisted of a seated dinner. I was a little leery of that at first because I’m such a picky eater.

Y’all the food was off the chain!

The main course was Grilled Tenderloin of Beef and Grilled Chicken Medallion,Wine Laced Mushrooms, Wild Rice Risotto and Vegetable Medleynyx1

Dessert followed with a Trio of Flourless Chocolate Cake, Praline Cheesecake and Carrot Cake

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After dinner, it was on and popping!

The Captain and Nyx Goddess changed their outfits. The gowns they wore were so pretty!

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photo compliments of  Lauren Thom
photo compliments of Lauren Thom

Everyone packed the dance floor and partied like crazy!! Music was provided by The Mojeaux’s and they really brought the house down!

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The dance floor STAYED packed!

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Even our Nyx Goddess was out there shaking a tail feather!

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We broke out into a huge electric slide! That was a lot of fun considering by that time, a lot of us were pretty liquored up.

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The guy that has his head turned is actually following me. He couldn’t keep up so I became his wing person…lol

He was so sweet…gave me a big hug after the dance!

Around 1 a.m there was a breakfast buffet. Missed pics of that somehow but it was delicious! Grits, eggs,bacon, sausage, hash browns and muffins.

NavySeal and I left the ball somewhere around 2  o’clock. I would have stayed longer  but, I had to go work in a few hours.

To say that I had a wonderful time would be such an understatement.  The Nyx Myx Ball was everything and MORE!  They paid attention to every detail and the Hilton’s staff was excellent!

Kudos to the ladies for putting on such a magnificent ball! I will remember that night forever!

Nyx Sisters rock big time. I’m glad to be a sister-in-waiting.  I can’t wait to be up there on the floats with them. They’ll hit the streets February 6th and I’m sure they will light the city up so, be sure to go out and catch’em!

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Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party

City Park’s 26th Annual Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party was held November 16 and am I ever glad that I decided to go.  This was my first year attending the preview party and I’m putting it on my “things to do every year” list for sure!

The party is a 3 1/2 hour cocktail attire affair,which benefits the New Orleans Botanical Garden.  It was so worth the $100 per person tickets.

Walking through the Celebration in the Oaks on any given day is a magical experience.  The adult preview party up the ante by having fantastic food from restaurants such as Galatoire’s,Pascal Manale’s,Ralph’s on the Park and dozens of others. In addition, there’s all sorts of adult beverages (i.e. all the liquor you can handle) to  keep you going as you walk among millions of holiday twinkling lights.

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The bands were awesome! The Mixed Nuts and The Tip Tops brought the house down

or rather, “the trees down” since it’s an outdoor event.

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It’s the perfect date night…a wonderland of lights with great food,drinks and music everywhere.

They even had the Antique Carousel and Train operating for those of us who are nothing but big kids at heart.

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My only regret is that, I didn’t get to take a picture of Mr. Bingle while I was there.

My dogs were howling pretty bad for me to take my boots off. They just would not walk me to where Mr. Bingle was located.

That’s alright because, I’ll be there next year….with flat shoes on.

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If you only experience the preview party once, you should go…you will not regret it.

It’s a spectacular way to let your inner child come out and play.

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