Krewe of Muses
I take a fair amount of photos for my blog, almost 100% are with my smart phone. These mostly were taken the last weekend of the 2017 Carnival season.
When a Carnival krewe’s membership grows by roughly 50% last year (actually this year), you might say they have captured the public’s imagination. It takes a big effort, ridership and budget to make a real splash on the St. Charles parade route. We have Bacchus, Muses, Orpheus, and Thoth with well over 1,000 members, and the biggest of all, Endymion, has just over 3,000 members. Now NYX has 2,232, making them the second biggest krewe. A super krewe is measured by more than membership. The parade counts a lot. They have a very original throw, the decorated, logoed woman’s purse. But they have no original floats yet, as they are building their first for 2016. You need super floats for super krewe status, so NYX won’t arrive on that level until they have a handful of icon, original floats owned by the krewe, and not just rented ones.
When you see the Bacchagator or the Jester Float, it’s exciting because you are witnessing two of the icon floats of all of Carnival around the world.
In Greek mythology NYX was the Goddess of Night. NYX stood at or near the beginning of creation and was one of the first elements emerging from Chaos along with day, fire, and water. Her appearances in mythology are sparse, but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power and beauty. NYX had prophetic powers, and gave oracles from her home at the edge of the cosmos. She mothered other personified deities such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death), with Erebus. She was older and more powerful than Zeus, who deferred to her wishes.
Each year the krewe visits the tomb of Marie Laveau, legendary Voodoo priestess, to ask for good weather for their parade. Laveau is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.
The first family of Mardi Gras, the people responsible for building REX, Bacchus, Endymion, Orpheus, Caesar, Zulu and many more Mardi Gras parades, have ended their family feud. When you sue your octogenarian father, you create a rift that’s hard to close, but apparently the Kern family have overcome their differences.
We are all happy to have it behind us and just kind of move forward and do what we do best, and that’s build floats and create Mardi Gras, Barry Kern said. Blaine Kern, Sr, the patriarch of the Kern clan, agreed to a corporate succession plan with his son of Blaine Kern Artists Inc at New Orleans Civil District Court last week. The senior Kern sold his 50.1 percent in the company to his son Barry. Blaine received a lifetime consulting contract with the firm.
Where is Blaine Kern, Jr? Blaine’s other son is no where to be found in this story. After meeting with the judge, Barry and Blaine, along with their wives and Barry’s sons Fitz and Andrew, all went out to lunch together. No sign of Blaine, Jr. or his family. Hmmm….
I’m elated this half a decade old sad story has a happy ending. The patriarch is satisfied as he got paid by his son for his company so he can ‘retire’ in comfort. He’s 88, and mostly wants to spend time with his wife Holly and burnish his Mr. Mardi Gras brand.
I’ve also said before, the reason this whole court debacle occurred is because Pixie Naquin isn’t there to smooth over the hurt feelings for the sake of family unity. She was the founder’s executive secretary almost since he started out in business, and she never let past serious family disputes end up on court. She was the cat’s meow for Kern Enterprises, there’s absolutely no doubt about that.
Judge Kern Reese’s consent judgement accomplishes several things- the court retains jurisdiction for two years over any future problems, all lawsuits filed by both parties are dismissed, and Reese’s 2012 injunction giving Barry Kern control of the company is terminated.
2015 was my best Mardi Gras in five years. I saw more parades and had more fun. That’s due to better parade company. I’m a parade freak, and if I go to parades with like minded freaks, I’m apt to enjoy myself lots more. 3 years ago I was forced to change my long term parade freak partner and it took me a couple of years to get it right again.
Wednesday, February 12 when Druids and Nyx rolled, I paraded with a special friend of the opposite sex who I hadn’t paraded with before but she told me she was a parade freak. That turned out to be true and a surreal, delightful Mardi Gras parade night was had by both of us.
At Zulu I caught 4 coconuts and at REX, which had a different medallion for each float, I caught over half. I do fairly well at the parades although I’m rarely the target demographic because I costume a bit for all parades and I’m active on the parade route, that is I scream Happy Mardi Gras, Throw Me Something, and other similar exhortations. I had a ball at the parades on Fat Tuesday 2015. It was quite cold all day and windy, but the rain held off completely. I biked to Zulu and then biked to REX.
Surviving Fat Tuesday on Rouses’ Cheese Straws
My food situation was well in hand on Lundi Gras, but by Fat Tuesday, all my plans of a delicious spread had fallen apart. I had made a big pot of my special red beans in the crock pot, and bought a high grade of cold cuts, some mini pistolettes, good cheese and tomatoes to make some sandwiches to eat on the go. On my bike I couldn’t carry the container of beans, and I couldn’t find my cold cuts. So off I went on Mardi Gras Day on my bike with a package of Rouse’s cheese straws, some Pepperidge Farm Nantucket cookies, and two small packs of Cheetos. All day I snacked on the cheese straws, which were to die for- deep cheese flavor with just the right amount of heat and spice, plus some vodka and OJ and Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Young Parade Goers Costume in Large Numbers
One of the most heartening trends this year was the preponderance of young parade goers who costumed in some respect for all the parades, not just Fat Tuesday. I took the St. Charles streetcar a lot in 2015 for Carnival and every time I got on there were lots and lots of young folks wearing a head piece, mask or other costume part. I realize part of my attraction to Mardi Gras is the make believe and fantasy aspects of the celebration, so I really found all this new costuming very attractive. You can dress up and become anyone or anything your mind and imagination can envision and create. The possibilities are endless.
Adult Dance Troupes Take Center Stage
More and more high flying adult dance troupes have joined in the parading fun. The Sirens, Muff-A-Lottas, 610 Stompers, Disco Amigos, Pussyfooters, Dames de Perlage, Try Athletes, Bearded Oyster Dance Troupe, Rolling Elvi, Organ Grinders, Roux La La, Amelia Earhawts, Kolossos, and the Star Wars themed 501st Legion were just some of the fab groups entertaining the crowd. I have a friend who texted me after a fun night of parading together that she found a Roux La La couzy in her bra when undressing that night. She said it was the perfect testament to a great evening. O.K., maybe she’s more than a friend.
Lighted beads were ubiquitous for the night parades. Proteus lit up the necklace part, not the medallion like everyone else. There were light up pitch forks, blades, styrofoam tubes, and just about anything else a light could be attached to.
Muses is well known throughout the Mardi Gras universe for their shoe throws. I received my most unusual Muses throw right from a float rider. It was a pack of rice beads with the plastic connectors, but it has a small metal Muses M attached with the ubiquitous bead/medallion metal connector. What kind of statement was Muses making with these retro beads?
Nyx has really come into their own. There were decorated purses coming off the floats in large numbers and many dancing troupes.
360 lenticular cups were thrown by D’Etat, Orpheus, Babylon and Iris. A lenticular lens is an array of magnifying lenses, designed so that when viewed from slightly different angles, different images are magnified.
Parade Route Parties
I attended a number of gatherings along parade routes off of St. Charles and Frenchmen Street. I had a lot of fun and laughs at each and every party. Walking back and forth between the house and the parade is the height parade enjoyment. Some soirees are invitation only, which a security guard checking online invites, but for many others, just showing up is enough to gain entrance. Often the food, booze and crowd is a step above the average New Orleans party- and New Orleans is well known for throwing world class parties.
Proteus in the Daytime!
Hell freezes over! Pigs fly! Since the start of time, or whenever Proteus began parading, whichever came first, Proteus parades at night. Flambeaux carriers only light parades after the sun goes down. Wrong! The start time for Proteus and Orpheus were moved up 75 minutes due to inclement weather considerations, so they rolled in plain, old daylight.
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|