Krewe of Muses

Lundi Gras Photo Essay!

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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.

 

Hermes 2017 Light Ups

 

Mid City’s Foil Floats

 

Krewe of Iris House Banner

 

Lit Up Endymion Beads

 

Dance Troupe

Endymion Cups 2017

 

Muses 2017

 

Chaos Cards

 

Babylon Light Ups

NYX Membership Growing By Leaps and Bounds!

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NYX Bag!

NYX Bag!

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.

NYX, Greek Goddess of the NIght

NYX, Greek Goddess of the NIght

 

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.

 

No Wonder They Are Growing- Their Purses Are Sublime!

No Wonder They Are Growing- Their Purses Are Sublime!

 

 

Rex Jester Float

Rex Jester Float

 

Blaine Kern Artists Created the Bacchagator

Blaine Kern Artists Created the Bacchagator

 

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.

Marie Laveau Mausoleum in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Marie Laveau Mausoleum in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

 

The Kerns Kiss and Make Up in Civil District Court!!

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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.

Rex Boeuf Gras Float built by Kern Artists

REX Boeuf Gras Float built by Kern Artists

Blaine Kern Artists  Created the Bacchagator

Blaine Kern Artists Created the Bacchagator

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.

Blaine and Barry Kern with Joe Jaeger

Barry and Blaine Kern, Sr. with Joe Jaeger

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.

RIP Pixie Naquin!

RIP Pixie Naquin!

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 New Orleans Mardi Gras Wrap Up!

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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.

Claudia G at NYX Parade with friend from Brazil!

Claudia G at NYX Parade with friend from Brazil!

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 SirensMuff-A-Lottas610 StompersDisco 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.

New Orleans' Muff A Lottas

New Orleans’ Muff A Lottas

Mardi Gras Day Father and Son Skeletons

Mardi Gras Day Father and Son Skeletons

Throw Trends

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.

LED Foam Sticks

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?

Muses Rice Beads

Muses Rice 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.

Fat Tuesday 2015 NoMusicMan

Fat Tuesday 2015 NoMusicMan

Billy B with Storm Trooper

Billy B with Storm Trooper

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.

2015 Orleans Parish Mardi Gras Parade Schedule!!

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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

Rex Jester Float

Rex Jester Float

Day Date Krewe Route
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
Baby Kong, Krewe of Bacchus

Baby Kong, Krewe of Bacchus

Baccasaurus float from Bacchus parade at Mardi Gras World

Baccasaurus float from Bacchus parade at Mardi Gras World

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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