Celebrate National Library Week by visiting the library! No matter what branch you call home, there’s always something going on – check out our online events calendar for fun activities for your whole family.
Children of all ages will enjoy Magic Tree House: Space Mission when they travel with Jack and Annie, stars of the Magic Tree House® best-selling children’s book series, as they search for answers to a mysterious riddle they’ve discovered. Viewers will get a peek into the treehouse and follow Jack and Annie on an exciting adventure as they meet a helpful astronomer and an astronaut!
Adults and teens are invited to the Library to watch We Are Stars, the film that explains what we are made of, how the sun was created and how a star is made.
The full Discovery Dome schedule is below:
10 a.m. Monday, March 5, River Center Branch
3:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, Main Library at Goodwood (Adults & teens, We Are Stars)
3 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, Eden Park Branch
3 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, Bluebonnet Regional Branch
3 p.m. Thursday, March 8, Central Branch
5 p.m. Monday, March 12, Jones Creek Regional Branch
10 a.m. Tuesday, March 13, Greenwell Springs Road Regional Branch
3 p.m. Tuesday, March 13, Delmont Gardens Branch
3 p.m. Thursday, March 15, Scotlandville Branch
10:30 a.m. Monday, March 19, Carver Branch
3 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, Baker Branch
3 p.m. Wednesday, March 21, Pride-Chaneyville Branch
3 p.m. Thursday, March 22, Main Library at Goodwood
3 p.m. Monday, March 26, Fairwood Branch
2 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, Zachary Branch
To register, or for more information about these free Discovery Dome events, call the Children’s Room at the Library location directly. Call the Circulation Desk at the Main Library at (225) 231-3740 in reference to the presentation for adults and teens. To learn more about the Library and any of its other free programs, events and resources, visit us online!
Did you know that the Special Collections Department collects and displays a vast array of Mardi Gras costumes, ephemera, and other festive regalia from the Baton Rouge area? Our seasonal displays include photographs from some of the first parades to roll down Baton Rouge streets, throws spanning decades, and ball costumes so elaborate you’ll be in awe. All of these materials shed light on the city’s unique celebration of the Mardi Gras season. Come check out the display on the second floor of the Main Library in the Special Collections Department!
Just outside our doors, you will be greeted by our lady mannequin sporting a maid’s costume worn by Ms. Jane (Francis) Ward in 1959. Ms. Ward served as one of the Queen’s maids for the Krewe of Romany— the oldest women’s Mardi Gras Krewe in Baton Rouge, created to present the debutant daughters of Krewe members. The theme for the ball in 1959 was the “Golden West.” Ms. Ward, along with many of the women involved in Krewe of Romany, remained an active member for many years. The Special Collections Department keeps images ready for anyone interested in viewing some of the other costumes worn by Ms. Ward, as well as those of other revelers. Ask an archivist to view them while you are visiting.
Further into the department you will come to a case containing images from the “Fairy Tales” parade in 1951, organized and hosted by the Young Men’s Business Club (YMBC). Each float was sponsored and designed by local civic organizations that chose a specific fairy tale to represent. This was Baton Rouge’s second annual Mardi Gras parade to be followed by an awards ceremony for best float and a bal masque, both held by YMBC at the Community Club at Victory Park. These images come to us from the Baton Rouge Fire Department Collection. You can find more images on the Baton Rouge Digital Archive.
You might also come across an image of a parade you have never heard of. The Poor Man’s Mardi Gras Parade was created by Piggly Wiggly Supermarket owner, Larry Henderson, in honor of his late friend, Joseph Jay LaPlace, who was murdered in 1990. The purpose of the parade was to provide a means of celebrating for those who didn’t have the large budgets that other krewes had. According to an article in The Advocate from February 7, 1992:
There is no registration fee, and anything will do for an entry. Many entrants decorate pickup trucks. Some people pull little red wagons. A few ride bicycles. Others just walk. One man once rode his bicycle behind other floats, picking up stray beads and throwing them to bystanders. Two revelers dressed as clowns dispensed paper IOU’s for beads, tossing them like confetti.
Nearly 10,000 people lined the route to watch as the parade rolled from the parking lot of the Burbank Drive Piggly Wiggly Supermarket, down GSRI Road to the Drillers Diamond. The parade had an all-star royalty lineup; Smiley Anders served as the parade captain, Price LeBlanc served as king, and Cynthia Nickerson of WBRZ-TV served as queen. Sadly, this parade only rolled for one year.
Have you seen enough Mardi Gras memories? We didn’t think so. You can always check out the Baton Rouge Digital Archive for more images of the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras celebration. This year, we’ve begun crawling websites related to the celebration of Mardi Gras in Baton Rouge to make sure their history is archived, too. You will find websites created by krewes, social media pages such as Facebook event pages and Krewe profiles, news and commentary, and video posted to YouTube by parade attendees in the collection we’ve started here. So far, we’ve collected material from the Krewe of Orion, the Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana, the Mystic Krewe of Apollo, and more! We add new content every day and would love your help in shaping what is preserved. To learn more about the East Baton Rouge Web Archives and to submit a URL to be added to the web archive, visit the Baton Rouge Room InfoGuide.
Like statistics? If you’ve gotten used to the resources available on the library’s digital statistics resource, Statista, it might be time to check out DataUSA!
DataUSA (not a library resource, just awesome) uses data collected from all kinds of federal agencies to tell stories about, well, all kinds of things – for example, you can learn about the degrees with best immediate payoff in the job market; then the best places to go to school for different degrees; move on to where the best job prospects for engineering grads can be found; and finish off with a study of happiest places to retire.
Included in this post are screen-grabbed examples of the categories you will find and some of the stories in each category, and you can also watch the following short video for more information:
With OnePlay, all you have to do to access hundreds of PC and Android games is download a single app. Download any available game – there are no holds or checkouts – and play offline on your desktop or Android phone. It’s free with your library card!
Reading logs went out yesterday, and are available for pickup at all branches. We’ve got THREE WHOLE PROGRAMS this year – one for kids, one for teens, and one for adults – so there’s no reason not to put some books in your face this summer.
Adults can join Red Stick Reads! Teens in 6-12th grade and children from birth to fifth grade will Build a Better World with every book they finish. Everyone who turns in their completed reading log by July 31st will be handsomely rewarded!
If you missed the Human Library™ at the Ebb and Flow Festival last weekend (which was, unfortunately, closed for weather on its second day), you’ll have another chance to visit it in May! The May edition of the Human Library will open at the Main Library on Goodwood on Saturday, May 6th, from 1-5 PM.
Some of the Living Books will be “renewed” for the May event, but we’ll have some new titles, too – and if you have a story that deserves to be told, now’s your chance! Applications for Living Books for the May event are now open. If you are part of one of the following groups and have a story you want to tell, please consider applying:
Life with a physical or mental disability
Non-traditional family structure
Military or police service
Religious background or beliefs
For more information, contact Ned Denby at 225-231-3750.
The first Mardi Gras parade in Baton Rouge was sponsored by two African American clubs, the Purple Circle Social Club and the “colored Esso Boosters,” and took place in 1941. The Esso Boosters were responsible for sponsoring King Ugandi and his float for the event. King Ugandi was represented by Ernest Dupuy, employed by Y. & M. V. check office. The King and his parade followers rolled down South Blvd., on to East Blvd., North Blvd. and ending on Government Street where the revelers attended a ball at the Club’s headquarters. There was an estimated 20,000 people, both White and Black, that showed up to watch the festivities. When asked about the choice of names for the king, the response was this, “Ugandi is a British protectorate in East Central Africa. It consists of 110,300 square miles and has a population of more than three million highly cultured Negroes. Hence—King Ugandi.” (Matthews Jr., 1941, p. 14). Visit the following links to read the original announcement in Standard Oil’s newsletter, then called The Stanocolan:
What was believed to be the first, but was actually the second, Mardi Gras parade took place in 1949 and was sponsored by the Young Men’s Business Club (YMBC) of Baton Rouge. The theme was Mother Goose’s Nursery Rhymes and consisted of 33 floats all representing a nursery rhymes, 4 marching bands from local high schools, and torch bearers. The parade rolled downtown and made a loop back to the American Legion Community Club where a ball was hosted in honor of Mardi Gras royalty and nobility.
Before 1949, if you wanted to celebrate Mardi Gras, the options were limited to New Orleans or to one of the smaller parades such as those in New Roads or Lafayette. There was also the more traditional Mardi Gras celebration that took place in the small Cajun town of Mamou which involved the Courir de Mardi Gras – a traditional rural celebration where participants ride through the countryside costumed and masked collecting ingredients for the evening gumbo. The Baton Rouge parade attracted some of the largest crowds the city had ever seen and that popularity allowed the YMBC to sponsor the parades for eight years.
When there were no parades
There was no definitive reason given by YMBC when they dropped their sponsorship of the annual Mardi Gras Parade and subsequent ball in 1957; however, other groups and organizations kept the celebration going by hosting private balls and parties for members of their organizations or clubs. The archives houses the Mystic Krewe of Desk and Derrick collection, which is a women’s organization dedicated to the education of women in the oil and gas industry. They have hosted an annual ball since 1961 that still thrives today. Another organization whose records are stored in the Baton Rouge Room Archives is the Mystic Krewe of Apollo, which began hosting a lavish bal masqué (masked ball) in 1980.
La Krewe Mystique de la Capitale and the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Association
In 1976, two krewes decided to put on a parade for Baton Rouge. The krewes Knights of Nineveh and the Ladies of Antiope paraded with 68 units, 14 floats, and 7 bands and was sponsored by the Baton Rouge Mardi Gras Association. Mayor-President Woody Dumas served as Grand Marshal and rode in a convertible at the head of the parade. Nearly 100,000 people came out to view the parade that began in the Rebel Shopping Center on Florida Blvd. and rolled East to E. Airport Drive. Ever wondered what the “mystique” or “mystic” meant? This is a designation applied to krewes that will not reveal the identities of their royalty until the opening of a parade or a ball.
In 1977, new krewes and parades begin to develop. La Krewe Mystique de la Capitale became the premier parade Krewe in Baton Rouge. This parade and Krewe is meant to be for the Capital City and not specific to any one neighborhood or specific group or organization. It’s mission is to bring Mardi Gras to Baton Rouge. Today, La Krewe Mystique de la Capitale’s parade is one of the longest running parades in the city.
The most recent city parades to be added to the itinerary of Mardi Gras celebrations are the Krewe of Orion, added in 1998, and the Krewe of Artemis, an off-shoot of Orion, added in 2003. Orion began as a co-ed organization and then split to create its sister Krewe of Artemis, which is a women’s only Krewe. These krewes are still an integral part of the Baton Rouge parade scene. You can see these parades a few weeks before “Fat Tuesday.”
From 1979 to 1981, two new krewes were added to the mix. The first in 1979 was the Krewe of Rio, which paraded on Burgin Avenue. In 1981, Don Zeringue announced that the historic Spanish Town neighborhood would host its own parade. The Spanish Town parade became well known for its satire and as a medium to critique and poke fun at current events and politics. Sporting a pink flamingo as the official mascot, this parade has only grown in popularity through the years and has added an array of parade favorites such as the Krewe of Yazoo Lawnmowers Drill Team and the Prancing Babycakes to name a few.
In 1989, Southdown Flambeau Parade was added to the Mardi Gras Roster. This parade rolls out from S. Pickett Street and ends at Acadian Thruway and Perkins. A family friendly parade, the identifying characteristic is the use of flambeau. Flambeau is a type of flaming torch typically with three candles. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Krewe of Southdowns.
There are many smaller krewes that host or have hosted community parades that deserve mention as well. See the list below:
Poor Man’s Parade: Gulf State Regional Institute and Burbank parade
Mystic Krewe of LaCumba de Jaguar: Southern University Krewe
Get that novel out of the drawer and self-publish it for free at the library!
We’ve got several electronic platforms that, individually or in concert, will be perfect for your creative brainchild. If you want to standardize your book’s digital formatting and make sure it reads the way you want, check out Pressbooks! You can upload a file or even just copy and paste what you’re working on, and export a shiny new file in the format of your choice when you’re finished.
From Pressbooks, you can send your book to SELF-e for publication in the library’s ebook collection! SELF-e is an ebook submission platform managed by Library Journal. It’s completely free to submit to, and if your book is selected for publication (almost all are), it will be included in the East Baton Rouge Parish Library’s Biblioboard collection. They’ve recently revamped the submission process to make it easier and more streamlined than ever!
Your book could even be chosen as a Library Journal Select Title,
meaning it would be shared with collections across the country – or anywhere a library has signed up for the Biblioboard service. We’ll be able to feature it in a variety of collections. You can use your profile on Biblioboard to grow your readership and support your new career as a published author!