Organizer Cree McCree calls it the "Great Blue Nile Costume Bust!" On the 20th anniversary of the annual event, police and financial agents swarmed the Frenchman street flea market and closed up shop. McCree says, "They ended up shutting the whole bazaar down and saying that Blue Nile may be a licensed business, but it’s not licensed to sell clothing, only alcohol and so therefore we could not have the sale without the proper permitting and they shut it down."
McCree didn't have to look far for media attention. "This is the sale that locals love. They like to come and mix and match from different designers and they look forward to it. So there happened to be a lot of press people right on the site when the bust went down, so it wasn't like I had to drum this up."
NOLA Defender wrote, "Flea Market Foiled!" The Times-Pic called the shutdown "A Real Drag!" But McCree was most excited about the headline, "City Apologizes for Mardi Gras Costume Market Shutdown."
After 4 trips to city hall and a non-profit sponsorship from the Threadhead Records Foundation, the bazaar is back. This time it's legal and legit. In fact, it may be bigger than ever given last year's media attention.
Designer Kate McNee is looking forward to her return appearance. "This will just be my second year and it was great last year...until!" McNee brings her British flair to nature-inspired head pieces. "You put all your different pieces out on a table and go from there gathering all your different colors and elements, but I think nature a lot- flowers, birds, butterflies, dragonflies- a lot of color and nature."
It's not all about the ladies, there's plenty for the men, children and pets too. The bazaar will be held at Blue Nile on Frenchman Street, Sunday, February 12th from noon to 5:00 pm.