As one would expect from such an incredible city, the Guest agenda is packed with many exciting outings scheduled. In fact, there are so many things to do; it was hard to narrow down our choices.
Starting on Sunday morning interested guest and delegates are welcome to attend the conference sponsored Golf Outing at Oak Harbor in Slidell. If Golf is not your thing, our conference staff can help direct you to explore many local outing options on your own, including the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas or the National WWII Museum, ranked the #1 Attraction in New Orleans by TripAdvisor. Really there are an infinite number of other potential options as well. Later Sunday evening, all guest and delegates are welcome to attend the Ice Breaker Reception, a dinner cruise that will be hosted on the Creole Queen River Boat.
Our opening ceremony on Monday morning will be followed later in the day by our Monday evening Vendor Reception. All guest and delegates are invited for both events.
The official Guest Program kicks off on Tuesday, with an all day trip to the Plantation homes. Arrangements have not yet been finalized, but plans include trips to a couple of homes with lunch confirmed at Ormond Plantation.
On Wednesday we take you to the Heart of the French Quarter to explore Jackson Square and the 3 Century Old French Market. You will be treated to coffee and beignets (brought to Louisiana by the Acadians) at Café Du Monde, the world famous original French market coffee stand operating since 1862. Ample time will be provided for you to explore the museums and shops in the Quarter. Our conference banquet ends the day where you will be treated again to the wonderful food of New Orleans.
On Thursday, after a leisure morning to recover from the highlights of Wednesday and to prepare for a full day, we begin your day at 10:00am at the New Orleans School of Cooking. One of the Fabulous Chefs will teach you how to create the famous local dishes of chicken and andouille gumbo, shrimp creole and bananas foster. Then they will treat you to their incredibly delicious pralines, my mouth is still watering from that taste. Be careful with the pralines, we don’t want you to spoil your lunch just before we amble a block over to eat at Café Maspero. Established in 1971 in the Old Slave Exchange building, Café Maspero found notoriety the day it opened its doors. It is one of my very favorite places to eat when I visit the Quarter. You will then be rushed back to the hotel to catch a bus tour of the city, followed by the premier outing of the week at Mardi Gras World. A tour of this unique facility, found nowhere else in the world, will amaze you with their incredibly artistic talent on display everywhere you look. This working factory spends all year long building floats and props for Carnival in both New Orleans and Rio de Janeiro. After the tour, you will have the opportunity to enter the Mask Making Contest, to show your own creative talents, and bring home your very own Mardi Gras Mask as a souvenir. Then you will enjoy a relaxing evening on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River, eating and sipping spirits with both new and old friends and watch the river roll by, along with anything that might be passing by as well.