We are roughly four months before Fat Tuesday. As we approach Halloween, the Mardi Gras drumbeats are getting louder. I’ve already heard a bunch from my own Carnival krewe, the Krewe du Vieux. We roll throughout the Marigny and French Quarter on January 31, 2015. I LOVE Mardi Gras and always have. Getting older hasn’t dulled my appetite for all things Carnival!
I used to see parades in all the surrounding parishes. I don’t anymore. I guess I don’t feel the need to dash around from parade locale to parade locale anymore. Seeing parades in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes in a single night was no biggie. Seeing the same parade in different spots
|Sunday||January 6, 2015||Phunny Phorty Phellows||Uptown Streetcar Route|
|Sunday||January 6, 2015||Krewe of Jeanne d’Arc||French Quarter|
|Saturday||January 31, 2015||Krewe du Vieux||Marigny/French Quarter|
|Friday||February 6, 2015||Krewe of Oshun||Uptown|
|Friday||February 6, 2015||Krewe of Cleopatra||Uptown|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Pontchartrain||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Choctaw||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Freret||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Knights of Sparta||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Pygmalion||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Krewe of Carrollton||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Krewe of King Arthur||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Krewe of Alla||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Mystic Krewe of Barkus||French Quarter|
|Wednesday||February 11, 2015||Krewe of Ancient Druids||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Wednesday||February 11, 2015||Mystic Krewe of Nyx||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Thursday||February 12, 2015||Knights of Babylon||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Thursday||February 12, 2015||Knights of Chaos||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Thursday||February 12, 2015||Krewe of Muses||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Friday||February 13, 2015||Krewe of Hermes||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Friday||February 13, 2015||Le Krewe d’Etat||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Friday||February 13, 2015||Krewe of Morpheus||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Saturday||February 14, 2015||Krewe of Iris||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 14, 2015||Krewe of Tucks||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 14, 2015||Krewe of Endymion||Mid-City|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Okeanos||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Mid-City||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Thoth||Uptown – Henry Clay|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Bacchus||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Monday||February 16, 2015||Krewe of Proteus||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Monday||February 16, 2015||Krewe of Orpheus||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Krewe of Zulu||Uptown – Jackson|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Rex, King of Carnival||Uptown – Claiborne|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Elks Krewe of Orleanians||Uptown – Claiborne|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Krewe of Crescent City||Uptown – Claiborne|
The movie, We Won’t Bow Down, was shot over eight years by first time director Christopher Leroy Bower. A native of Ashville, North Carolina, Bower began conducting interviews right after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in September 2005. He learned about Mardi Gras Indian culture from Steve Mann, who co-produced and photographed We Won’t Bow Down.
Bower first saw Mardi Gras Indians on the first St Joseph’s Day after Katrina and was very impressed with the beauty, resilience and power of this New Orleans-only Carnival tradition. He ran into the Spirit of Fi-Yi-Yi and Victor Harris, who was singing Calling All My People, a prayer. He found it a chilling experience which he couldn’t forget.
He wanted the Indians to tell their own story without any narration or Indian ‘experts’ to dilute their message.
I work with some Mardi Gras indians and have recently put together Indian funk bands in New Orleans such as the Spy Boy All-Stars featuring June Victory and June Squared with June Yamagishi.They have played the Maple Leaf Bar, Tipitina’s, and Chickie Wah Wah among other major Crescent City venues. I too find the Indian culture very unique and beautiful. I’ve written some Indians up on my Mardi Gras Music Series, here’s a couple of links for the Wild Magnolias and June Victory and the Bayou Renegades, appearing next Thursday from 6 to 8 pm at the Ogden Museum, 925 Camp Street as part of their Ogden After Hours Music series.
Around the nation, audiences have been enthralled by the documentary. The crowd was enthusiastic at the Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, where the movie had its world premiere. We took some of the guys from the Ninth Ward Hunters and the Comanche Hunters to perform in Los Angeles, Bower said. They did a procession through the Crenshaw Mall, and to just release that on people randomly and to see the response, that was amazing. People were coming from the parking garage, the balconies, little kids were dancing. There was a connection that defies intellectual understanding. It was just in the spirit of what was happening.
Actor, producer and community activist Wendell Pierce saw the doc in Los Angeles and is now a major proponent of the film. His Pontchartrain Park Neighborhood Association is involved in the April 12 New Orleans premiere at the National WWII Museum.
We Won’t Be Bowed Down
National WWII Museum
Solomon Victory Theatre
Red Carpet Screening 7:15 pm
General Screening 9:15 pm
The public relations problem first became apparent when T-shirt-wearing members were accosted in public, according to one OOI member.
One member was harassed at Sam’s Club, she said. She had a gentleman come up to her, asking a lot of questions … and she said we are a Mardi Gras organization, the OOI member recounted. He didn’t understand us having ‘Isis’ on our clothing.
Another member who works in a doctor’s office also got attention for her shirt, the member said.
As we all know know, ISIS is the name of a middle eastern terrorist group that our military is fighting on a daily basis.
This just shows how current world events can impact a innocent Mobile, AL Mardi Gras Krewe in a serious manner.
One of Mobile’s newest parading groups, a ladies’ organization, the Order of Isis was formed in 2008, held its first ball in 2009, and staged its first parade in 2010. They have 115 members. Henceforth they will be known as OOI.
When OOI was formed, the name was chosen because we were founded on friendship, and Isis is the goddess of friendship and love, the OOI member said.
We’re just hoping that we can be OOI for a couple of years until all of this dies down, and then we can go back to our original name, she said.
The decision was also difficult because the group had already ordered throws and T-shirts this year, an OOI board member said. Some cups, footballs and koozies have already been printed, but there may be time to change other orders, she said.
Adonis permanent revocation was reduced to a $500 fine, and has asked to parade in Terrytown in 2015 before withdrawing their application after an email campaign was largely negative. The parish attorney said if Adonis has any new infractions, their permit will be revoked. I’ve written before about Jefferson Parish losing parades.
Here’s another story about Zeus backing off their St. Charles Parish application.
Zeus revocation was reduced to a one year suspension. The krewe is considering appealing that ruling. Zeus has traditionally paraded on Lundi Gras, but would lose that date after their one season suspension was served. Zeus started parading in 1958, making them the oldest Jefferson krewe.
Both krewes got into trouble with a 2009 Jefferson Parish ordinance that set standards for Mardi Gras parades. For the first time, krewes were required to field a minimum number of floats, bands, and riders. Zeus lost their permit because of four violations after their 2014 parade. Adonis didn’t have enough riders for their 2014 parade, which caused the city council to act.
The krewes think they were victims of an overzealous city council and went to court for relief. The court was accommodating, and obviously felt along the same lines as the krewe. I kind of agree, and think all krewes deserve a serious warning or two before their permit is pulled, a draconian measure to say the least. Of course, it’s more draconian in Orleans Parish than Jefferson, since Orleans has a moratorium on new parades and Jefferson doesn’t.
Either way it’s up to both krewes to show the court and the people of Jefferson they are viable parading krewes in 2015 and beyond.
New Mardi Gras rules were passed by our esteemed New Orleans city council this week. Among the highlights- no more generators on truck floats, instead power inverters that run off the engine are required. No children under the age of 3 can ride on a float. Tougher fire codes were enacted for flambeaux and floats. A limit on the number of parade permits was instituted. No more than 30 permits can be issued annually, though if you have a permit now, you can keep it. 33 organizations have permits at this time. Attrition will eventually lower the number of permits to 30.
But the most important regulation allows Tucks to continue to throw their beloved icon throw, Tucks Bathroom Tissue!! Councilwomen LaToya Cantrell said it wasn’t really a safety issue. When these rules were first proposed, Tucks paper was tossed. Eventually after a strong outcry, Cantrell changed her mind and removed the ban from the bill. Good for her, she knows what’s important to the people of New Orleans.
This is the second package of Carnival rules pushed through by the council this year. The last bill contained updated regulations about throwbacks, ladders and sectioning off space on the neutral ground. Cantrell said she is working on an additional measure, one ending the practice of throwing packs/bags of beads and very heavy beads. Many float riders hand these off, but that’s not always possible, especially for 2nd story riders on double decker floats.
Update! Zeus has withdrawn their parade application after the solicited email response was 70% against the new parade.
After losing their parade permit from Jefferson Parish, the Krewe of Zeus may surface in St. Charles parish. St. Charles doesn’t has a new parade ordinance with teeth like Jefferson or Orleans.
The krewe had just two marching bands in its 2014 parade, three shy of the minimum, and it also had too few floats, Jefferson parish officials said. Jefferson’s ordinance requires Carnival parades to have at least 10 floats, not including those for the captain, grand marshal or royalty. Zeus’ initial 2014 plans indicated 12 floats, but it rolled with only 11, including those for the king and grand marshal.
Five years ago, Metairie had 14 parades, today there is only 9.
The Krewe of Zeus has applied for a permit to parade on River Road and Ormond Boulevard.The parade’s proposed route would travel west from Ormond Plantation on River Road to Ormond Boulevard, then north to Greenwood Drive, where it would turn around on Ormond Boulevard and retrace the route.
The following is from the Krewe of Zeus site-
Founded in 1957 at Gennaro’s Bar from the minds of 6 drinking men and a pair of dice. In 1958, the Krewe of Zeus would stage the first night parade ever in the burbs “The Realm of Mother Nature”. And with rented costumes, and rented floats, and led by search lights in the sky with William Dwyer (co-founder) as King, the Krewe of Zeus would roll down Metairie Road with 150 members.
The parade would last some 5 and 1 half hour long, the men stopping to toast at every drinking establishment along the way. And from this all male Krewe would emerge an unparallel Metairie tradition & Celebration that has lasted over 5 decades in the heart of Jefferson Parish. From the first viewing stands for children with special needs, and the Drachma; to the predominate start of the Irish Italian Parade and the only Metairie Krewe to stage two parades in one season.
The men of Zeus have shown innovations (often copied, but never duplicated) that truly earn them their motto: “Second To None” And after 55 years, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better group of guys with love & loyalty for their Krewe!
The Times Picayune’s headline yesterday states the Krewe of Zeus wants to leave Metairie route. Nothing could be further from the truth. Zeus lost their spot in the Metairie parade schedule. They aren’t banned from parading in Metairie in the future, but they must correct their deficiencies first.
The New Orleans City Council put through a new set of rules governing Carnival in New Orleans. Prior to the 2014 Carnival season, the council passed regulations that affected parade goers. This time, new rules make changes for the parading organizations.
The Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Council has been formed, and is made up of representatives from each Carnival organization that paraded the year before. This committee reports directly to the mayor and will consider new krewe applications.
No more than 2 parades can roll on the same night, but with a grandfather clause allowing krewes that paraded that night the previous year. The city will issue no more than 30 permits annually, 4 fewer than in the past. However, if all requirements are met, any krewe that paraded last year will be allowed to parade the following year. The number of parades will be reduced by attrition only until 30 permits are left.
Each parade must have at least 14 floats. The maximum number of floats has been increased from 27 to 44 pull units, defined in the ordinance as a single tractor or mule pulling a float or a tandem float.
No more letter designations for royalty and specialty floats, all must have a unique, sequential Arabic number from now on. The definition of a tandem float has been updated. Now it means two or more floats, attached to one another and pulled by a single pull unit.
If a parade has 14 to 27 pull units, a minimum of 7 bands must participate. Those with 28 to 36 pull units must include 10 bands. 14 bands are required if you have more than 36 pull units. The old ordinance required a minimum of 7 bands per parade.
The schedule listing when each parade would run if bad weather caused rain-outs has been dumped, and the mayor now makes these decisions. The bad weather schedule sometimes led to several long parades in a row, leading to finish times of 12 am or later. Security is reduced greatly after midnight along the parade route, so this was partially a safety issue.
Night parades begin at 5:15 pm, a marching band is officially sanctioned and must be a middle, junior, high school, college, military or university band with no fewer than 30 musicians.
Talk about falling on your sword! The second oldest krewe in Jefferson Parish and the only krewe left on the West Bank are about to fall off the cliff. Both have received revocation orders from Sean Burke, Parish Community Affairs Director. I’ve written before about the suicide march Jefferson krewes are on.
In 2009, fourteen krewes held Mardi Gras parades in Jefferson Parish on the East and West Banks. 3 of 4 West Bank krewes have moved onto St. Charles Avenue uptown- Alla, Choctawand Cleopatra. The east bank krewes haven’t moved, though Rhea dropped out after their bingo revenue took a steep dive and they had trouble paying their bills.
If Adonis and Zeus are forced to drop out, Jefferson Parish would have 9 krewes left, all on the east bank. It amazes me that all the parades on the West Bank are disappearing. 9 isn’t a firm total by any means. Thor and Atlas, two established krewes, didn’t parade in 2014. The Guardians of Atlantis, a new krewe, was scheduled to run in 2014 but canceled out last summer.
Zeus’ 2014 parade only had 2 bands, 3 short of the minimum set by the ordinance. They also were short a couple of floats. Each infraction can result in permit revocation. I’m sure the offending krewes will appeal. Zeus is another old krewe, they started in 1957.
This is the end of an era, and it doesn’t portend well for Mardi Gras in New Orleans overall. The West Bank has a proud tradition of parading going back decades and decades. Alla, Jefferson’s oldest krewe, started in 1932, grew from a neighborhood parade into a super krewe, the brainchild of Blaine Kern Sr. It disturbs me West Bank parades are gone, I believe the entire process was very shortsighted. The West Bank deserves a robust parade schedule. What are all those West Bankers to do for Carnival parades in 2015?
Took a while to get the Budweiser Clydesdale Mardi Gras schedule this year. The Budweiser web site listed the dates the big beautiful horses would be in the Crescent City, but not which parades or stops they would be participating in. I received an email yesterday containing the schedule, hence this blog entry. I do love these huge beasts of burden and their relationship with New Orleans and Carnival. When the Clydesdales are in a Mardi Gras parade, it’s a bigger event.
More than 300 years ago, this imposing breed was first developed for farm work in the region of Clydesdale, Scotland. They are most easily recognized for their substantial feather — the long hairs of the lower leg that cover the hooves. Despite a dressy appearance, they are capable of pulling a 1-ton load at 5 MPH.
The Budweiser Clydesdales made their first-ever appearance on April 7, 1933. A gift from August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch to their father in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition, the presentation of the original two six-horse hitches of champion Clydesdales moved father, sons and drivers to tears. The phrase “crying in your beer” was officially coined shortly thereafter.
In 1950, the Budweiser Clydesdales received their very own mascot: the Dalmatian. Traditionally used to guide horse-drawn fire carts, this spotted dog serves as friend and companion to the team, sitting aside the driver.
New Orleans Mounted Police Fundraiser, 5 to 9 p.m.
No activities planned
Excalibur Parade, 7 p.m.
Olympia Parade, 6 p.m.
Alla Parade, 12 p.m.
Monday, 2/24 – Thursday, 2/27
No activities planned
Krewe d’Etat parade, 6 p.m.
Endyminion parade, 4:15 p.m.
Bacchus parade, 5:15 p.m.
No activities planned
Argus parade, 10 a.m.
Chewbacchus 2014 marched throughout the Marigny last night, and they looked grand! Here’s a cool set of photos from a friend of mine. Chewbacchus is a top 10 parade for 2014, you can see the rankings here. Enjoy and Happy Mardi Gras!!