1st Annual Procession of the Personal Saints
The 1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints
Saints, by the broadest definition possible.
A Procession, by the loosest definition possible.
The “saint” part? Well, New Orleans is definitely a city of the saints. We drive on streets and live in neighborhoods named after saints, attended schools & universities named after saints, our city’s football team is the Saints and we cheer ‘em on as they take the field led by the savior, Breesus.
Here in New Orleans, we are moved to venerate more broadly. We’ve raised the simple dish of red beans & rice to the level of Monday communion, we do daily homage to the Creole Trinity, we celebrate morning coffee and happy hour as sacraments, we raise a joyous noise alongside the bona fide trumpets of angels and voices of the heavenly choir in countless smoky nightclubs and late night dives. Verily it is thus.
And we’re not worried about being particularly official when it comes to who we call our personal saints and turn to for our inspiration, our daily bread, our salvation. We rub shoulders with musicians both living & passed who have justly earned our celebratory sacramental salutes. We venerate the vino, we canonize the cook. We beatify the artful bounty of our culture, our friendships, our imaginations.
Our saints are personal. Our saints can be anybody, anything, home-grown or from afar, living or long since passed. Your own personal saint could just as easily be the Loup Garou, a Balinese fire spirit, a sockmonkey, or The Special Man. Our saints, we find ‘em or we make ‘em up as needed, in this city of the saints, you get to pick your own personal saint and venerate ‘em how ya want.
Bring Your Own Saint.
Blessed Saint Okra of the Produce Truck, sing out your song, our Call to Prayer. Saint Elvis of the Vacated Building, Saint Fats of the Dominoes, Saint Kermit of the Swingers, bring forth a joyous sound. Santa Barista of the Counter and Saint Mikey the Bartender Who Pours Us Very Strong Doubles, smile gently upon us and pour forth your honeyed bounty. Santa Fabulista and Santa Transvestita, bestow upon us your grace. El Santo de Luche Libre, lend us your strength as we toil and watch over us as we rest. Saint Omar of the All-Night Corner Grocery, bless us in this the hour of our most desperate need.
So…who’s your personal patron saint?
The “procession” part? Well, Fringe figures that it’s time to take our personal saints out for a stroll, get ‘em a little fresh air & exercise and a bit of a play-date with other saints. So, we want you to bring your personal saints out to take a stroll with our personal saints. Sounds kinda like a parade, right? Well, while parading and marching in New Orleans are expressions of our genetic code, when it’s saints involved it is respectful to call it a procession.
So, the 1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints.
We’re going to gather at 12:00pm on Saturday 22 Nov at Markey Park, libations will be provided for marchers and bearers of the saints. Fringe has a clever coterie of local craft-folk a-busy creatin’ our corps of sanctified personal saints – statues to be carried and banners to wave in the breeze - and we want you to bring your saints along for the stroll. Dress as your patron saint, create a banner or a saint-on-a-stick, or decorate an umbrella. Go all out, get some friends together, form a personal saintly order, build a statue to be carried through the streets o’ Bywater to show your dedication to your personal patron saint.
The route of the Procession - we will form up (location TBA) for libations and after due course proceed at 2:00 pm without haste down Royal Street to Clouet Gardens. There will be additional libations and celebratory salutes to our saints at Clouet Gardens before the Procession moves forth in meandering fashion to Marigny Opera House and Church of the Arts, the Sancta Sophia of New Orleans Arts, where we will celebrate an Elevation of the Personal Saints and additional libational salutes.
The 1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints is a volunteer-driven walking procession organized by the New Orleans Fringe Festival. New Orleans Fringe has commissioned several groups of artists to produce a core of personal saint-inspired mobile visual art to feature in the Procession. Groups and individuals can register to participate or simply come out on Saturday 22 Nov and participate; both registration and participation is free.
We encourage participants to manifest their personal patron saint in some way – costume, banner, icon, relic, statue, instrument or song – tho’ how and to what degree is entirely between you and your personal saint. Fringe also encourages dance troupes and marching groups to “come as you are” in your lovely costumes – there is room for all and the more the merrier. We also encourage groups and individuals to register in advance – registration will get you a wristband on the day of the Procession, and the wristband will get you free beer and concessions.
Deadline is November 7 to register. Registration is encouraged! Click here to register.
1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints Registration Guidelines:
- The 1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints will take place during the 2014 Fringe Festival, on November 22. We’ll congregate beginning at 12pm (at Markey Park) for registration check-in, refreshments, organization and line-up.
- The Procession will head out at 2pm (from Markey Park), proceeding up Royal Street to Clouet Gardens for another stop for refreshment before moving on to the Marigny Opera House where Family Fringe events will be already underway.
- Participants who register in advance will receive a wristband to receive free beer and concessions during the Procession and during stops at the gathering point (Markey Park), Clouet Gardens, and Marigny Opera House. If you’re 21 years of age and over, that is.
- Registration and participation is free and open to individuals and groups of all ages.
- New Orleans Fringe will organize volunteers to facilitate the Procession. However, this is not a “parade” with a city permit and police escorts. Participants – both registered and not, are requested to be respectful of the rights of vehicular traffic; to move out of the way of traffic situations; and to exercise due caution as the Procession moves through the neighborhood.
- All manner of personal saint-inspired artwork should be imminently portable and maneuverable, and durable enough to not leave detritus of the saints in the Procession’s wake.
- New Orleans Fringe does not assume any responsibility for public safety on public or private property associated with the 1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints.
- New Orleans Fringe will provide a limited number of volunteers for clean-up of the route of the Procession, tho’ we also ask that participants be respectful and not leave a mess.
- Registration must be returned to New Orleans Fringe by November 7th in order to ensure inclusion in the 1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints.
- Please don’t undertake projects that will get you in trouble with the law or projects that are horrendously unreasonable impositions on your neighbors.
- Defacing or destroying someone else's property without their permission is completely unacceptable.
- The 1st Annual New Orleans Fringe Procession of the Personal Saints will be an afternoon event, there are likely to be children around. As such, let’s not suffer the little children to come unto blatantly lewd personal saints.
Register by November 7th to ensure inclusion in the lineup and libations. Click here to register.