This year’s king of the irreverent Krewe du Vieux is Dr. Jim Aiken, one of the city’s favorite physicians and all-around great guy. The parade rolls at 6:30 p.m. Saturday through the Marigny and French Quarter.

What a thrill to ride the mule-pulled royal float in 1996, when my significant rogue was king as the krewe celebrated its 10th anniversary. Writer and former royalty Angus Lind wryly declared Ronnie Virgets “His Decadence, the Sahib of Sartorial Squalor, the Sultan of St. Aloysius and the Uncrowned King of the Yats.”

Here’s wishing King Jim, emergency room maestro, and his wife, Tonia, royal redhead and brainy beauty, the Carnival ride of a lifetime.

Longue Vue happenings

Cool things are happening in February at Longue Vue House and Gardens, 7 Bamboo Road.

The opening reception of “En Plein Air,” featuring artist and instructor Phil Sandusky and his students Peg Usner and Ken Hopel, will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 5. The trio created visions of Longue Vue during summer and fall 2014.

The reception is free and an RSVP is required. Light refreshments will be served. The artworks will be displayed in the Gate House at Longue Vue through March 1.

To RSVP, contact Edna Lanieri at (504) 293-4724 or

There are programs for all ages coming up at Longue.

Children 18 months to 5 years and accompanying adults are invited to “Little Diggers Winter Exploration” in the Discovery Garden from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 10, if it is not raining. Advance registration is not required and the program fee covers one child and one adult. Cost is free for Longue Vue Family members and $5 for other levels; $8 for nonmembers; and $7 for additional children and adult nonmembers.

Registration for Longue Vue’s Summer Camp will be held Feb. 16. Cost is $25 plus a $160 camp fee. The camp is for children 5 to 9 and includes exploration, architecture, drama, gardening and photography, beginning June 15 and ending July 31. Longue Vue members at the Family level or higher will receive a discount.

Toddlers 18 months to 5 years and an accompanying adult will take part in a hands-on introduction to the world of gardens from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Feb. 28, if the weather is good. Guided by education staff, the children will get up close with nature through plantings, digging for worms and crafts. Advance registration is not required and the program fee covers one child and one adult. Cost is $10 for members; $12 for nonmembers; and $5 for additional adults. Siblings will receive a discount.

For program information, contact Lydia Vaughn at (504) 293-4722 or or visit

New Orleans Rose Society

Pruning and other spring gardening practices will be discussed during the New Orleans Rose Society meeting at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Whitney Bank Room, 441 Metairie Road. Nonmembers are invited.

For information, call Clare Madere at (504) 368-6885.

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