NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans is ready for history to repeat itself.


It’s the craziest show on Carnival Season’s Calendar.

It’s the Greasing of the Poles.

Contestants cover the hotel’s front columns with something that looks like Vasoline and get judged by a panel of lubrication-loving experts.

It’s been the way to kick off Mardi Gras in the French Quarter for 52 oily years.

WGNO Good Morning New Orleans features reporter Bill Wood has the latest from Bourbon Street.

The tradition, as it turns out, came out of necessity.

Just ask the guy in charge of the hotel.

He’s Al Groos.

He’s General Manager at Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans and he says, “Our coveted Bourbon balconies were being invaded by those from the street by those climbing up the poles to get the sacred ground which is those Bourbon balconies, we must grease every year.”

The pole show must go on.

Even in a pandemic.

So last year, it was online, from a courtyard inside the hotel instead of being front and center and out on Bourbon Street.

The broadcast reached from Bourbon Street all the way to Switzerland where an international fan club of pole-loving people tuned in.

The popularity is worldwide.

And the GM knows why.

Al Groos says, “People come, they see something they’ve never seen before, they laugh, they have a hoot and it sets the tone for the rest of the weekend.”

Royal Sonesta Hotel New Orleans returns with the Greasing of the Poles.

They’re calling it, The Big Greasy.

The Friday before Mardi Gras, that’s Friday, February 25.

Let the greasing begin at 10 am.