The volunteers at Deutsches Haus have worked since 1928 to celebrate German culture and introduce locals to the country?s music, food, language, and history. The chirp of accordions and the crackle of bratwurst on a grill hint at events, including Oktoberfest and Volksfest festivals. Beers from German breweries such as Paulaner and Warsteiner run in straw-hued rivulets from mugs, and vendors dressed in dirndls and lederhosen sell traditional steins. During weekly meetings of the Schlaraffia, a jovial, international fraternity, guests belt out literary and humorous compositions to entertain one another or try to teach robots to laughs.
Competitors in the Southwest Division of the NBA’s Western Conference, the New Orleans Hornets have regaled the Big Easy’s hoops fans since migrating from Charlotte in 2002. Egged on by the vespine mascot Hugo, swarms of 17,000 fans swathed in light blue surround the court inside New Orleans Arena, where a center-hung LED board displays live-action video and instant replays of referees' most spectacular cross-court jogs.
In the Krewe of Kringle pub crawl, revelers dressed as Santas, elves, reindeer, and a multitude of other holiday figures set out to conquer numerous area bars. Participants get free beer at each location, and can take advantage of drink and shot specials.
At Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots, home to horse racing since 1872, visitors wager on an extensive calendar of live races, or year-round simulcasts of other Louisiana tracks. Guidance from the program and tip sheet steer bets toward horses with impressive histories or names such as "Guaranteed Winner." Grandstand entry is free to all comers, letting customers sit outdoors beneath the warm sun and measure equine speed in relation to sips of beer ($3–$5) and bites of hot dogs ($4) from track concession stands. Alternatively, visitors can retire to the upscale clubhouse for more gourmet fare (most meals are around $9.95) while minding the strictly enforced dress code, which prohibits shorts, T-shirts, sandals, and evening gowns made out of Seabiscuit movie posters. Though not included with today’s Groupon, more than 600 new slot machines, ranging from penny slots to $1-per-game machines, entertain visitors while the thoroughbreds gear up for their next gallop.
• For $27, you get one reserved ticket in the upper level (a $43 value before fees, or up to a $53.85 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $32, you get one reserved ticket in the lower level (a $53 value before fees, or up to a $64.15 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees). • For $37, you get one reserved ticket on the main floor (a $63 value before fees, or up to a $74.45 value online, including all Ticketmaster fees).
Veggie Fest is the city's premier event for herbivorous inhabitants, featuring food, two cooking demos by a vegan chef, live music, and guest speakers espousing a vegan and vegetarian lifestyle, as well as more than 50 vendors distributing samples and products. With a one-day pass, join gathered green eaters and animal lovers for an exchange of ideas and information regarding the benefits of a plant-focused subsistence, such as better health and an immunity to starvation. Visitors can lend ears to muscle maven Robert Cheeke, founder of Vegan Body Building and Fitness, as he presents his vegetable-based nutrition platform (Saturday, 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.) or watch author, professional chef, and world traveler Alan Roettinger give culinary exhibitions (Saturday, 12:30 p.m–1:30 p.m., and Sunday, 10:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.) that delve into the art of spicing up a noncarnivorous kitchen. Sunday talks by doctors John J. Pippin (11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.) and Vesanto Melina (1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.) bring the wisdom of medical professionals to the discussion of vegetarianism and veganism, presenting nutritional facts and raising awareness for various ethical concerns.