NEW ORLEANS – The Royal Sonesta New Orleans will host its annual signature event the Greasing of the Poles at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 17, with the 2023 theme “Grease Like a Royal”.
Renowned actor, author and tastemaker Bryan Batt will serve as master of ceremonies as Greasing contestants compete for the coveted title of 2023 Greasing Champion. This year’s lineup includes New Orleans native and The Weather Channel meteorologist known for issuing “Gumbo Warnings” Scot Pilie; social media personalities and international travel guides The Traveler Broads, aka Kerry Maloney and Jessica Fender; award-winning performer known as the Honey Badger of Burlesque Jeez Loueez; and WGNO-TV Good Morning New Orleans meteorologist Brooke Laizer.
Serving as judges for this year’s festivities will be WGNO-TV on-air personality and 2019 Greasing of the Poles champion Kenny Lopez; WVUE-TV Fox 8 Morning Addition anchor Kelsey Davis; Coburn Supply Company Executive Vice President Michael Maloney; and Moët Hennessy USA Senior Market Manager Shirin Braden.
This year’s festivities will also include Carnival royalty from the Mardi Gras Indians, Krewe of Zulu, Krewe of Bacchus, and the Krewe of NOMTOC plus other special elements, including performances of Mardi Gras classics by Leroy Jones and the Original Hurricane Brass Band and appearances by the famed Merry Antoinettes as well as 2022 Greasing of the Poles Champion Greg Kata, aka @Gregisms.
To celebrate the return of this beloved event, the hotel’s world-renowned balconies will be adorned with a custom installation by Badass Balloon Co. and returning to toast to this year’s festivities is the iconic global champagne house of Moët & Chandon.
WHEN: The 53rd annual Greasing of the Poles will be held on Friday, Feb. 17, at 10 a.m.
WHERE: The Royal Sonesta New Orleans located at 300 Bourbon Street and via Facebook live-stream @RoyalSonestaNO.
WHY: This is an ‘only in New Orleans’ experience not to be missed.
The Greasing of the Poles is considered by many to be the French Quarter’s official kickoff to Mardi Gras weekend. The Royal Sonesta New Orleans originated the ritual of greasing the building’s support poles as a practical means to deter overzealous revelers from shimmying up to the coveted balcony space. Over half a century later, the practice has evolved into a star-studded and music-filled event, even spawning its own Switzerland-based international fan club.