ITALIAN LECTURE: "Touring the Spaghetti District: Turn of the Century New Orleans and the Birth of Creole Italian Cuisine” will be the theme of a lecture at 6 p.m. Thursday at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint, 400 Esplanade Ave. Dr. Justin Nystrom of Loyola University will speak on the influences of Italian immigration and cuisine on the Crescent City. For information, call the Friends of the Cabildo at (504) 523-3939 or www.friendsofthecabildo.org.
MASQUERADE BALL FOR TEENS: The New Orleans Recreation Development Commission hosts a free, teens-only Carnival gala at 7 p.m. Friday at Delgado Community College's Student Life Center, 916 Navarre Ave. Food, performances, a photo booth and more are planned for ages 12-17 in suits and gowns. For information, visit nordc.org.
WEED AND BEAD: "Pull a Weed and Get A Bead" is slated at 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Centennial Park, 101 Willow Drive, Gretna, to help clean the gardens and create a butterfly environment. All are invited to bring trowels, hoes and shovels to prepare garden beds for March planting. Educational signage about Louisiana pollinators is planned. Carnival beads and light refreshments will be provided. The project is sponsored jointly by Master Gardeners of Greater New Orleans, Twilight Gardeners Association and Friends of the Monarch. For information, call (602) 369-7079.
WALK, SCREENINGS: "Back to Nature Heart Walk" will be held at 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Audubon Louisiana Nature Center, 11000 Lake Forest Blvd., New Orleans. The event, sponsored by Friends of Joe W. Brown Park and New Orleans East Hospital, includes a walk, screenings, flu shots, refreshments and door prizes. Registration for the walk is $30. For information, contact Tangee Wall at (504) 427-2596 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHOOLS EXPO: The Urban League of Louisiana's Parent Information Center will host a free schools expo at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 1500 Sugar Bowl Drive, New Orleans. Representatives from more than 95 schools and more than 25 early childhood centers will be on hand, as well as supplies, uniform vouchers, backpacks, events and activities for kids, plus child care. Translation services will be available for Vietnamese and Spanish families. Parking in Garage 6 is free. Call (504) 620-2332 or email email@example.com.
MUSIC ENGINEERING CLASS: The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation is offering a free program to teach professional audio skills to teens from 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays, beginning Feb. 16 to March 23, except March 2, at the center, 1225 N. Rampart St. The class is open to students 13 to 17 and all five classes must be attended. A weeklong intensive second-level course is set for June for students who have completed the program. For more information, visit www.jazzandheritage.org.
MITZVA MAKERS PARADE: The B'nai B'rith Mardi Gras Mitzva Makers Hospital Parade will roll at 10 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17, at Touro Infirmary, 3500 Prytania St., New Orleans. The parade, a mitzva or "good deed," brings Carnival fun to patients in long-term care and rehabilitation who would not be able to attend a parade. The fun also spreads to Cura Health Hospital and Home Life in the Gardens nearby. For information or to participate, contact (504) 897-7011.
AARP CARNIVAL: The AARP will hold a Mardi Gras luncheon and dance at noon Sunday, Feb. 17, at Augie's, 6005 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson. Cost is $30 inclusive. Contact Betty Castillo for reservations at (504) 451-7386.
TREASURE TOUR: For two nights, the Louisiana State Museum opens the Carnival Collection for behind-the-scenes viewing of costumes and artifacts, guided by Wayne Phillips, curator of Costumes and Textiles, and sponsored by the Friends of the Cabildo. Tours will be at 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, and Thursday, Feb. 21, at the storage facility, 1000 Chartres St., New Orleans. Cost is $25, $20 for members. Reservations are required at www.friendsofthecabildo.org or (504) 523-3939.
ATHLETES HONORED: The Westbank Quarterback Club will host its quarterly West Bank High School Athlete Awards Banquet at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, the Four Columns Banquet Hall, 3711 Westbank Expressway, Harvey. The state champion Edna Karr High School football team will be honored, with others. Speaker will be Mike Detillier. For information, call (504) 392-3977 or (504) 3436-5935.
PLANETARIUM SHOW: "Solar Superstorms" will be a full-dome video presentation at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the Maumus Center, 721 Friscoville Ave., Arabi. The production takes viewers into the tangle of magnetic fields and plasma that vent the sun's rage in flares, solar tornadoes and coronal mass ejections. Tickets are $5-$10. Reserve tickets at (504) 301-0239.
COOKIES: With a cookie finder mobile app, Girl Scouts will share their troops’ booth locations on social media, as the cookie program moves into direct sales beginning with National Girl Scout Cookie Weekend, Friday to Sunday, Feb. 22- 24. The app is available in the iPhone App Store or the Android Market Place. Customers can review cookie nutrition and ingredient information, get answers to frequently asked questions, learn the cookie history and get recipes for creative desserts using Girl Scout cookies. Booth location information can also be found at www.girlscoutcookies.org. The sale ends March 10. For more information, call the Girl Scouts Louisiana East's council office in New Orleans at (504) 733-8220 or visit www.gsle.org.
JAZZ FEST OUTREACH TICKETS: Applications are being accepted through March 8 for the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation's Community Outreach Tickets program for nonprofit social service organizations to distribute free tickets for those who cannot afford them. Tickets are distributed according to strict guidelines through organizations that provide direct, ongoing services to low-income residents of Louisiana. For more information, visit www.jazzandheritage.org.
JPAS' YOUTH INTENSIVES: Registration is open for sessions of Jefferson Performing Arts Society's Youth Summer Musical Intensives, with three options and offerings on both sides of the Mississippi River. One session is for students entering grades 3-8, one for grades 6-12 and a young actors' studio session for those entering grades 1-8. Production include "My Fair Lady" student edition, "Disney's Aladdin Jr." and "The Little Mermaid Jr." For information and to register, visit www.jpas.org.
TAX PREPARATION: Free tax preparation and financial advising will be available at Southern University at New Orleans through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance/Tax Counseling for the Elderly program from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until April 18. Go to Room 114 of the SUNO Conference Center, 6400 Press Drive, New Orleans. For information or to schedule an appointment, call (504) 286-5305 or (504) 286-5303.
TOUR GUIDE CLASSES: Friends of the Cabildo are holding classes for French Quarter walking tour guides, a 100-hour course on New Orleans history, speaking and the mechanics of leading a tour. Classes are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 11 to April 1 in the Arsenal building of the Cabildo, Jackson Square. Cost is $250, with a two-tour-per-month, two-year commitment. For information, visit www.friendsofthecabildo.org.
CITIZEN ACADEMY: Plaquemines Parish Sheriff Gerald A. Turlich Jr. will hold a Citizens' Police Academy at 6 p.m. Tuesdays, beginning March 12, at CrossRoads Church, 308 Avenue J, Belle Chasse. The course offers an overview of the department, activities in the community and legal system, special services, reserves and a two-hour ride-along. For information, contact Maj. Kevin Johnson at (504) 202-1567 or April Durning at (504) 275-8255. Visit online at www.ppso.net.
OFFICER HONORED: St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff's Det. Sgt. Ann Taylor has been named Officer of the Year for 2018 at a ceremony recently. The program was begun by Sheriff Mike Tregre to honor officers who "go above and beyond" to protect and serve the community.
NARFE MEETING: Active and retired federal/postal employees as well as members of neighboring chapters are invited to join the NARFE Vernon N. Landry St. Bernard Chapter 1398 for a monthly luncheon/meeting at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Sicilian Room of Rocky and Carlos Restaurant, 613 St. Bernard Highway. St. Bernard Parish Sheriff's Office Capt. Charles Borchers will speak on “Refuse to be a Victim.” Guests are welcome.
KIWANIS SPEAKER: Brice Brown, head coach of the Edna Karr Cougars, three-time state football champions, will be the speaker at the Kiwanis Club of Algiers meeting at 7 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at Woldenberg Village, 3701 Behrman Place, New Orleans. For information, call (504) 391-0667.
HISTORY TALK: The book "Beautiful Crescent: A History of New Orleans" will be the subject of a discussion at the Algiers Historical Society's meeting at 10 a.m. Saturday at Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive, New Orleans. Co-editors and sisters Kathy Spiess and Karen Wildenfels will lead. For information, visit www.algershistoricalsociety.org.
WEGO COOKERS: Anyone interested in learning to cook or who enjoys outdoor cooking is invited to the next meeting of the Wego Cookers at 9 a.m. Saturday at Pavilion 1 of the Bayou Segnette State Park, 7777 Westbank Expressway, Westwego. Sampling begins at 11:30 a.m. Park entrance is $3. For information, call John Heiken (504) 756-1853.
LOPINTO TO SPEAK: Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto will be the guest speaker at 11:45 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at Andrea's Restaurant, 3100 19th St., Metairie for the Republic Women's Club of Jefferson Parish. Tickets are $30-$35. For information or to make a reservation, call (504) 919-2101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
DILLARD GALA: The Dillard University Athletics Department will host the 11th annual Billy Ray Hobley Scholarship Gala at 7 p.m. Friday in the atrium of the Professional Schools and Sciences Building, 2601 Gentilly Blvd., New Orleans. There will be a live performance by Gina Brown, a local artist, food and libations to celebrate the occasion. Tickets are $125 at dillard.edu. Alumni Paul Valteau '69 and Ronald Burns '73 will be recognized as the 2019 Bleu Flame of Excellence recipients. Teams and athletes in the Sports Hall of Fame include:
- The 1935 football team
- The 1965 football team
- The 1969-70 men's basketball senior class, "The Magnificent Seven Plus One"(Milton Andrews, Johnny Chaney, Eugene Clem, George Johnson, Bobby Smith, Joe Taylor, Johnny Traylor and Erol Ware)
- The 1971 men's swim team
- The 1975 NAIA Men's Indoor Track and Field Championship mile relay (Ronald Cojoe, Anthony Johnson, Clarence Jones and Marlon White)
- The 1983-84 NAIA Women's Basketball Championship semifinalists.
DOMINICAN IN DIAMONDS: "Diamonds are Forever" is the theme for Dominican High School's Legacy Gala and Patrons' Party at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, at the school at 7701 Walmsley Ave., New Orleans. Music, food, an auction and two raffles will be held. Tickets are $95. Visit www.stmarysdominican.org for information.
'POLITICS WITH A PUNCH': The 20th anniversary of Jeff Couere's radio show "Ringside Politics With a Punch" will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22, at the Filmore in the Oaks, 1040 Filmore Ave., New Orleans. U.S. Sen John Kennedy, R.-La., will be the special guest. Tickets start at $175, with proceeds to benefit WLAE-TV. For information, visit www.jeffcrouere.com/20years.
ART & SOUL: The NOCCA Institute's annual gala will be 6 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at the school at 5 Homer Plessy Way, New Orleans. On tap are entertainment, food and beverages plus a silent auction. Tickets are $50. For information, visit www.noccainstitute.com/artandsoul.