Hurricane Irene has imprinted herself firmly in the minds of many Americans. Monday, August 29, 2011, is the 6th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, and her memory still tracks through the mindsets of New Orleanians and the people of the Gulf Coast.
Feature film The American Can, produced by Will Smith and starring Denzel Washington, begins production this month. The movie will play out the tale of 244 people stranded in the American Can Building during the hurricane aftermath and will focus on the heroic actions of their rescuer, John Keller.
A very special human and hound event will take place outside the American Can Building, 3700 Orleans Avenue, in Mid-City in commemoration of first responders, both human and canine.
Everyone, and their little, big and medium dogs too, are welcome to join FetchPuppy.com and New Orleans Film Society for the first annual Canine Second Line on Monday evening at 6 pm. There is no charge to participate.
Organizers will provide surgical masks for humans & hounds due the Marsh Fires. Do not be deterred!
Attendees are encouraged to costume! Saints attire is encouraged for all mammals. Decorate parasols. Bring strollers, wagons, picnic blankets, food and drinks. Leashes for all participating dogs and trash collection by all participating humans are mandatory. B.Y.O.B. – bring your own [poop scoop] bags!
Olive Branch Café will allow dogs on their expansive outdoor patio area. Local businesses will provide complimentary water for dogs.
NOLA Soul Project is scheduled to perform.
“Musicians, dogs and their humans [are asked to] gather at the neutral ground on Orleans Avenue at North Scott between 6pm and 6:30pm,” stated organizer Bonnie Dwyer. “Music and second line will proceed in a one-mile course along Bayou Saint John and then back to the neutral ground outside American Can, where an inflatable screen from FunFlicks will be set up for a solar-powered sunset presentation of the 1989 animated film, All Dogs Go to Heaven, which is set in 1939 New Orleans. New Orleans Film Society will provide the film and South Coast Solar will power the event.”
The movie screening will take place at sundown, around 7:45 pm, either on the neutral ground on Orleans in front of the American Can Building, or along Bayou St. John at Orleans and Jeff Davis Parkway. FunFlicks will make the call at movie time based on lighting.
Volunteers are welcomed to assist and should report to the Mid-City Vet anytime on Monday to receive a ‘Shwag the Doggie Bag’ and free wristband.
Organizer Bonnie Dwyer offers an informative event message.
“August 29, 2011 marks the six-year human anniversary of the Federal levee failures (and the 42nd anniversary in dog years). Residents of the surrounding neighborhood will gather to remember the heroism and community commitment that inspired residents to rebuild, reinvest and return to Mid-City, and which led Hollywood to commit to telling its compelling story
Some people say New Orleans has gone to the dogs since the Federal levee failures of August 29, 2005. Instead, we believe “the dog days are over” and it is high time “give a dog a ‘bone” to celebrate our first responders, both human and hound, who saved our city after Washington and Baton Rouge failed to come through.
Local bars and restaurants will offer special 2-for-1 dining offers to those who purchase wrist bands on FetchPuppy.com before 8pm the day of the event. A ‘Shwag the Doggie Bag’ will be presented with each wrist band, to include fun items like Frisbees and go-cups. Wrist bands are $10 each, and can be picked up from 8am to 8pm at 3821 Orleans Avenue, with proceeds to benefit New Orleans Film Society and American Red Cross. Merchants confirmed to be offering discounts or bonus services to those presenting wristbands include: Mid City Veterinary Hospital, Olive Branch Café, Cork & Bottle Wine Shop, Mariposa Salon & Spa, New Orleans Public Library, PJ’s Coffee, Fetch Boutique & Spa, and Kayak-iti-Yat Bayou Tours.
In August 2005, I was living in Boston and watching what I thought was the end of my hometown on television. In 2011, I walked through Mid-City, where I now live since 2007, with my dog Huck, who was born 6 weeks after Hurricane Katrina, and I said to myself, ‘what a wonderful world,’ where people and animals create the community they desire after all systems have failed. I am militant about the Renaissance of Mid-City and believe that our unique character is enhanced by the number of dog owners who live here. That, and I have a soft spot for first responders. [See article photo of Huck being embraced by unidentified NOPD officer.] Icing on the cake: my kids in New England were spared Hurricane Irene’s ravages and this event gives me the chance to raise much needed money for American Red Cross relief efforts in Vermont.” – Bonnie Dwyer