We're Dropping Some Big Names & Rolling Out the Red Carpet for FestiGals 2012!
NEW ORLEANS, LA (May 23, 2012) - In only a few short weeks, New Orleans will welcome women from throughout the U.S. for the annual FestiGals Weekend. From June 21-24 FestiGals attendees will immerse themselves in a variety of empowerment workshops, inspirational seminars and exciting networking opportunities while partying in one of America's top travel destinations. Participants are in for an unforgettable experience that few insiders ever have. To top it all off, FestiGals has signed on some big names for one of the only festivals in the country created by women just for women.
Headlining the four-day festival is NBC's Hoda Kotb. The Today Show co-host, Dateline correspondent and New York Times best-selling author will deliver her keynote speech during a luncheon at the historic Hotel Monteleone in the French Quarter. This event won't be your usual keynote presentation; it will highlight the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Luncheon. As a cancer survivor and in support of other women battling this disease, Kotb's event offers up a creative menu of artfully designed bras for a special auction that benefits the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans. Kotb has created a bra that promises to be a hot item on an "A" list of creations that includes submissions by award-winning country singer Martina McBride, CNN political correspondents Mary Matalin and James Carville, the King of Bam celebrity Chef Emeril Lagasse and Gayle Benson, wife of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson. Online bidding opens Tuesday May 29th. Bids will be accepted at http://www.festigals.org/ through Thursday June 21st. Live bidding will continue onsite at the Hotel Monteleone through the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Luncheon on June 22nd. Winning bids will be announced at the luncheon with 100% of auction proceeds dedicated to CAGNO.
While this FestiGals Weekend is definitely all about women, there will be one special man in the house standing out. Award-winning celebrity Chef John Folse has signed on for a Revolutionary Presentation that's sure to please the ladies. Mischievous and devilishly charming, Folse will have this group literally ‘eating out of his hands' as he entertains attendees with the stories of the women that helped shape his life and molded his amazing career. Folse will pay homage with a personal reflection of treasured memories and interpret them through his finest instrument, his food. A three-course menu will allow attendees to taste their way from Folse's early beginnings to the present launch of his newest joint venture, Restaurant R'evolution, with James Beard Award Winner Chef Rick Tramonto. Folse's Revolutionary Presentation definitely promises to be a huge draw for FestiGals foodies.
A sampling of FestiGals 2012 featured speakers includes a who's-who list of accomplished authors, business leaders, historians, lifestyle & travel experts, and media consultants. There's truly something that taps into every woman's interests with these special presentations:
Pamela Arceneaux - of The Historic New Orleans Collection brings you back to the Storyville period of prostitution with an overview of "A Red Light Look at New Orleans."
Cary Broussard - internationally recognized communications expert and author of From Cinderella to CEO will present "Redefine Your Fairy Tale," a look at how to reinvent and reignite your career.
Tonya Fitzpatrick - award-winning broadcaster, author and CEO of Travel's on Media Productions, will delve into the topic of what it means to "Live on Purpose."
Sue Jones - shares her inspirational presentation of "Service With a Smile: One Woman's Story of Triumph Over Tragedy." A near fatal auto accident took her leg but not her irrepressible sprit. This is a heartwarming and uplifting personal account of survival.
Ti Martin - restaurateur of Commander's Palace fame shares some behind-the-scenes stories involving politicians & celebrities. Her "Speechlets," promises to be both entertaining and insightful.
Colleen Mullaney - lifestyle expert and Huffington Post columnist shares her must-have tips to adding style and panache to any gathering with her "Let's Face It, We Love Any Reason to Celebrate" presentation.
Debbie Schmitz, RNC, BSN - a nurse for over 35 years, Schmitz is committed to caring for cancer patients. Nominated for the Nightingale Award for Outstanding Community Service, recipient of the City Business Nurse Hero Award, ACS Spirit Award, and the Louisiana Foundation Great 100 Nurses Award, she shares her experiences with "Celebrating Success & Navigating Life's Journeys."
Christine Wiltz - author of six books including The Last Madam: A Life in the New Orleans Underworld, Wiltz leads an in-depth perspective on the last madam of New Orleans, Norma Wallace. Guests experience a private guided tour of Wallace's infamous French Quarter brothel.
Finally, just when you thought you couldn't possibly have any more fun, FestiGals will have you sashaying down Bourbon Street in your very own New Orleans-style Second-line Parade. The Stiletto Stroll takes place on Saturday June 23 and ends with an exciting After Glow Party. All FestiGals are also welcome to participate in any of these activities to experience the full essence of New Orleans culture:
Do it all or pick and choose á la carte style. FestiGals home base for the weekend is the landmark Hotel Monteleone. Located on one of the world's most beautiful shopping corridors, Royal Street, the Monteleone is pleased to offer FestiGals participants a special rate of $149 per night. The Ultimate FestiGals Package is $275 each. Individual events are priced separately. For the complete scoop on all FestiGals activities, visit http://www.festigals.org/. Be sure to sign up for updates at firstname.lastname@example.org, friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter too.
The brainchild of entrepreneur and New Orleans tourism professional Diane Lyons, FestiGals' maiden-voyage in 2011 attracted over 150 women from across the U.S. including Washington D.C., New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, Tennessee and the entire Gulf South Region. The 2nd Annual FestiGals Weekend is positioned perfectly on the summer festival calendar of offerings in New Orleans. Endorsed by the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, FestiGals provides something for women of all ages and cultural backgrounds. Voted "Best Girls Getaway" in 2011 by AAA Southern Traveler, FestiGals provides the ultimate New Orleans women's experience. Committed to both raising awareness and resources for issues that impact today's women, FestiGals is a non-profit entity whose net proceeds support targeted community projects that benefit women. Other FestiGals sponsors include Hotel Monteleone, LouisianaTravel.com, City of New Orleans, NewOrleansOnline.com, Whitney Bank, EJGH Healthy Lifestyles, Lulu B., YellaWood Pressure Treated Pine, Cupcake Vodka, Stein Mart, NOLA.com and Cumulus Media Inc.