Covenant House to hold ‘Sleep Out’ rally

More than 130 business and community leaders will sleep on the street Thursday night to show solidarity with homeless young people.

During the Covenant House “Sleep Out” rally, leaders from the New Orleans City Council, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and local businesses will give up the comforts of home to raise awareness of the plight of nearly a million homeless youth across the country.

From 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., participants will engage in discussions about abuse, homelessness, addiction and violence. Afterward, they will be given a sleeping bag, a cardboard box and a spot along North Rampart Street to occupy until the morning.

The sleepers “send a clear message to runaway and homeless kids — that we stand with them in their struggles,” Covenant House Executive Director Jim Kelly said.

Covenant House provides a haven for homeless and at-risk youth 22 and younger. It offers them food, shelter, clothing, medical care, educational and vocational support, counseling, job placement, housing and bus tickets home.

Over the past three years, the local program has grown from 44 to 147 youths per night.

For information, contact Richard Arnolds at (504) 584-1141.

Mistletoe Marketplace starts in French Quarter

Mistletoe Marketplace, held annually in the French Quarter, will kick off Thursday with pop-up shops, a tree-lighting ceremony and more.

The French Quarter Business Association will hold a preview party at 4 p.m. in Jackson Square, where organizers will hand out 500 reusable shopping bags filled with discounts, a guide map and other lagniappe.

Following the 6 p.m. tree lighting, the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans will perform at St. Louis Cathedral at 6:30 p.m.

Mistletoe Marketplace will continue through Nov. 23.

Gala to celebrate local scholarship foundation

The Paul S. Morton Scholarship Foundation will celebrate its 25th anniversary with a gala Friday night.

Called “Without You,” the gala features performer Jennifer Holliday, keynote speaker Dr. Calvin Mackie and hosts Damon Singleton and Kweilyn Murphy, of WDSU-TV.

General admission is $50 and provides access to the gala, which starts at 8 p.m. For $100, patron tickets also include access to a VIP reception at 7 p.m.

The foundation supports students who have demonstrated academic excellence, community service and leadership. It has awarded more than $1 million in scholarships over the past 25 years.

St. Catherine’s Day Parade features hats

The St. Catherine’s Day hat parade will celebrate its fifth anniversary Nov. 23 by marching Uptown with the theme “Wear Y’Hat.”

It will feature live music by Bart Ramsey and members of Zazou City.

The parade is free and open to women and girls of all ages. Participants are asked to wear hats they’ve made, decorated or pulled from their closets. Men and boys are welcome to tag along.

“I love seeing the magnificent variety of hats and costumes the marchers come up with,” said Claudia Lynch, the parade’s founder. “New Orleanians are so creative — and we do love an excuse to dress up — so this event seems a natural for our city.”

St. Catherine is the patron saint of milliners, seamstresses and single women.

The parade starts at 10:30 a.m. Participants should meet at 10 a.m. at St. Charles Avenue and Pleasant Street.

For information, contact Claudia Lynch at (440) 503-6951 or visit www.hatnola.com.