There is no competition when Muses hits St. Charles Avenue, in terms of original throws. There are a couple of different reasons for Muses’ unique throws. One the one hand they control all throws all members can toss. The krewe is rather large, at least 1,100 women.
On the other hand, they make the maximum amount of money on very expensive throws with small margins. The public benefits from these factors.
In 2013, I saw very few decorated shoes coming off the floats this year. Contrast this with my experience at the Zulu parade on Jackson Avenue. When the double deck floats arrived, I personally caught 5 coconuts in 10 minutes, then had to leave to make it to REX on time. If I had stuck around I would have caught a dozen coconuts from these double decker floats. Granted my costume was extensive for Zulu but for Muses I had my masculinity going for me.
Muses handed me lots of cool throws, I caught a powerful ring flashlight;a light up shopping bag medallion; a magnetic shopping list with pad and special marker; a reusable shopping bag, a collapsible flask with caribener; a heavy duty guide to the Makin’ Grocery floats that could double as a picnic blanket; shoe laces in a cool plastic test tube; koozies; kazoos; shoe bracelets; lariats; other medallions; shoe beads; coin purses, etc. It seemed relatively endless in terms of the variety of Muses stuff thrown off the floats.
This makes Muses a very high priced parade to ride in. I assume the dues is far less than the throws. By a wide margin. Again the public benefits from the wild variety of throws Muses throws.
Muses seems to pull marching organizations out of the wood work. No parade on St. Charles Avenue has more. They include the Pussyfooters; the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi;the 610 Stompers; the Camel Toe Lady Steppers; Disco Amigos; the Dead Rock Stars, and many more.
The just passed Carnival season was warm, with very little cold weather. It was the warmest season in long time. Next year Mardi Gras comes earlier, on February 12. That means the legendary Krewe du Vieux rolls January 19, 2013. That’s mighty early. I can’t wait!!
The warm weather helped to loosen up the masses, and the crowds were large uptown, downtown, by the Mississippi and the lake. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is very, very unique, like other Carnival celebrations around the globe.
Lots of celebrities showed up to have some fun: Will Farrell (filming a movie locally), Cyndi Lauper, Huey Lewis, Mariska Hargitay, Bret Michaels, Patricia Clarkson, Maroon 5, Hillary Swank, and Harry Connick Jr, among others had a blast at the 2012 New Orleans Mardi Gras.
Zulu, REX, the trucks and Parade of St. Anne are just the big names in the truly million public and private events and parties in New Orleans on a Mardi Gras Day. Talk to any convenience store owner in any part of town and they wish every day was Fat Tuesday!! I noticed a smaller store in my neighborhood had more than half their stock sold on Tuesday.
There are many zenith points on Fat Tuesday. The French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny are one major zenith. When Zulu and Rex roll, that’s another zenith or two. All the Mardi Gras Indian Gangs, both uptown and downtown, are a big big zenith.
All around town, there are mini zeniths too numerous to count. Add all these little ones up, and you have the biggest zenith of all- the neighborhood combined zenith!
Throws are changing. Since the 1960s, the doubloon was king. Beads were much shorter and lighter, and glass beads from Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) were more plentiful. They were the most sought-after throw for decades. In the 1980s, the Giacona Container Company pioneered the logo, full color cup. Now, Giacona sells the krewes Green Cups. One of their big Mardi Gras clients is the School of Design, aka REX, King of Carnival.
For 2012, beads were longer and heavier than ever before. Many lay on the parade route; people are looking for more unique throws. Short beads along with longer beads were the domain of the truck parades. A pack of 12 beads weighs a ton compared to the bead packs of the past. If you get hit in the head by a pack of the modern beads, it can hurt you seriously.
After a wild final weekend, the big day is here!! Get out there and enjoy the zillion events, the weather is perfect.
I know a lot of folks who avoid Zulu, Rex and the trucks. It seems to me that Krewe of St. Anne in the Marigny is more popular than ever. My friends are flocking to the informal costume oriented event.
Others hang with the historic Mardi Gras Indians, from downtown to uptown. I remember the year of the police strike – I spent some time with the Wild Tchoupitoulas when Chief Jolly, Norman Bell, and the Neville Brothers were in the group. I remember sharing a joint with Aaron Neville that day. It was really enjoyable.
The Back Street Museum is a popular destination on Mardi Gras Day.
I’ve always been a parade person, but I may, someday soon, join one of the many walking parades and experience Mardi Gras Day this way. Time will only tell.
Once again, Happy Mardi to all- however you experience it- have a ball!! I hope to see YOU at the Mardi Gras!!
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve cut down on the parades on the North Shore, West Bank, Metairie, etc. I focus on the myriad of parades in my own backyard, Orleans Parish, my home since I was a Senior at Cornell. Here’s the schedule for Orleans Parish-
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10th
- Krewe of Cork at 3pm in the French Quarter
- Krewe of Oshun Uptown 6:00pm
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11th
- Krewe of Pontchartrain Uptown 2:00 p.m.
- ‘tit Rəx Bywater 5:30 p.m.
- Knights of Sparta Uptown 6:00 p.m.
- Krewe of Pygmalion Uptown 6:45 p.m.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12th
- Krewe of Carrollton Uptown 12:00 p.m.
- Krewe of King Arthur Uptown 1:15 p.m.
- Mystic Krewe of Barkus French Quarter 2:00 p.m. This parade is all for dogs.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15th
- Krewe of Ancient Druids Uptown 6:30 p.m.
- Krewe of Nyx Uptown 7pm
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16th
- Knights of Babylon, Uptown 5:45
- Krewe of Chaos, Uptown 6:30
- Krewe of Muses, Uptown 6:30
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17th
- Divine Protectors of Endangered Pleasures or DIVA French Quarter 1:30 p.m.
- Knights of Hermes Uptown 6:00 p.m.
- D’Etat- Uptown, 6:00 p.m.
- Krewe of Morpheus Uptown 7:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18th
- Iris – Uptown, 11:00 a.m.
- Tucks – Uptown, 12:00 p.m.
- Endymion – Mid City, 4:15 p.m.
- Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, Central City and CBD, 5:00 p.m.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 19th
- Okeanos – Uptown, 11:00 a.m.
- Mid-City – Uptown, 11:45 p.m.
- Thoth – Uptown, 12:00 a.m.
- Bacchus- Uptown, 5:15 p.m.
LUNDI GRAS, FEBRUARY 20TH
- Proteus- Uptown, 5:15 p.m.
- Orpheus – Uptown, 6:00 p.m.
- Lundi Gras Celebration
MARDI GRAS, FEBRUARY 21st
- Zulu- Uptown, 8:00 a.m.
- Rex – Uptown, 10:00 a.m.
- Elks Orleans – Uptown, 11:30 a.m.
- Crescent City – Uptown, follows Elks
|Saturday||Feb 4||Krewe du Vieux||French Quarter||6:30 pm (I’m in KdV!!)|
|Sunday||Feb 5||Lil Rascals||Metairie||12:00 pm|
|Friday||Feb 10||Cork||French Quarter||3:00 pm|
|Cleopatra||West Bank||6:30 pm|
|Saturday||Feb 11||Choctaw||West Bank||11:00 am|
|Adonis||West Bank||11:45 am|
|Sunday||Feb 12||Carrollton||Uptown||12:00 pm|
|Alla||West Bank||12:00 pm|
|King Arthur||Uptown||1:15 pm|
|Barkus||French Quarter||2:00 pm|
|Thursday||Feb 16||Babylon||Uptown||5:45 pm|
|Friday||Feb 17||Hermes||Uptown||6:00 pm|
|Saturday||Feb 18||NOMTOC||West Bank||9:45 am|
|Sunday||Feb 19||Okeanos||Uptown||11:00 am|
|Mid City||Uptown||11:45 am|
|Monday||Feb 20||Proteus||Uptown||5:15 pm|
|FAT TUESDAY||Feb 21||Zulu||Uptown||8:00 am|
|Elks Orleans||Uptown||11:30 am|
|Crescent City||Uptown||follows Elks|
|Jefferson Trucks||Metairie||follows Argus|
|Elks Trucks||Metairie||follows Jefferson Trucks|