2012 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

Skirting Parade Regulations and Other Negative Carnival Trends!!!

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Bagged Throws

Bagged Throws

 

I have always loved Carnival, from the first parade I ever saw to the last one last night. Really looking forward to my new costume wrinkles for 2016 and the fact that I’ll be heading to the French Quarter for the first time in a decade. I’ll be meeting up with my girlfriend Sue at Molly’s at the Market.

When I first came to New Orleans, the only real throws were short beads that had little plastic connectors. The photo below, Muses Rice Beads, shows the type of beads that were all in vogue at the time minus the Muses metal ‘M’. Medallions were timid little things, not the garish giants of today. There were also a number of Czechoslovakian glass beads.

Now, throws are very diversified. Blankets, light up beads of all description, koozies of all description, mini soccer balls and footballs galore, small stuffed animals of all ilk and variety, are just a sampling of the endless variety. Most come in it’s own plastic bag.

So all this junk made of oil is now wrapped in a bag made from oil? ¬†Mardi Gras is getting grosser on an environmental level on an exponential level, and that’s a depressing and negative trend. How this came to pass is easy to explain. As throws got more expensive and complex, they warranted individual wrapping for ease of throwing.

Muses Rice Beads

Muses Rice Beads

 

In Orleans Parish, there are parade regulations passed by the City Council. Here’s the section on ladders-

Sec. 34-33. – Ladders and portable toilets.

All ladders used by parade spectators shall be structurally sound. No ladder, chairs, ice chests, chaise lounges, barbecue grills, and other similar personal effects shall be placed in intersections or between curbs of public streets during the pendency of a parade. Ladders, tents, grills, and other personal effects shall be placed six feet back from the street curb. Additionally, the practice of fastening two or more ladders together shall be prohibited. It shall be prohibited to use ropes or other similar items to create a barricade or otherwise obstruct passage along public property, unless otherwise specifically authorized.

When I used to see parades on Napoleon Avenue around Prytania Street, where they often line up, the police used to make sure all ladders were 6 feet back from the curb. Around town on Canal Street for Endymion and on St. Charles Avenue, it doesn’t appear the police enforce these rule anymore.

 

Ladders Too Close to Curb 2

Ladders Too Close to Curb

 

Ladders under six feet from curb

Ladders under six feet from curb

Empty Freret Float

Empty Freret Float

 

Most floats were full, but some, earlier in the season, were not. Paying for a float and not having any riders on it isn’t the best use of a krewe’s money. I am sure float riders are required to keep their masks on, and the vast majority do. Some parade captains feature less lax enforcement.

No masking in Orleans Parish parade

No masking in Orleans Parish parade

Carnival in New Orleans Begins in Earnest Today!!

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When Cleopatra and Oshun kick off on Friday evening, we launch the 10 day sprint known as Carnival in New Orleans. Krewe population trends varied around the metropolitan area, an interesting pattern to say the least. Orleans Parish organizations are growing by leaps and bounds, while Jefferson Parish saw several krewes fade away. I really cannot explain this development. The suburbs have been growing for decades as the city lost population. So why did Thor, Zeus and Atlas, three old Jefferson krewes with 140 years of parading history, cease marching?

Krewe of Cleopatra Logo

Krewe of Cleopatra Logo

In the past 17 years, 25 Carnival clubs have quit. The trend precedes Hurricane Katrina. In spite of the Orleans Parish parade moratorium, the Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale received permission to ride this year on February 8. They will parade after the three previously scheduled parades. In Jefferson, the Krewe of Athena Carnival Club received a parade permit to follow Excalibur tonight.

Parade goers will have to come up with a new plan if they set up shop on certain neutral grounds and city street intersections this year. The Army Corps of Engineers’ drainage projects along Napoleon and Jefferson Streets will mess up lots of Carnival plans. Fences on the neutral grounds along Napoleon will severely limit parade watching.

According to Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, the 2015 season will be a busy one, with many area hotels already filled up between now and Fat Tuesday. However, the Quarter and downtown have suffered recently from bad publicity due to a rash of robberies and assaults.

Additional state troopers were deployed in the French Quarter in August after more negative publicity when a shooting on Bourbon killed one woman and injured several others. Those officers left the city after the 2015 Sugar Bowl was concluded even though the mayor asked Governor Bobby Jindal to extend their stay.

Now, State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson says he is working with New Orleans mayor Mitch Landrieu to extend their tenure. Plus, the tourism industry has ponied up $2.5 million to keep troopers here. That’s an impressive amount of money.

On a lighter note, the New Orleans Advocate is producing 14 full color Krewe Parade Bulletins for 2015. In 1886, the Krewe of Proteus became the first Carnival organization to present full color chromolithograph newspaper editions showing the float designs for it’s street pageant. Other krewes quickly followed suit, and these carnival editions or bulletins continued to be printed and sold on street corners for a dime until 1941.

1883 REX Parade Bulletin

1893 REX Parade Bulletin

This year, and this year only, Friday the 13th and Valentine’s Day fall on the weekend before Fat Tuesday. Several krewes will indicate this event via their float designs and throws.

For most of the last 150 years, New Orleans official reviewing stand for Mardi Gras parades has been historic Gallier Hall. That changed when a large piece of the facade fell off the building last year, closing the building for 2015.

2012 New Orleans Area Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

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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
Oshun Uptown 6:00 pm
Cleopatra West Bank 6:30 pm
Excalibur Metairie 7:00 pm
Eve Mandeville 7:00 pm
Atlas Metairie 7:30 pm
Saturday Feb 11 Choctaw West Bank 11:00 am
Adonis West Bank 11:45 am
Pontchartrain Uptown 2:00 pm
Nemesis Chalmette 2:00 pm
Olympia Covington 6:00 pm
Sparta Uptown 6:00 pm
Caesar Metairie 6:00 pm
Pygmalion Uptown 6:45 pm
Sunday Feb 12 Carrollton Uptown 12:00 pm
Alla West Bank 12:00 pm
Dionysus Slidell 1:00 pm
Rhea Metairie 2:00 pm
Thor Metairie 3:00 pm
King Arthur Uptown 1:15 pm
Barkus French Quarter 2:00 pm
Wednesday Feb 15 Ancient
Druids
Uptown 6:30 pm
Thursday Feb 16 Babylon Uptown 5:45 pm
Muses Uptown 6:15 pm
Chaos Uptown 6:30 pm
Friday Feb 17 Hermes Uptown 6:00 pm
Krewe
d’Etat
Uptown 6:00 pm
Selene Slidell 6:30 pm
Orpheus Mandeville 7:00 pm
Morpheus Uptown 7:00 pm
Centurions Metairie 7:00 pm
Saturday Feb 18 NOMTOC West Bank 9:45 am
Tucks Uptown 10:00 am
Iris Uptown 11:00 am
Endymion Mid-City 4:15 pm
Isis Metairie 6:30 pm
Sunday Feb 19 Okeanos Uptown 11:00 am
Mid City Uptown 11:45 am
Thoth Uptown 12:00 pm
Bacchus Uptown 5:15 pm
Napoleon Metairie 5:30 pm
Monday Feb 20 Proteus Uptown 5:15 pm
Orpheus Uptown 6:00 pm
Zeus Metairie 6:30 pm
FAT TUESDAY Feb 21 Zulu Uptown 8:00 am
Rex Uptown 10:00 am
Elks Orleans Uptown 11:30 am
Crescent City Uptown follows Elks
Argus Metairie 10:00 am
Jefferson Trucks Metairie follows Argus
Elks Trucks Metairie follows Jefferson Trucks
BES West Bank
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