Annual Ode to Muses!!0
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.
Dr. Gets Off Float and Beats Woman Unconscious!!0
Lafayette’s Mardi Gras has it over New Orleans in this respect. We have no Carnival criminal drama of this intertwined variety at all. This story wins the prize for Carnival depravity for 2012!!
The peaceful Mardi Gras celebration turned violent for three Lafayette residents on Tuesday, February 21, resulting in a woman being knocked unconscious and a Hub City doctor’s arrest. Lafayette developer and Dr. Glenn Stewart was arrested without incident Tuesday night at his home. He is charged with second-degree battery.
The charges stem from a one sided fight that took place Tuesday at around 12:40 P. M. near the start of the Independent Parade (which is not associated with the Independent newspaper) route. Stewart’s float referenced Lafayette newspaper publisher Cherry Fisher May and her August 2010 DUI arrest.
The incident was prompted by the Mardi Gras float Stewart entered into the Independent Parade featuring Cherry Fisher May (the victim’s Mother) as the “driver” of the float with the warning on big banners: Caution!!! Float Driven by Cherry Fisher May. Stewart also ran Fisher May’s mug shot from her 2010 DUI arrest.
The parade has stated they were unaware of the personal attack banners Stewart covered the sides of his float with at the last minute.
Read here for more on Stewart’s relentless retaliation against the Independent Weekly for its coverage of an agricultural tax loophole he took advantage of for his Parc Lafayette development at the corner of Kaliste Saloom Road and Camellia Boulevard.
According to Lafayette police, Erin May Fitzgerald, 41, Lafayette, approached Stewart’s float near the start and attempted to remove a banner. Stewart confronted Fitzgerald, who is also Fisher May’s stepdaughter.
Fitzgerald’s stepfather, John St. Julien, 60, Lafayette, intervened, sparking an altercation between the two men. St. Julien took photographs after she was knocked out. Those photographs show Stewart taking pictures of the unconscious woman.
Fitzgerald was hit in the face during the fight, knocking her out and leaving her with facial injuries. She was treated at a local hospital.
Stewart and St. Julien each were issued a misdemeanor summons for disturbing the peace by fighting. Fitzgerald also received a misdemeanor summons for disturbing the peace and disorderly conduct. The case remains under investigation.
While Stewart paid all fees and met regulations for his float, Independent Parade Organizers said they weren’t aware of its content and said this type of signage should not be allowed. In a written statement, Chairman Mike Mitchell said, they can’t let this ever happen again. This can’t be in our parade. He said the committee will re-examine their signage rules.
It’s possible Dr. Stewart could lose his medical license for harming her, then failing to aid the woman he punched. Ms. Fitzgerald has apologized for messing with the float. We’ll have to see how this plays out.
Observations on Carnival 2012!!0
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.
NPR did a feature on Parade of St. Anne this year with commentator Andrei Codrescu.
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.
Fat Tuesday Arrives – Happy Mardi Gras to the WORLD!!!0
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!!
Bad Manners on the Parade Route!!0
While hanging out on Napoleon Avenue this morning before NOMTOC, I witnessed a number of small incidents that depicted the competitive nature of parade watchers.
I watched this guy arrive this morning about 8 am. He set about searching for his stuff- chairs, table, etc. His belongings had been moved to the back of the neutral ground. When he realized that the folks who moved his stuff were not there, he moved his stuff back by removing the tarp that had replaced his stuff. He moved their tarp to the back of the neutral ground.
Immediately the neighbors started giving the man crap about moving the tarp, claiming the tarp was there before the guy’s stuff; he claimed he would never put his stuff onto someone else’s tarp!
An hour passes, and the guy is still sitting in his chair. I notice that his car is right across the street, and NOMTOC is starting!! There are band units lining up to the left and right side streets. He calls over a friendly cop who helps him get out of his predicament. It takes about 20 minutes, and he finally gets off the parade route.
Within five seconds the vultures descend on the unguarded spot and discard the guy’s chairs, etc., re-institute their tarp and that’s it, our guy has lost the spot he held for 2 hours before the parades ever rolled on the historic longest day of parades ever.
Someone is not being truthful here, and that’s the real manners violation. These is Mardi Gras, and masking is all the hiding most people do. But some have other agendas that include fibbing to their fellow parade watchers to gain a better spot?
The second incident mirrors the first. A man and a woman had the same basic argument about who moved whose stuff, who was there first, etc. This must have occurred all over the parade route at different times and places.
That’s where it crosses the line, and becomes anti-Mardi Gras. So where is the fun in that?