Archive for December, 2011

New Arty Carnival Krewe Seeks to Create New Breed of Parade!!

new Mardi Gras Krewe of Kolossos

new Mardi Gras Krewe of Kolossos

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.

Krewe of Kolossos float

Krewe of Kolossos float

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.

Zulu Coconut Muses Shoe 2009

Zulu Coconut Muses Shoe 2009


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, or call 504-905-2830.

There are still krewe memberships available, check out


Bearded Oyster Ladies at Krewe of O.A.K. event

Bearded Oyster Ladies at Krewe of O.A.K. event photo courtesy of


Jefferson Parish Tells Krewes- Time to Upgrade!!


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.

Edna Karr Band at Zulu 2009

Edna Karr Band at Zulu 2009

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.

The late Harry Lee & His Daughter, Cynthia Lee-Sheng

The late Harry Lee & His Daughter, Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng

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!!


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.

Bacchus 2012 Will Ferrell

Bacchus 2012 Will Ferrell

My Super Mardi Gras Recipes 3


World’s simplest cheese cake!!

I came up with this recipe as an undergraduate at Cornell University, and gave it to my roommate, Kenny R.  I then proceeded to lose the recipe, only to get it back from Kenny years later.  Since then, I’ve made this delicious, creamy cheese cake for numerous Mardi Gras events, and it never fails to get eaten!

19 oz cream cheese

1 c sugar

3 eggs, added 1 at a time

1 T lemon juice

1 t vanilla

Pour into a 9″ graham cracker crust and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes, let cool and ENJOY!!

David Eyre’s Pancake!!

A favorite recipe of my family for dozens of years, got this from a friend from Cornell. YUM!! We generally double the recipe.

1/2 c flour

1/2 c milk

2 eggs, lightly beaten

large pinch nutmeg

4 T butter

2 T confectioners suger

juice from 1/2 lemon or lime

Mix flour, milk, eggs, & nutmeg. Beat lightly, leaving a few lumps. Melt butter in 12″ skillet with heatproof handle.  Pour batter into skillet  in 425 oven. Cook 15 minutes (or less) until pancake is golden brown. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and lemon juice and serve.

David Eyre's Pancake

David Eyre's Pancake

My Super Mardi Gras Recipes 2


Celebration in the Oaks Preview Party at City Park was a huge success for the event and us.  We had a blast and accomplished all our pre show goals. Ate some amazing food, and tee totaled the giant booze giveaway no problem.  I was much fresher when we ran out of andouille and smoked sausage after 2 hours. The 2011 version of Celebration in the Oaks looked fantastic, and the “it’s snowing!” oak tree was really the best new attraction I saw.

Snow Falling Oak Tree at Celebration in Oaks

Snow Falling Oak Tree at Celebration in Oaks

This chocolate cake recipe is an extension of my mother’s one pan easy chocolate cake. I add more baking chocolate and more chocolate bit topping, and I call this version Decadent Chocolate Cake. I’ve been making it for25+ years this way.


I use a Corning Ware glass covered pan, 9 3/4″ x 9 3/4″.

Mix together 1/3 c oil, 1 egg, 1 1/4 c flour, 1 c sugar, 3 squares unsweetened baking chocolate (melted 1 minute at a time in the microwave), 1 t vanilla, 1 t baking soda, 1/2 t salt, and 3/4 c water. Mix with a fork until mostly smooth. Sprinkle 1 c  semi sweet chocolate bits over the top, covering the entire surface. I use Mexican vanilla and mini chocolate bits all the time. The little bits provide better coverage since there is so many more of them in 1 cup.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes until done (stick toothpick in pan center away from any chocolate bits and if it comes out clean, it’s done), cover with glass top immediately after removing from oven.

HUMMUS favorite recipe for a long time. Great for making in advance and serving during parades. Add seasoning to taste and enjoy!

Ingredients- 1 c cooked chick peas, 1 c tahini, 2 T oil, juice of 2 lemons, 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced, salt & pepper to taste, chopped parsley.

Mash chick peas in blender or food processor. Add remaining ingredients except parsley. Blend until smooth. Garnish with parsley.

hummus with parsley garnish & pita chips, fresh veggies

hummus with parsley garnish & pita chips, fresh veggies

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