New Orleans Mardi Gras
The krewe says they have the support of the other krewes and have arranged for the necessary floats. The Captain says the New Orleans Police Department never responded officially to the krewe’s application.
An adviser to our fine mayor, Mitch Landrieu,said the application ”fell through the cracks.” Apparently the police thought the application was for 2014, even though their enclosed check was for 2013.
The original Krewe of Freret started in 1953. I remember watching them on Freret St in the 1970s and 80s. In 1995, the krewe was in financial difficulties and stopped parading.
The new krewe says they will hold their ball and coronation. I’m pleased they are staying active with the plan to return to a parading krewe in 2014. The krewe’s web site says- WELCOME TO THE KREWE OF FRERET – WE CANNOT BE STOPPED!
In late 2011, seven young Loyola graduates lamented the notion of squandering hard earned money to join a formal Krewe where they knew virtually no one and would have limited input. So rather than joining an existing Krewe, they sought to enhance Mardi Gras by creating a world class parade.
Those simple three words that utter so softly off of your lips, “Krewe of Freret”, drive Tulane and Loyola alumni to come together for the greater good of Carnival. Whereas the word ‘Freret’ was previously a division line between two campuses, the Krewe of Freret aims to unify these enthusiastic young professionals and infuse new vigor into Mardi Gras while simultaneously fanning the revitalization of the Freret corridor and her traditions.
The Krewe has received incredible support from the community, with many Freret Street business owners counted as Krewe of Freret members.
Lots of news to report, none of it huge, so I’m compiling it into one feature. Of course, the Super Bowl returns to New Orleans in the middle of the Carnival season, so the parades in Orleans parish are split up.
I’ve covered Slidell parades before, as the first couple of entries are about North Shore parades.
1. The Krewe of Claude, a parading krewe with 24 parades under its belt, has called it quits for 2013. No Slidell parade and no ball. Apparently membership had fallen to a point that neither event was possible. They promise to return for 2014, as they plan to pursue new members sooner rather than later. Last year the parade had around 12 floats and close to 200 members. In my crazier, wilder, younger Mardi Gras days, I used to take the family and guests to attend Claude, which runs very early in the season. We had a blast in those days, running to parades in Slidell.
2. For the past 25 years, the Original Krewe of Orpheus has rolled down the streets of Mandeville, throwing their signature pine cones. Unfortunately for Mardi Gras fans in Mandeville, the parade has been cancelled for 2013, according to Krewe Captain Brett Lowe,
Last week, the Krewe of Lyra announced they will not parade in Mandeville, but have moved its parade to follow the traditional parades in Covington Mardi Gras Day, the Mystic Krewe of Covington and the Lion’s Club.
However, Orpheus has no plans of moving. According to Lowe, “The Original Krewe of Orpheus will stick to Mandeville.”
In connection with the decision, Lowe issued a press release that stated, “On behalf of Board of Directors, it is with major disappointment that we must inform everyone of our decision not to ride on Feb. 8, 2013. We have experienced financial difficulties through a decline in membership over the past few years, which dictates our abilities to produce a quality parade that we are proud of. We are re-organizing and will ride in 2014.
Hoping to boost membership, the krewe will host a “rebirth party” on its previously scheduled parade night, Feb. 8, 2013. For more information, interested parties can email Lowe at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Mandeville all-women’s Krewe of Eve had extend an opportunity to Orpheus to parade behind their krewe on Feb. 1, but Lowe said that was not the route Orpheus wished to take. He thanked them for their offer.
“It was given in the true spirit of Mardi Gras, and we appreciate their kindness, and commitment to the community,” he said in a statement issued Tuesday.
Lowe stated the organization will continue to be a men’s krewe, and the re-organization party will replace the krewe’s annual ball Feb. 8, with women included as they would be at the ball. There will be a slight charge and interested parties should contact the krewe.
Regulations in the city of Mandeville requiring a minimum number of 150 riders paid a “slight part” in the group’s decision not to ride, according to Lowe. As with most parades throughout the area, a permit and insurance is also required.
The Original Krewe of Orpheus was founded in April 1987, a year after the Krewe of Eve had successfully made its debut. Its first parade was in 1988 with 13 floats plus local and regional marching bands. Its signature throw, the pineloon, was originally a pine cone covered in glitter, sitting atop a doubloon base. More recently, it was a plastic pine cone necklace.
Ironically, this past year was the 25th anniversary year with the theme “Orpheus’ Silver Lining.”
3. Orleans Parish’s Krewe of Orpheus announced 2013 plans- Leading the festivities and parade with Harry Connick, Jr. are other celebrity monarchs including star of the CBS hit show CSI New York, Gary Sinise; Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews; Animal Planet’s Tillman the skateboarding bulldog; and returning monarchs, Law & Order SVU’s Mariska Hargitay, and the Imagination Movers.
4. Harry’s got a new Mardi Gras album named Mardi Gras in New Orleans. That’s an original title if I’ve every heard of one!!
5. My own Krewe du Vieux is building their floats, my own Krewe of Underwear’s float is taking shape beautifully, can’t show any photos yet. We roll January 19, 2013!!
Since April, Blaine Kern Sr, Carnival legend and founder of Mardi Gras World, was heading down the slippery slope of foreclosure. Blaine Sr has been embroiled in a nasty law suit with his son, Barry Kern.
As readers of this blog already know, I always preach one axiom when discussing this case- never sue your parents, it won’t work out in the long run no matter what you believe at the time. This is a time honored axiom that can’t be overcome or changed.
When the first Super Parade was born in 1967 with Bacchus, who was the float builder who made Captain Augie Perez’s dreams come true? Blaine Kern Sr. He’s been the float builder of record for Rex, Orpheus, Endymion, Muses, Bacchus, Alla, and Caesar, all the Super Krewes of note in recent Carnival history
Blaine sought national accounts, and landed Disneyland and MGM as major clients, among other big businesses. He’s represented the great traditions of Mardi Gras in the best New Orleans tradition of service and quality. I personally helped grow it (Mardi Gras) into a billion-dollar industry, says 85-year-old Blaine Kern, nicknamed “Mr. Mardi Gras”. I’ve been doing this for 74 years.
The Algiers Point house he bought with his fourth wife, Holly Brown-Kern, is slated for the auction block in two months, according to a foreclosure notice filed this week by Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman’s office.
The notice lists a May 3 auction date for the Abalon Court property in the Algiers Riverpoint subdivision. Whitney Bank sued Kern in January over a $283,849 debt on the house, which the couple bought five years ago for $290,000, according to public records.
Robert Tallant, the New Orleans author, said it all- Mardi Gras is a spirit…an immortal one…as immortal as man’s ability to make believe, to escape the dreariness of the everyday life that is most men’s portion, to have fun, laugh and to play…Mardi Gras is very old, but it is also very young. It belongs to the past, yet also to the present and the future. The face it wears is not necessarily its last. It will exist in other forms, in other times, in other places. It would be wonderful if the clown in the grinning mask should appear on all the Main Streets of the world, if the blazing flambeaux and the rocking floats there could be a season or at least a day devoted to Laughter.
More on Robert Tallant photography here @ nutriasdotorg.
The color photo above and the 1905 trio of Mardi Gras costumers above are from Tidbits, Trinkets and Images.