Media Contacts:

Diane Lyons

Steve Schulkens

Leah Chase to Host Private Dinner and be Featured Speaker at Inaugural New Orleans Women's Conference

(New Orleans) - FestiGals today announced that the legendary Angela Hill, TV and radio broadcaster, will serve as the 2016 Grand Diva for the New Orleans festival that celebrates, empowers and connects women. In her role as FestiGals Grand Diva, Angela Hill will be crowned on Thursday, July 28, and she will lead the parade of partygoers on Saturday, July 30, during the sixth annual Stiletto Stroll through the streets of the Warehouse District.

FestiGals, which is slated for July 28-30 at the JW Marriot, also includes the "Queen of Creole Cuisine," Leah Chase. The recent James Beard award winner will host a private dinner at Dooky Chase Restaurant on Thursday, July 28 for FestiGals Diva Package holders. The 93-year-old culinary connoisseur will also be featured in a session titled "Outside the Kitchen" discussing her plethora of life experiences beyond the Dooky Chase kitchen.

This year, FestiGals will host the inaugural New Orleans Women's Conference which will take place on Friday, July 29. Highlights of the Women's Conference include a passionate and energetic keynote address by Carla Harris, a Vice Chairman at Morgan Stanley; a panel entitled "Ladies Who Make Music" featuring Germaine Bazzle, Stephanie Jordan and Helen Gillet; a session about "Ladies Who Make Parades" including Virginia Saussy with the Krewe of Muses, Julie Lea with the Krewe of Nyx and Camille Baldassar of the Pussyfooters; and the spirited Sallie Ann Glassman will explain the Haitian Vodou religion and its connection to New Orleans while later leading an actual Haitian Vodou ceremony.

Participants will also have the chance to attend a variety of professional and personal development sessions focusing on social media to promote business, networking, leadership, health and more. New this year will be FestiTalks, eight fast-pace sessions of short, focused talks in the style of disrupt HR or TedTalks.

On Saturday, July 30, FestiGals will host its charitable "Bodacious Bras for a Cause" Brunch and Auction where the top fundraising bras from the Bodacious Bras Challenge are sold to the highest bidders. Five original bra-inspired works of art will also be available in the live auction. The Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration, Inc. will receive all proceeds from the auction which is preceded by the Thriver Fashion Show where models "thriving in their cancer recovery" sport fabulous summer attire from Stein Mart on the catwalk.

The expanded downtown Stiletto Stroll offers women the opportunity to participate in an authentic New Orleans walking parade. This year's Stiletto Stroll is aiming to become the world's largest all women's second line complete with the all-female Universe Brass Band, entertainers and dance groups. The crowds will saunter from a pre-party at Harrah's through the streets of the Warehouse District to Mardi Gras World where revelers will enjoy the sounds of Rockin' Dopsie at the dazzling After-Glow Party. FestiGals is donating all proceeds of the event to the New Orleans Family Justice Center which helps families and individuals suffering from domestic violence. The parade has a GLO theme, "shining light on domestic violence."

FestiGals' single event tickets are available; but for the true FestiGal, the Diva Package is available. Further details and event pricing are online at

FestiGals is a unique celebration of women and New Orleans. Now in its sixth year and attracting women from across the country, FestiGals Girlfriend Weekend Getaway is New Orleans first and only women's event of its kind in which women from all backgrounds are inspired and empowered in a festive environment including New Orleans largest women's second line parade. Founded in 2011 and produced by Diane B. Lyons and ACCENT- DMC, FestiGals, Inc. has collectively raised more than $95,000 through the highly acclaimed Bodacious Bras for a Cause Luncheon & Auction (now a brunch event) and the Bodacious Bras Challenge which benefit the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration, Inc. Endorsed by the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce, FestiGals annually attracts more than 2,200 women from around the U.S. and Greater New Orleans area to the summer event. FestiGals 2016 is slated for July 28 - 30 at the JW Marriott on Canal Street.