The 53rd annual Greasing of the Poles was held on Friday, February beginning at 10am at The Royal Sonesta New Orleans hotel on Bourbon Street. The hotel originated the greasing of the building’s support poles as a practical means to deter overzealous revelers from climbing up to the hotel’s coveted balcony space.
The theme of this year’s competition was “Grease Like A Royal”
Greasing of the Poles is considered the official start of Mardi Gras weekend in New Orleans. The event occurs on the Friday before Fat Tuesday.
The event creates a competition between local celebrities to see who can put on the most creative greasing performance.
This year the celebrity pole greasers included: The Weather Channel meteorologist and New Orleans native Scot Pilie, award-winning burlesque performer Jeez Loueez, WGNO-TV meteorologist Brooke Lazier, and the popular social media duo known as The Traveler Broads – Kerry Maloney and Jessica Fender.
The 2019 pole greasing champion Kenny Lopez returned to judge the event alongside WVUE-TV morning anchor Kelsey Davis, Coburn Supply Company Executive Vice President Michael Maloney and Shirin Braden, senior market manager for Moët Hennessey USA one of the sponsors of the event.
Actor Bryan Batt will step into the role of master of ceremonies at the 53rd Annual Greasing of the Poles and preside over a competition.
The competition started with opening remarks from the Royal Sonesta New Orleans General Manager and President & CEO of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation, John Murray
Royalty from the Krewes of Zulu, Bacchus and NOMTOC and the Mardi Gras Indians will also be in attendance, and the event will feature live music from Leroy Jones and the Original Hurricane Brass Band. New Orleans burlesque star Trixie Mix was also on hand to celebrate the festivities.
The Marie Antionettes were also on hand to watch the competition.
Each competitor makes a grand entrance to impress the judges. Creativity in performance and costuming is imperative for a win in this quirky competition.
Scot Pile definitely made an entrance as he was setup on stage dressed as a king cake baby inside a King Cake inside an actual King Cake box. Luckily the knife was inside the box where it should be and he could cut himself out and dance across the stage revealing his full baby outfit diaper and pacifier included.
Jeez Loueez came onto the stage next dancing with her signature bounce moves trying to impress the judges.
Meteorologist Brooke Lazier came out next in a fitting weather themed costume with a bright yellow raincoat and umbrella. She performed and stripped down to a gold sequined costume to weather themed hits including Rihanna’s “Umbrella.”
The Traveler Broads took to the stage last but did not disappoint in the costume department. One wore an insect themed costume with 6 arms to amplify the ability to grease the poll.
In the end Brook Lazier took home the giant bottle of champagne as the 2023 Greasing Champion and Jeez Loueez came in as the fan favorite. It was a fun chilly morning to set off the Mardi Gras weekend in style with a champagne toast.