Monday, February 1, 2010

A Busy Month

For being the shortest month, February promises to offer more than its share of excitement. Indeed, the month will end with my birthday (as it does three out of every four years), but this is not about me. First of all, unless you've been sleeping or in a coma (and if you have been, prepare yourself now), the New Orleans Saints are in the Superbowl! That means the next week will be the culmination of 43 years of wishing and hoping for diehard fans. Whether the boys in black and gold take home the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy has yet to be decided, but the fact there is a team from New Orleans playing in the big game does give all of us pause and a reason for impromptu partying and cavorting. Oh, yes, there's also a mayoral election in New Orleans that will be decided outright or the field of characters narrowed by next weekend. All the while that all of that is going on, the steady progress towards Fat Tuesday and the schedule of Carnival parades continues to loom large. The first parades of consequence have been held this past week and the major parading organizations get started this coming weekend, the Superbowl notwithstanding. For the past three weeks I have been announcing several Carnival balls, serving as the narrator and scriptwriter for several krewes, as the organizations are known. As the krewes get their respective floats prepared, the anticipation rises and the size of the crowds along the parade routes will increase exponentially too. As the Superbowl excitement begins to pitch higher, so too does the Mardi Gras fervor and as soon as the nation's best NFL team is determined, it will be time for the biggest and bawdiest of the parades to make their way onto the streets of the city. Hand in hand with the parading on the weekend following the Superbowl will be the appearance of the Adventure Base 100, a huge 18-wheeler that has already been to Sacramento, California and is making its way towards Austin, Texas. Adventure Base 100 is a Boy Scout experience intended to capitalize on the anniversary of the BSA, which will be in one week on February 8. The interactive exhibit includes all kinds of activities for youth and adults and will be in the Krewe of Hermes parade on Friday night, February 12 and then housed at the Audubon Zoological Institute on Saturday and Sunday, February 13 and 14. Thousands of youngsters and parents will have an opportunity to see for themselves what will be several thousand square feet of exhibit space, made possible by the BSA with the support of the Southeast Louisiana Council. After Mardi Gras ends, there will be several other local events that will keep me busy including the Scout Shabbat being held February 20 at Congregation Beth Israel in their present quarters in the Bart Room of Gates of Prayer Synagogue in Metairie. This will be the first time a Scout Shabbat has been held at Beth Israel since 1999 and the first one assisted by Beth Israel Rabbi Uri Topolosky, an Eagle Scout from Troop 613 out of Silver Spring, Maryland. The very last of the month brings the holiday of Purim, probably the most fun of all Jewish holidays. So, as you can see, there is a lot to be had this month. Wish me luck because I know I'll need it.

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