The Shops At The Upper Pontalba To Host Baroness Pontalba’s 220th Birthday Bash

NEW ORLEANS – The Shops At The Upper Pontalba will host their 2nd annual Baroness Pontalba Birthday Bash on Friday, November 6, 2015, from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. at the Upper Pontalba Building located on the 500 block of St. Peter Street in Jackson Square.

         The celebration will commemorate the Baroness’ 220th birthday.

         The event is free and open to the pubic

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         Enjoy extended shop hours, retail specials, live opera by the New Orleans Opera Association, historical characters in costume by Louisiana Living History Alive, and a raffle contest with the chance to win one of 6 copies of the Baroness’s biography “Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of Baroness de Pontalba” by local author Dr. Christina Vella.

         Those who spend $25 in one of the participating Shops at the Upper Pontalba on Saint Peter Street will get a raffle ticket. You must be present to win. Raffles will be held at 5:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. **

         Additional copies of Dr. Vella’s book will be for sale at Muse at 532 St. Peter Street throughout the evening.

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         The event schedule includes:


5:00-5:45 p.m. – Louisiana History Alive presents The Baroness Pontalba and friends at 526 St. Peter St.

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         The 3 characters will remain on site for the duration of the party, roaming in and out of shops and on the Upper Pontalba sidewalk and pedestrian mall.

         You’ll get to meet Louisiana History Alive historical characters:


• Baroness Pontalba (1795-1874): Micaela Almonester, Baroness de Pontalba was born in 1795, the daughter of the richest man in New Orleans. At age 15, she married her French cousin, Celestin Delfau de Pontalba, the Baron. After years of enduring isolation and abuse at the hand of her father-in-law who tried to control her fortune, he shot her four times before he turned his pistol on himself. The Baroness survived and returned to New Orleans in 1849 and constructed the Pontalba apartment buildings and landscaping of Jackson Square.


• John James Audubon (1785-1851): Naturalist, ornithologist, and painter John James Audubon was born in France but identified himself as a native Louisianan. He is best known for his pictorial survey “The Birds of America,” which was published in an eighty-seven part series between 1827 and 1838, featuring more birds from Louisiana than any other state. It was a critical success and made him famous. In New Orleans, Audubon Park, Audubon Zoo, and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas are named after him.


• Andrew Jackson (1767-1845): Andrew Jackson was the seventh president of the United State but is most revered in New Orleans for leading 5,000 soldiers in the defeat of 7,500 British in New Orleans on January 8, 1815. He was dubbed a national hero and received the thanks of Congress and gold medal. He earned the nickname “Old Hickory” because his troops used to say that he was “as tough as old hickory wood.” Jackson Square is named in his honor.


5:45-6:25 p.m. – New Orleans Opera Association performance from an Upper Pontalba balcony. In honor of the Baroness Pontalba’s birthday, the performance will include selections in memory of the great Jenny Lind.  During the Swedish Nightingale’s famous concert tour in New Orleans, she was hosted by the Baroness and performed one of her famous concerts from her balcony of the Upper Pontalba. Selections will be highlights from Jenny Lind’s repertoire and the most famous operatic music of the mid-19th Century.


6:15-7:00 p.m. – Author Dr. Christina Vella signs copies of her book “Intimate Enemies: The Two Worlds of Baroness de Pontalba.”


6:30 p.m. – Happy Birthday, Baroness! Join in singing Happy Birthday and sharing mini-cupcakes in honor of her 220th birthday.


6:45-7:00 p.m. – More performances and final raffle for books about The Baroness.


         For more information




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