The tradition of greasing down poles at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in the French Quarter to keep parade-goers from shimmying up hotel balconies turns 50 this year. Known as the official kick off to Mardi Gras weekend, this event featured actor Bryan Batt as host and included appearances by Kenny Lopez from News with a Twist, who won this year, last year's winner Desiree Ontiveros of Bad Ass Balloons wearing "Bitch Please" eyelashes, Miss New Orleans Pride 2020 Lana O'Day in shiny purple dress, Reagan Charleston Thomas of Southern Charm New Orleans, musician Amanda Shaw dressed as Charlie Chaplin's Tramp, and renowned Big Easy burlesque dancer and performer, Trixie Minx. Leroy Jones and the Original Hurricane Brass Band entertained the crowd with special guests from the Merry Antoinettes, the Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale, the Krewe of NOMTOC (New Orleans' Most Talked Of Club) and the Krewe of Cork. Photo by Matthew Hinton

Let the marathon begin! The Greasing of the Poles kicks off Mardi Gras weekend 2020

The tradition of greasing down poles in the French Quarter to keep parade-goers from shimmying up hotel balconies turns 50 this year.

by Matthew Hinton | February 24, 2020

The tradition of greasing down poles in the French Quarter to keep parade-goers from shimmying up hotel balconies turns 50 this year.

Known as the official kick off to Mardi Gras weekend, this event features Bryan Batt as host and includes appearances by Kenny Lopez from News with a Twist, last year’s winner Desiree Ontiveros; Miss New Orleans Pride 2020, Lana O’Day; Reagan Charleston Thomas of Southern Charm, musican Amanda Shaw, and renowned Big Easy burlesque dancer and performer, Trixie Minx.

Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton

Matthew Hinton is a New Orleans area freelance photographer whose work has been recognized by the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) Best of Photojournalism Awards in 2014 and 2016, and by numerous awards from the Press Club of New Orleans, including the Hal Ledet President's Print Photography Award, the highest honor the Press Club can bestow upon a photographer.
Matthew Hinton has previously been a staff photographer at both of the daily newspapers in New Orleans. His work has appeared nationally and internationally through freelance work with the Associated Press and AFP, Agence France-Presse.

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