Lundi Gras fest features Zulu ‘characters’

The 22nd annualZulu Lundi Gras Festival, an event that allows New Orleanians and visitors an up-close look at Zulu “characters,” is slated for 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Feb. 16.

Hosted by the 600 members of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, the free event will feature music, food, arts, crafts and more. Prominent entertainers are expected to perform, including stand-up comedian, TV host and radio personality Rickey Smiley.

Phaedra Parks, an entertainment lawyer known for her role in “The Real Housewives of Atlanta,” is also slated to appear.

The festival will take place in Woldenberg Park along the Mississippi River in the French Quarter.

500 free student tickets left for ‘Selma’

The Urban League of New Orleans, Entergy and Chevron are offering New Orleans students free tickets to see the Oscar-nominated film “Selma,” and as of Saturday 500 passes remained.

So far, 9,797 students have taken advantage of the free viewing passes, putting the initiative on track to exceed a goal of giving away 10,000 tickets, organizers said.

Seventh-, eighth- and ninth-grade students from any school or parish need to present their student ID or their most recent report card to gain free entrance to “Selma” screenings at the AMC Elmwood Palace, the AMC Clearview Palace, the AMC West Bank Palace, the Theatres at Canal Place and the Southern Grand 16 in Slidell.

The movie depicts the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic struggle to secure voting rights for all people. It is named after a famous march from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. Ultimately, Congress passed and President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Donations for the tickets initiative can be given via urbanleagueneworleans.org. Further information is available at http://selmastudenttickets.com/.

Music conference slated for August

The Music Business Institute will produce the 23rd Cutting Edge CE Conference from Aug. 27 to 29.

The conference, to take place at the Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center Hotel in the Warehouse District, will produce the Downtown Festival and artists’ showcases. Events will focus on trends in the music and entertainment industry.

An entertainment law seminar will explore strategies for making deals within the industry. Companion panel sessions will bring attendees face to face with entertainment business leaders in music, film and interactive media.

An educators forum and roots music gathering will commemorate “The Post Katrina Years: Ten Years of Music Survival and Progress.”

The event is presented by the Music Business Institute, a New Orleans nonprofit organization designed to enhance the career opportunities of musicians and entertainment professionals.

For more information, send an email to eric@cuttingedgenola.com.

Seniors to celebrate Valentine’s Day

Ebenezer Baptist Church in Central City will hold a special Valentine’s Day celebration for senior citizens.

Called “It’s All About Love — Valentine’s Day Celebration,” the event is slated for 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the church, 2415 S. Claiborne Ave.

Although Valentine’s Day “is designed with love in mind,” a news release says, “there is a population of senior citizens who have lost husbands, wives or companions. For them it is a sad day because for them there will be no card, flowers, candies or other expression of love.”

This special event is meant to cheer up senior citizens by providing “an opportunity for them to come together and share their love with each other,” according to organizers.

The event will feature gospel music. The public is invited, and refreshments will be served.

For information call (504) 655-1159 and ask for the Rev. Lois Dejean.