FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:

Jennifer Montgomery
Special Events and Marketing Coordinator
Friends of City Park
504.483.9369 (o)
225-405-6720 (c)
jmontgomery@friendsofcitypark.com

WHAT:
Friday marks the official Grand Opening of the Friends of City Park’s Historical Musical Train Tour. The tour takes place aboard the park’s miniature train where guides sing and perform for passengers. The original score was composed by Paul Soniat, the Director of the Botanical Gardens at City Park, and features notable New Orleans musicians, including Michael Girardot of The Revivalists, Sam Craft of Sweet Crude, and others listed below.

Media is invited to ride for free on Friday to experience the tour and report on the Grand Opening.

Friends of City Park’s Historical Musical Train Tour will run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 4 p.m. sharp through the fall of 2018. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes, and guests are not able to depart the train once the tour has begun.

Ticket prices are $16 for Friends of City Park members, $20 for general admission, and children 36 months and under receive free tickets (but they must be booked in advance).

WHEN:
Grand Opening
May 11, 2018
10:00 a.m. Media + VIP Breakfast and Kick-Off; 11:00 a.m. Tour

WHERE:
New Orleans City Park
Departing from Carousel Gardens Amusement Park
5 Victory Ave
New Orleans, LA 70124

WHY:
As New Orleans celebrates its Tricentennial this year, the tour ties in with celebrations and educational events happening all around the city. Honoring the rich history of one of the nation’s oldest urban parks – and in keeping with Friends of City Park’s mission – the tour will educate residents and visitors alike about the history of the Park.

All proceeds from the train tour will go to Friends of City Park, a nonprofit that funds capital improvements within the park, such as the Botanical Gardens, Storyland, Popp Fountain, Historic Wooden Carousel, and many others.

MORE INFO:
For a preview of the original score, click here.
For high-resolution video B-roll and images, click here.
For details and tickets, visit: https://www.friendsofcitypark.com/train-tour-tickets/

Musicians featured on the score:

●     Byron Asher - clarinet
●     Trey Boudreaux - bass, upright bass
●     Jack Craft - cello
●     Sam Craft - fiddle, violin
●     Michael Girardot - trumpet, flugelhorn
●     David Hart - organ, banjo, washboard, percussion, piano, wurlitzer, tenor banjo
●     David Phy - trombone
●     David Shirley - drums
●     Paul Soniat - piano
●     Etienne Stoufflet - saxophone
●     Skyler Stroup - trumpet
●     Carson Thielen - guitar, mandolin, dobro, jaw harp, bouzouki
●     Michael Ward Bergman - accordion

About Friends of City Park (FOCP)
Friends of City Park (FOCP) is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization pursuant to section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is a registered charity with the Louisiana Secretary of State’s Office. Founded in 1979, FOCP initiated programs and staged events designed to increase public awareness of and support for New Orleans City Park. Before that time the Park suffered from a lack of funding from local and state resources. The first order of business was the restoration of the formal Rose Garden, the erection of a fence around what is known today as the New Orleans City Park Botanical Garden, and the funds to hire the first full-time garden director, Paul Soniat, who is still employed today.

Annually, City Park must raise 90% of its operating budget which leaves little to no resources for park capital improvements. City Park does not receive any operational funding from the City of New Orleans and very little from the State. Friends of City Park is vital and important to the Park’s growth. Over the years, Friends has given millions of dollars to City Park for capital improvements.

FOCP has refurbished many beloved park attractions, such as the Botanical Garden, Storyland, Popp Fountain, Historic Wooden Carousel, Peristyle, and many others. In addition to refurbishing many attractions, FOCP has assisted in funding the Arbor Room at Popp Fountain, the Wacky Shack and the Ladybug Roller Coaster station in the Amusement Park, the mini-golf facility - City Putt, and the new entrance to the Botanical Garden and Storyland.

FOCP’s fundraising events include Lark in the Park, Ghosts in the Oaks, and Martini Madness. All funds from these events support capital improvements within the park. FOCP sustains its efforts from its robust membership program that offers benefits to Friends’ members, which stands at 5,100 members and growing, spanning over 20 states and 185 Louisiana zip codes.  FOCP continues to expand its efforts to increase membership, community outreach, organizational development, and special events.

In 2013, Friends of City Park began educational City Peek Tours throughout the Park to expose members and Park visitors to areas that they may not have access to or knowledge about. These efforts began and continue to help educate the general population of the importance and beauty of New Orleans City Park. Launching in 2018, a new tour, Friends of City Park’s Historical Musical Train Tour, will take the audience on a journey through the Park on its miniature train that covers two miles. During this tour, three tour guides will perform educational songs and dialogue about the history of the Park - from the history of Bayou Metairie, the Works Progress Administration (WPA), to the education of Live Oak trees.

For more information on events and the strategic plan, visit www.friendsofcitypark.com.

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