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.
It’s still possible to reinvent the wheel when it comes to Mardi Gras parades. It’s not easy, but it can be done. When parading down St. Charles avenue, convention rules, since the New Orleans City Council creates the rules for major parades. If you want to parade and do your own thing, that’s more than possible though it’s a ton of work; hence Krewe du Vieux, ‘tit REX, Krewe of St. Anne, Krewe of Chewbaccus, etc. Most of these are in the Bywater, 7th ward, or Marigny. Most roll of Fat Tuesday, and most are really fabulous. Kolossos is headquartered in and will march in Marigny and Bywater.
The spanking new Krewe of Kolossos is seeking to “create a new breed of parade,” utilizing tradition while drawing on ideas of environmental sustainability and reuse, art director Steven Donnelly said.
The idea for the krewe came from a partnership with grand marshal-elect Karina Nathan, the artist a.k.a. Katrina Brees. Donnelly’s drum cart creation, a mobile performance art drum show and Nathan’s Bearded Oysters, an all female marching and social group. Both share a love of a good party, and Kolossos was formed with this in mind.
The krewe has around 200 members. While the membership is open, the majority of members are artists, including sculptors, costumiers, performance artists, etc.
Tricycle-powered floats using recycled materials, mostly, will change into paper-mache animals, incorporating a large variety of previously used float props, including paper-mache eyeballs, 8-foot spiders, and pieces of castles from past parades.
Their throws will also be very different than beads and doubloons. Krewe du Vieux throws some beads, but all krewe throws are original. The world famous all natural Zulu Coconut, except for paint, and decorations, are the locally handcrafted model for their throws. To this end, Kolossos is seeking new alternatives to ship containers full of Mardi Gras beads from China.
Since no date for the parade has been mentioned, it’s obvious there is no date for their inaugural parade. Initially, the krewe planned to parade on New Year’s Eve, but NOPD denied the permit application, stating their resources would be spread too thin.
Co Founder Donnelly understood the objections, there are bills to pay to obtain a permit. “Apocalypse Ball,” on the other hand, is on. It will start at 10 p.m. at Siberia on New Year’s Eve. The Bearded Oysters Parade Club, krewe members and the Drumcart will be part of the festivities, all for $25 per ticket. For tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 504-905-2830.
There are still krewe memberships available, check out kolossos.org