The self-proclaimed “tell it like it is” reference and travel publication Rough Guides recently named New Orleans one of the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2015. Maybe this “rough ride” event is among the reasons why. The historic Fair Grounds race course is hoping to create the largest stick pony race in Louisiana history at 12:15 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at 1715 Gentilly Blvd.

A limited number of track visitors who are 18 and older will take part in the 110-yard giddyup along the main track, starting at the 16th pole and ending at the finish line. Recalling images of adults acting the fool after “borrowing” stick ponies from children at Christmas gatherings, this event should be lots of fun.

The cost for “jockeys” taking part in the event is $5, and participants 21 and older will receive wristbands for two complimentary beers before the event. Complimentary water, coffee and soft drinks will be available for all participants, who will be able to keep their stick ponies as souvenirs.

Sign-up starts at 10 a.m. inside the Starlight tent on the west side of the track apron. General admission to the track is free, and thoroughbred horse racing begins at 1:25 p.m.

The Fair Grounds is the nation’s third-oldest racetrack, in operation since 1872. The 143rd racing season will run through March. For information visit

Roaring back to the 1920s

The first Thursdays at Twilight concert of the year will take place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 8, at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters in the Botanical Garden at City Park.

The group New Orleans Banjos + 2, including four banjos, upright bass and piano, will perform music from the 1920s, when banjos were the rage. Doors will open at 5 p.m. and admission is $10. Food and drinks will be sold at the event. Tickets may be purchased by calling (504) 483-9488 or at the event. Season passes for Thursdays at Twilight performances through April also are available.

The music series is sponsored by the Louis and Virginia Clemente Foundation with support from WWNO 89.9 FM. For information visit

January Jung gatherings

The C.G. Jung Society will present the Disney film “Maleficent” at 6 p.m. at Parker United Methodist Church, 1130 Nashville Ave., followed by a lecture at 9 p.m. by Jungian analyst Marilyn Marshall, who will discuss themes, tensions and symbols in the film. The event is free for society members, $15 for adults and $10 for students.

A workshop called “Maleficent Awakens” will take place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 10, at the same location. Marshall will explore the film’s psychic energy, with themes including power and love, betrayal and trust, and destruction and transformation. The workshop is $35 for society members and $45 for nonmembers.

Marshall is a Jungian psychoanalyst and licensed counselor in New Orleans. For information about the Jung Society of New Orleans visit

Lynne Jensen writes about New Orleans community events and people. Contact her at