Posts Tagged ‘mardi gras’

While opening the Helping Hands Network community learning center in East Texas, I was only 400 miles from New Orleans and the center of American Carnival celebrations. It is too much fun to pass up every few years.


I found a few scheduled poker and dart tournaments along the way and packed up Lil Blue, our 2006 Honda Element. I loaded up all our recycling to drop off a sorting center along the way.

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Once I arrived I went straight to the Friday night dart tournament location in the uptown district. It was a fun group of people and I made some money after losing 3 to 4 in the final.

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In between matches I was able to go outside and watch some of the parade as it passed by.

In the morning got breakfast and cleaned up along the way to midtown central park. The last time I was in the park was 2009. I lived in the park for a few months while helping with Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The area I lived in was still the same for the most part. Some newer restoration has been completed on one of the Historical buildings.

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After my workout at the park, I cruised the midtown parade route.


The midtown parade had some great costumes and a big music stage that played all day.


After the midtown parade, it was time to head down to the quarter for the parade down there and some French Quarter fun.  The night hike through the park on the way back to the car was very enjoyable.

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The parade litter is so filthy it is worth sharing images to help everyone consider the consequences.

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I usually end my evening with a pass through Burbon Street that ends at the Harrah’s casino. The cards went well for me again and I made enough to pay for the entire trip.

In the morning I did a workout on top of the parking garage and then headed back to the Hawkins Learning Center project.

I was also able to time it just right to play a poker tournament at this amazing Baton Rouge Casino.

The Helping Hands Network friends who show exceptional efforts in assisting causes in need are rewarded with travel and festival gatherings. The following are updates on each gathering.

We coordinate with: (enter referral “TIM FRENTZ” please when signing up) Help each other get FREE trips)

We may be going from Sturgis to Burning Man so leave us comments if you are planning on going so we may work some travel kinks out.



World Travel

California and Hawaii hiking adventures

Argentina South America planned for 2012


1st Weekend –


Super Bowl Tailgate in Vegas. 4 day gathering with tailgate competitions/games at the RIO.

Super Bowl parties and tailgating in NFL designated Cities.

2nd Weekend – Vegas Hand Made Crafts Trade Show

4th Weekend – Mardi Gras New Orleans


1st Week – Mardi Gras

Event Cost: Free

Parking: Free

Camping: Free un-officially allowed in central park 10 minutes from the French Quarter.

Comments: Packed full of adventure and art and street performances.

2nd Week –

Austin SxSW 10 DAYS (Interactive, Film & Music separate)

Event Cost: $375 per or $900 by Sep. 24th or $500 and $1250 Day of. Parking: Free on side streets. Bike shuttles everywhere!

Camping: Negotiable with land owners. There are several houses to negotiate with or just bring a small camper van.

Comments: There are 2000 individual gathering events, over 180 stages and 25% of them can be experienced for free outdoors. Individual films cost $10 but you have to get in line early and wait 45 minutes for most. Half of the bars charge $5 covers and 95% have live music the last 7 days.

3rd Weekend

Miami’s ULTRA Electronic Music Festival (

$180 3 day pass



Mexico Padre Island area for Spring Break

Carribean in 2012

3rd Week –

Coachella (3 day) Empire Polo Club Indio/Lake Eldorado, CA

Comments: Over priced with big names only Kings of Leon& Kanye West for 2011. ($285+) They cap their ticket sales early. No onsite day of sales! $85 for camping plus $15 for 1 additional companion car. Farmers market on site!!! Sustainable focus.

4th Weekend April – First Weekend May

New Orleans JAZZ fest (

Event Cost: $40/day or $60/day at Gate.

Parking: Metered on Street but you can park on Free side streets and walk or trolley.

Camping: Un-officially free in central park.

Comments: Tremendous lineup.  50 bands/shows per day on 5 stages with 5+ parades. WORTH $40-60 a day!

CRAM JAM Hamilton TX

COST: $75 ($50 early bird)

CAMPING: 3 day with camping!!!

MUSIC: Mostly country



1st Week: NO Jazz Fest

2nd Week:

3rd Week: (Gulf Shores, AL)

Event cost: $250 (over priced with little CAMPING. No SINGLE day passes!

Camping: Hard to get. Sleep on a boat or get a group to rent condos.

Parking: Off site then take shuttles for $5/ea. ride or $20 unlimited for weekend.


WAY OVER CROWDED. Not worth the trip. Decide how much comfort you can sacrifice for good music at a high expenses. Lack of Food Available. LACK of SHADE and WATER Cool down sprayers. Too many cops. NO FREE water stations but there is warm shower water. LONG entrance lines due to over searching. Minimal CAmping spots. Party on the Beach!  It is the NORTH GULF so it is dirty. Don’t expect nice calm green-blue waters. There is organized YOGA. RENT a boat and sleep on it in the ocean and you can still enjoy the music but you may be forced to back up to the 500ft area because they don’t want you enjoying the music for Free. You miss being in the action but you can get a boat for the same price as the ticket when divided by a group of 4 or more. 2011 had a good lineup of Groups in the Billboard top 50-100 range.

4th Week:


1st Week: Western Arkansas –

Event Cost: 1 day $76, Weekend $126, 4 day $154.

Parking: free for 1 day. Overnight must carpool from neighboring lands.

Camping is set per car so divide $59-99 amongst the group.

Comments: This festival is rumored to be very relaxed. Nudity allowed. Few enforcement agents. Strong bluegrass, electronic and reggae presence.

2nd Week:

Lilies Middle Age Gathering (Smithville MO)

Bonnaroo (50 miles South of Nashville TN)

Over priced ($242+) and no daily passes are sold. Camping is included. Most years have seen great lineups but 2011 is week with only Eninem on Main stage. String cheese and Wide Spread Panic save the 2011 show barely. You have to rely on a bracelet arriving in the mail!

4th Weekend thru 1st week July

THE Rainbow Gathering (relocates yearly) 2011 Washington State

WE need a carpool from the midwest for this! We hope to leave our cars at our Sturgis sponsor and carpool from there. Contact us if you want on board.

Event Cost: FREE and full of peace and love. Commerce kept to barter system!


1st Week –

Rainbow Gathering continued

Rothbury MI Sustainable Music Festival (looks to be canceled)

4th Weekend –

Longview Balloon Festival (at Airport)

Cost: $15 FRI/SAT to pay for BANDS then FREE on SUNDAY.

Parking: FREE

Camping: There is a killer FREE spot 1 mile from the Longview Airport on the river!

NOTES: Aprox. 10,000 attend this festival between 6-8:30am while the balloons are flown in and compete in a skill challenge.From 9a-6p only about 2,000 visit the airport carnival and vendors while the rest either go to downtown events like the ART WALK on Thursday? or Dog Show on SAT or Martin State Park (which has been poisoned and had the water sucked out of the lake by the Texas State Coal Power Plant)

*THIS is a PARTIAL GREEN event. There are hand sanitizer stations and PLASTIC RECYCLING BINS!!! But yet Texas remains one of the least green friendly states and 90% of the people didn’t use the resources properly.

The city of Longview fails to promote revenue generating events during the down time and is missing out on massive benefits to help the community!

From 6:30p-midnight 20,000+ attend for the concert and to party in the fields. Bring your own party favors is encouraged!!! No glass. No security check! Bring a blanket and cuddle with very few bugs. It is one heck of a Texas cowboy stompin good time!

4th Week: Sturgis SD


1st Week: Sturgis SD

Event Cost: FREE

Parking: FREE

Camping: We have several good free locations but you have options to pay to access over 15+ BIG name concerts!

Comments: We have work lined up and have emergency connections after doing this gathering for 20 years now! We are showcasing the line in 2011 so come visit us at the Swap Meet Store. Fast food is easily available as all are town resources! 100 square miles of fun over 14 days! One of the worlds largest and event filled gatherings!

2nd Weekend:

IA, MN, NE Camping

2011 Heading for Burning Man via Salt Lake City exploring.


1st Weekend

Applegrass Bluegrass Festival (Council Bluffs, IA / Omaha, NE)

Event Cost; $15

1st Week -(NOW Looking for Carpool from Midwest for 2011)

Burning Man (Black Rock City NV) starts last weekend of August.

Event Cost: Lowest price is fair for 7 days AND you have to purchase 10 months in advance to get the lowest $210 price. You likely end up paying $320 but there is a low income program for $160 by application. You can buy at the gate the day of but it usually sells out. No one day passes is the biggest disappointment.

Camping/Parking: included

Comments: This is an annual experiment in temporary community dedicated to radical self-expression and radical self-reliance; a peaceful gathering focused on ARTISTIC freedom and expression. Completely sustainable and recycled. Possibly the best festival I have not experienced…but that will change in 2011 with my arrival. Commerce not allowed and film/photos are asked to be minimal.

3rd Week –

Grassy, MO BLOOM HEAVY BlueGrass –


2nd Week:

AR  Mulberry Mountain Bluegrass Fest

Event Cost: $100 weekend w/ Camping Early Bird Price $?? for 1 day pass.

Camping: Included



3rdWeek: MO, AR, Canada

Food Stock 1 hour north of Toronto, Ontario CN

4th Week: LA (New Orleans) and in Central Park

Event Cost: prices changing for 2011 but not announced yet

Parking: Free

Camping: un-officially free with campers in the park. There are secured VIP/vendor and Performer areas you have to avoid.

Comments: The TribeCon community 2 day seminars are a great intro and addition to the VooDoo Festival. I network with this group, speak at the conference and volunteer to get good perks. I also volunteer with central park departments to earn lenient camping rights.





*The Work Exchange Team allows you to volunteer 15 hours in exchange for a ticket! They are at: Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Nateva, Coachella, Stagecoach, Austin City Limits, Blackwater Music Festival, Catskill Chill, De Luna Festival, The Hangout, Rothbury, Lollapalooza, All Points West, Phish Festival, All Good, Wakarusa, Wanderlust Festival, YMSB Harvest Festival, Amberland, Camp Bisco, Bear Creek Music and Art Festival, Langerado, Echo Project, Captain Planet Foundation, and P Diddy StarMaker Auditions