Krewe of Chewbacchus
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
|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|
Chewbacchus 2014 marched throughout the Marigny last night, and they looked grand! Here’s a cool set of photos from a friend of mine. Chewbacchus is a top 10 parade for 2014, you can see the rankings here. Enjoy and Happy Mardi Gras!!
Mardi Gras the last two years has sucked for me. A major personal tragedy occurred in my life and it took a couple of years to come back. This year I’m living very very close to the main parade route. That should make for one big Carnival party at my place. I expect the 2014 Carnival season to be a fabulous one.
Mardi Gras is March 4th this year, and since Twelfth Night is a fixed date, January 6, the Carnival season is long. The season can be long or short or somewhere in between. The first parade in Orleans Parish annually is KdV (February 15), and I roll with them. Hurray!! Yeah!! Fun time!!
We roll in the French Quarter and Marigny, and our floats are pulled by mules, as they were a hundred years ago. We’re the only major Orleans Parish parade in those historic neighborhoods. Our floats are handmade by each sub krewe and far smaller than regular floats. The main krewe and the sub krewes make and throw their own buttons, with the central parade theme and the sub krewe’s theme on them.
The true strength and power of KdV can be plainly seen in our unbelievable list of brass bands. I’m in the music business and I cannot fathom this amount of brass muscle!
2014 KdV Brass Bands
Baby Boyz Brass Band
Stooges Brass Band
Treme Brass Band
Egg Yolk Jubilee
Hot Eight Brass band
Down and Dirty
Gretna and the North Shore continue to struggle with krewe membership problems. The leading factor is financial difficulties. For 2014, the North Shore will have only a single parade, the krewe of Eve. Eve’s membership is down from 570 to 300. That’s a drop of almost 50%, but the krewe is still large enough to support the parade. Mandeville’s Krewe of Orpheus didn’t parade last year and didn’t file to parade in 2014. The Captain said the membership had declined. This hardly constitutes a parade season on the North Shore.
On the bright side, Slidell’s Krewe of Claude failed to parade in 2013 but will be rolling for 2014. In fact, Slidell lost no parades from last year even though several krewes reported financial and membership difficulties, an excellent record considering what occurring in Jefferson and the North Shore. Last fall, the Slidell City Council passed new Mardi Gras regulations that raised fees for parades, instituted a minimum number of floats and riders per float for a parade.
Gretna lost Grela founded in 1947. That’s a major blow. Metairie lost Thor. That’s big also, 2014 is the 40th anniversary for Thor. Alla, a West Bank stalwart for decades, now rolls down St. Charles Avenue. It is painfully obvious that Carnival in Jefferson Parish is suffering right now.
The New Orleans City Council made sure they would originate many of the Orleans Parish Mardi Gras changes this year with a new group of rules and regulations concerning Carnival. You can read about the bill here.
The first parades down St. Charles in 2014 roll on Friday, February 21. Orleans Parish gets two days off this year, February 25 and 26 (Monday/Tuesday). I’m looking for a warm Mardi Gras, almost all Fat Tuesdays that fall in March are warm. It’s been a very cold winter so far in New Orleans, so we’ll have to see.
I love all Mardi Gras parades, and always have. Any krewe that can jump through all the hoops necessary to put on a real parade has my undying respect. It never was easy and now it’s very daunting. Parades and insurance costs go up and up. Krewes must have a minimum number of floats and bands now.
Nevertheless, I have my favorites and this forecast will highlight those. I look forward to my own parade, Krewe du Vieux, of course. It’s a lot of fun. The first weekend of parades, I prefer Sparta, Chewbaccus and Alla. Then Babylon, Muses, d’Etat, Tucks, Endymion, Mid City, Thoth, Bacchus, Proteus, Orpheus, Zulu and Rex. I love the truck parades down St. Charles.
The Krewe of Freret is back for 2014 after being gone for 2 decades! I’ve watched Freret when it rolled down Freret St. When I lived on Robert Street for a decade the Freret procession was my neighborhood parade.
The green movement has met Mardi Gras, and it’s resonating with the holiday. Most people realize that beads come from oil and from China and are one big waste of resources. They don’t compost very well either. Many organizations like ARC recycle beads and groups like verdigras.com strive to recycle, reduce and reuse.
Bring your Mardi Gras Beads to one of these following Arc locations:
925 S. Labarre Rd., Metairie
5700 Loyola Avenue, New Orleans
333 Sala Avenue, Westwego
3406 Hessmer Avenue, Metairie
Pontchartrain Center, Kenner
Neurological Rehabilitation Center, Covington
Whole Food Locations (Magazine & Veterans)
Mardi Gras World
Children’s Room, Main Library
Children’s Resource Center
Martin Luther King Branch
Forward leaning krewes like Krewe du Vieux and Chewbaccus make many of their throws by hand and use recycled materials in their throws.
CARNIVAL 2014 Parades
Feb. 15. Krewe of Bilge. Slidell.
Feb. 15. Krewe of Mona Lisa and MoonPie. Slidell.
Feb. 15. Krewe du Vieux. French Quarter/Marigny, New Orleans.
Feb. 15. Krewe Delusion. French Quarter, New Orleans.
Feb. 16. Krewe of Perseus. Slidell.
Feb. 16. Krewe of Little Rascals. Metairie.
Feb. 21. Krewe of Cork. French Quarter, New Orleans.
Feb. 21. Krewe of Oshun. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 21. Krewe of Cleopatra. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 21. Krewe of Excalibur. Metairie.
Feb. 21. Krewe of Eve. Mandeville.
Feb. 21. Krewe of Atlas. Metairie.
Feb. 22. The Mystic Knights of Adonis. West Bank.
Feb. 22. Knights of Nemesis. Chalmette.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Pontchartrain. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Pontchartrain. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Choctaw. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Freret. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 22. Knights of Sparta. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Caesar. Metairie.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Olympia. Covington.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Titans. Slidell.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Pygmalion. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 22. Krewe of Chewbacchus. Marigny, New Orleans.
Feb. 23. Krewe of Dionysus. Slidell
Feb. 23. Krewe of Carrollton. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 23. Krewe of King Arthur and Merlin. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 23. Krewe of Alla. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 23. Krewe of Tchefuncte. Madisonville.
Feb. 23. Krewe of Barkus. French Quarter, New Orleans.
Feb. 26. Krewe of Ancient Druids. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 26. Krewe of Nyx. Uptown, New Orleans
Feb. 27. Knights of Babylon. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 27. Krewe of Muses. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 27. Knights of Chaos. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Hermes. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 28. Krewe d’Etat. Uptown, New Orleans.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Selene. Slidell.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Centurions. Metairie.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Lyra. Covington.
Feb. 28. Krewe of Morpheus. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of NOMTOC. West Bank, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Iris. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Tucks. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Endymion. Mid-City, New Orleans.
March 1. Krewe of Isis. Metairie.
March 2. Krewe of Okeanos. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Mid-City. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Thoth. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Bacchus. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 2. Krewe of Napoleon. Metairie.
March 3. Krewe of Proteus. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 3. Krewe of Orpheus. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 3. Krewe of Hera. Metairie.
March 3. Krewe of Zeus. Metairie.
March 4. Krewe of Zulu. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Rex. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Argus. Metairie.
March 4. Krewe of Elks Orleans. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Crescent City. Uptown, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Elks Jefferson. Metairie.
March 4. Krewe of Jefferson. Metairie.
March 4. Societe de Ste. Anne. French Quarter, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe de Lune. French Quarter, New Orleans.
March 4. Krewe of Kosmic Debris. French Quarter, New Orleans.
March 4. Mondo Cayo. French Quarter, New Orleans.
We truly live in the age of the democratization of Mardi Gras krewes. No longer do you have to spend a thousand dollars or much more to participate in a Mardi Gras parade (Bacchus, Endymion, Muses). The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus charges around $40 to join. My own Krewe du Vieux is around $125. This is really a fantastic development, and it opens up the thrill of belonging to a krewe to so many more New Orleanians and regional folks.
Many of these alternative krewes cost nothing to join. If you show up in costume with a musical instrument while the Krewe of Kosmic Debris is rolling, you are in. If you have a fantastic costume, the Societe de Saint Anne will welcome you.
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is another inexpensive krewe, and it’s unique- You need a dog to participate. Barkus is a lot of fun- New Orleans is a very doggy city, and we really do get attached to our four legged friends.
Regular krewes hire float builders to build their parades. Alternative krewes generally build their floats themselves, and over time may become very good at their efforts.
Many alternative krewes consist of sub-krewes. I belong to the Krewe du Vieux, and my sub krewe is the Krewe of Underwear. Other KdV sub-krewes- Comatose, Drips and Discharges, and Seeds of Decline.
The Krewe of Cork has grown into a very substantial entity. Founded in 2000, the KoC has grown into a world-famous Mardi Gras and wine industry phenomenon. Krewe members gather on selected Fridays, usually the first Friday of each month, at restaurants throughout the area for T.G.I.C.D. (Thank Goodness It’s Cork Day).
The krewe’s two main events of the year are its Mardi Gras parade day festivities, and participation in the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience Royal Street Stroll. Throughout the year, the Krewe of Cork invites members to wine dinners and other special occasions, such as road trips and wine tastings.
Then there’s Better Than Ezra’s Krewe of Rocckus. Begun in 2011, Rocckus was formed to allow BTE’s fan base a way to celebrate Carnival with the band. Rocckus includes concerts, a brunch, second line parade, private parade viewing and a cruise on the Creole Queen.