The Mardi Gras Bead Dog
Hello, New Orleans lovers! Today I want to talk to you about something super 'New Orleans'. Like a huge NOLA tradition- the Haydel's Bakery Mardi Gras Bead Dog!
Every year, Haydel's Bakery, which is an ah-mazingly delicious (and superior wedding cake vendor, IMHO), raffles off a life-sized Mardi Gras Bead Dog and donates the proceeds to a charity of their choice. And right now, the raffle is ON!
So, as everyone knows, beads are traditionally thrown from the floats by the krewes during Mardi Gras. And, if you've ever been to a parade, you know that plenty of the beads wind up on the ground, instead of in one of the millions of hands frantically grabbing for them as the floats pass (shocking, I know). Well, over the years, kids started to realize that they could create animals by twisting together the tangled beads that they found on the ground. Dogs in particular were extremely easy to make (think of the balloon dogs made by clowns). Eventually, creating bead dogs and selling them for fundraisers became popular for local fundraising groups and businesses alike.
Flash forward to 2008, Haydel's Bakery decided to get in on the action. They chose Phillip Weddle, a local artist, to create a version of the bead animal favorite. That year was the first year that Mardi Gras Bead Dog merchandise was offered for purchase. Every year since, Haydel's has auctioned off a Bead Dog, donating the portions to a charitable donation. Aside from the life-sized bead dog itself, Haydel's also offers Bead Dog themed merchandise for sale- including clothing apparel, artwork, and jewelry- donating part of the proceeds as well.
Above is a picture I took of the current Mardi Gras Bead Dog that is up for raffle this year. So, how can you enter? Well, head on down to Haydel's (4037 Jefferson Highway | 504-837-0190) and purchase a raffle ticket! Tickets are 5 dollars a piece, and while supplies last, you can get a Making Groceries card game- a Louisiana favorite- for free (which I was more excited about than I should probably admit...). This years proceeds will be donated to the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation (LPBF). The LPBF is a non-profit organization that works to restore and preserve the water quality, coast, and habitats of the Pontchartrain Basin. The drawing will take place at the end of the year, on December 18!
This is an awesome cause, and a fun way to participate in a NOLA tradition. I, for one, am super excited about the possibility of wining a Bead Dog! (Though, I'd have some major convincing to do with the fiance, that's for sure!)
So, head on down to Haydel's Bakery to get a raffle ticket and check out some of their delectable treats! And brides, schedule a cake tasting with them ASAP; appointments are required for Saturdays, but not necessary on weekdays. Their praline flavored filling is TO. DIE. FOR. But be aware that Haydel's is ALWAYS busy. Seriously, I have yet to avoid a line- even a small one- on any given trip.
What's your favorite Haydel's treat, NOLA? I know Haydel's is a big New Orleans staple! For the Haydel brides out there, tell me what flavor you chose for your wedding cake and filling in the comments section below! I'd love to hear what your favorites were. I will definitely be doing a Haydel's cake tasting review in a future post. (Quite honestly, it was probably the best one we've been on thus far.) We've got one more cake tasting scheduled at another bakery, though its going to be hard to beat Haydel's. But you definitely don't have to twist my arm to get me on a cake tasting, that's for sure!
Until next time,
-The Newly NOLA Bride