Mardi Gras parade
2012 New Orleans Mardi Gras Forecast!! Part 20
The past year has seen a few upheavals in the topsy turvy world of Carnival. Blaine Kern Sr was knocked out of action by his son in the Louisiana Court of Appeals, you can thank Sr’s new bride for much of Mr Mardi Gras’ problems.
It doesn’t appear that any of the Kern’s major Mardi Gras float building accounts have moved on. Rex, Bacchus, Orpheus, Muses, Alla, Endymion are all built by Kern enterprises for decades.
Jefferson Parish began the slow process of upgrading their parades. This is a very good idea, as their parades had slid considerably since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
For 2012, Gretna loses their most historic Mardi Gras Day parade, Grela, the West Bank’s only local celebration on Fat Tuesday.
Gretna stopped funding Mardi Gras in April when officials had to choose between paying for Mardi Gras activities and giving money to the Gretna Heritage Festival.
Yes, Gretna Fest has grown into a really nice festival, but Grela is Jefferson Parish’s oldest Carnival krewe. Gretna Fest has a huge budget with the dozens of bands that play the several day festival. They have corporate funding, charge a cover charge to enter the Festival, and sell a lot of food, drinks, and beer. They certainly could have covered the $30,000 much much easier than Grela could, and this is an obvious fact the Council should have seen a mile off.
Therefore, a Carnival Jeer goes out to the Gretna City Council for backing the total wrong horse with this poor decision in April 2011. The krewe was founded in 1947 as a men’s club, but it changed its name to Grela, an acronym for Gretna, La.
Earlier this year Rhea, another Jefferson Parish krewe, called it quits. Rhea was formed in 1969, making this parade over 40 years old! It began as an all woman parade, but became coed in later years. Rhea was the first Jefferson parade to roll down Veterans Boulevard, and the one of the few Jefferson parades to hold their ball in the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.
One relatively new, local, and all male marching group, the 610 Stompers, marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Wow! The Stompers’ over the top dance routines flabbergasted Matt Lauer and Al Roker, it was a real New Orleans moment in New York City on national TV. They also appeared on the Hoda & Kathie Lee Show. That’s a lot of national attention for our homegrown group, and it’s well deserved!
From whereyat.com’s article on the Stompers-
What makes these men so special is not only their uncanny ability to entertain crowds, but also the motivation behind the uniforms. What started as a plan to start an all male dance school to help pay for their Saints season tickets in their namesake section 610, has turned into an incredible medium to have fun while help others. Underneath those mustaches of manliness lie men with hearts larger than most. Since their formation in 2009, the 610 Stompers have raised and donated over $100,000 to charity. They were asked to be this year’s “Corporate Chair” of the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Louisiana and Mississippi, released a Stomp Out Breast Cancer video with Touro Infirmary, and have partnered with over 13 local and national foundations where their dance moves have helped those less fortunate. They have mastered having fun with making a difference. At this year’s 610 Ball they gave $610 to each of over 20 local charities, which at first glance doesn’t seem like a lot. However, these grants more often doubled the charities’ operating budgets making a profound impact on our citizens and local community.
The first new full-fledged Carnival parade in Orleans Parish since before Hurricane Katrina, Nyx won approval from the City Council on a 6-0 vote to amend the 2012 calendar and schedule Nyx after the Druids parade on the Uptown route the Wednesday before Mardi Gras.
The city’s last new parading krewe was Morpheus in 2002, a year after Muses and the Knights of Chaos made their debuts.
From their web site:
“Three native New Orleans women always loved the traditions, pageantry, and fun of Mardi Gras. For years they admired the floats and loved the bands. They enjoyed how much the kids’ faces would light up when they caught stuffed or beaded treasures. The women adored how the crowds screamed to the riders “Throw me something!”
2012 forecast will continue with part 3 in the near future.
2012 New Orleans Mardi Gras Forecast!! part 1, Sports Influence0
Carnival 2012 ends February 21, 2012. By that time, one hell of party will take place. There are developments in the sports world that will help build the crescendo that occurs on Fat Tuesday.
LSU is playing for all the marbles against hated rival Alabama, whose butt they already kicked, 9-6! That’s why LSU is rated number 1, and Alabama is rated number 2. Next, the Alabama coach Lou Saban, used to coach LSU, before he left to go to AL. AL’s only loss this season is to LSU, and LSU is undefeated. That creates a lot of excitement for the BCS championship game in the Superdome January 9th. I predict LSU will win this game.
The New Orleans Saints are on a bit of a roll themselves. Quarterback Drew Brees beat a 27 year record for most yards thrown in a single season (completed passes only). The great Dan Marino held that record.
The Saints are finishing the season very, very strong. Both the offense and defense are rolling over each team, game after game as the regular season finishes up. The team’s superior conditioning is paying off with less injuries and a higher level of play as the season winds down.
A couple of seasons ago, when the Saints won the Super Bowl, they won their division early and lost the last few games of the season. They earned the extra week off (bye week) and played at home. The rest was very important, as was playing in the Super Dome. This year, because they lost a few games in the beginning of the season, they probably won’t earn the bye week and home field advantage.
All this adds to a huge Who Dat Nation push and buzz added to Carnival 2012.
On Sunday, Jan 23, the NFC Championship game will be played at 3:00 p.m. and the AFC Championship will be at 6:00.
Super Bowl XLV (45) will be at 6:30 p.m. ET on Feb 5 in Indianapolis. Mardi Gras is Feb 21. If we make it to the NFC Championship game, it’s within a month of Fat Tuesday.
I remember the year we won the Superbowl, Mardi Gras was as much a tribute to the Saints as could be. My number 1 parade that year was the special Saints Victory parade, which was so unique and traditional at once, it was a once in a decade parade experience.
I march with Krewe du Vieux in early February with the Krewe of Underwear, and I remember screaming that Super Bowl victory season Who Dat to the World!! and high fiving everyone as I passed them. KdV rolls Saturday, February 4, with the Super Bowl Sunday February 5.
Chances are with the way we are playing, we’ll make it the Championship Game again. The team has won 9 in a row, and they are setting records game after game.
Today, for the last game of the season, on January 1, 2012, the Saints won 45-17 over the Carolina Panthers. The Panthers scored 17 points in the first half, and zero points in the second. The Saints are on a major roll, and we have the home field advantage for the first playoff game. Here is the 2012 playoff schedule for January 7 & 8:
Saturday, Jan. 7
AFC: No. 6 Cincinnati Bengals (9-7) at No. 3 Houston Texans (10-6), 4:30 p.m. ET (NBC)
NFC: No. 6 Detroit Lions (10-6) at No. 3 New Orleans Saints (13-3), 8 p.m. ET (NBC)
Sunday, Jan. 8
NFC: No. 5 Atlanta Falcons (10-6) at New York Giants (9-7), 1 p.m. ET (FOX)
AFC: No. 5 Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4) at No. 4 Denver Broncos (8-8), 4:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
New Arty Carnival Krewe Seeks to Create New Breed of Parade!!0
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 email@example.com, or call 504-905-2830.
There are still krewe memberships available, check out kolossos.org
Jefferson Parish Tells Krewes- Time to Upgrade!!0
Since Hurricane Katrina, Jefferson Parish krewes enjoyed much lower standards, such as three bands per parade. That’s really not many for a full sized Mardi Gras parade. The parish has attempted previously to tighten the requirements, but between the storm and the recession, the new rules were relaxed.
However, a new day has dawned- the Parish Council has raised standards again, and that’s a good thing. For sure, the people of Jefferson are a fun loving group, and deserve more high school bands in their Carnival parades.
Naturally, some krewes are in favor of the upgrades, and some see them as a wrong step. The new rules bring the standards back in line to pre Katrina levels- 10 bands per parade. The council has offered the krewes a major bone with this change, telling them they only need to add one band per year, and they don’t have to do anything for Carnival 2012. From 2013 to 2019, they are required to add a band annually.
I think the Parish Council showed their restraint and wisdom with this move, and I applaud the attempt to upgrade the parades. There’s more to the new rules, and they all seem logical to me. Krewe members are now required to be in costume and masked, and float drivers (?) and horseback riders must abstain from drinking. Aren’t float drivers responsible for the safety of the krewe members on the float he or she is pulling? Isn’t drunk driving already very illegal in all 50 states of the Union?
Security concerns make for another new rule, this one should have been in force for years. All krewes are required to submit a complete list of all participants and their location on the floats, so if any unlawful behavior occurs on the route, they can hold the proper person responsible.
According to Sean Burke, director of the parish’s Citizen Affairs Department, which oversees the parades, his office has received an application for a new krewe for 2012, the first time since Katrina this has occurred.
According to Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng, although the krewes themselves are private, Carnival is a community tradition that needs to be protected lest parades become indistinguishable from other parades, such as the Irish-Italian parade and others, who aren’t regulated very much, and have few live bands.
One other new regulation has to do with music, but not live high school band music, instead the recorded music blaring off of many floats for the entertainment of the riders more than the crowd. Sheng recalled one band who refused to finish the parade because they were being drowned out by the canned music from the float. They aren’t banning recorded music, but it can no longer compete with the band.
Will Ferrell will Reign as Bacchus 2012!!0
When Bacchus rolls down St. Charles Avenue on Sunday night, February 19, 2012, Will Ferrell will be Bacchus 44. He’s in town filming a movie. I’m a big fan of Will, like most people are. He’s a movie star, major comedian, former Saturday Night Live! player, and now he will be here for Carnival as Bacchus 2012!
Zach Galifianakis and current “SNL” cast member Jason Sudeikis also co-star in “Dog Fight,” which started production in New Orleans on Halloween and is scheduled to continue filming through late January, with an eye toward a summer 2012 release. Other actors in the flick- John Lithgow and Dylan McDermott.