Archive for January, 2012

A New Financial Order Comes to Slidell Area Parades!!


I have been going to Slidell for decades for parades, friends and clients. Slidell’s krewe of Claude is the first major parade of the Carnival season. It seemed after Katrina that Slidell’s growth was speeding to some sort of record. Welcome to the future, Slidell might be big but they are obviously suffering financial problems, as they are telling the local krewes to pay half of cleanup and security for their parades.

Only six of the eight krewes have to pay. These krewes share the main parade route. Digging a little deeper, sales tax revenues started dipping in 2007 and continued until 2010, the last figures released. It turns out that city and parade officials have been working on a new Mardi Gras ordinance for fifteen months, but it hasn’t been introduced and won’t be considered until after Carnival.

Meanwhile Mandeville recently waived billing its four Carnival krewes, which comes to approximately $70,000 in parade costs.

Slidell's Krewe of Claude Rolls 2011

Slidell's Krewe of Claude Rolls 2011

Krewe of Claude with LSU Football Team Members

Krewe of Claude with LSU Football Team Members Photo by Eliot Kamenitz, The Times-Picayune

There are other factors influencing this situation, such as the delayed opening of Slidell’s new municipal auditorium, the replacement for the trashed building caused by Hurricane Katrina. This forces the Slidell krewes to come up with a replacement site for this season’s balls. One ended up in a vacant food store, another is holding their ball after the season ends.

It seems someone needs to do an economic study of Slidell’s Mardi Gras krewes impact on the local economy to settle the big issue here, just how important the krewes are to the parish’s bottom line.



2012 Orleans Parish Mardi Gras Parade Schedule

Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans

Mardi Gras Parade in New Orleans

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve cut down on the parades on the North Shore, West Bank, Metairie, etc. I focus on the myriad of parades in my own backyard, Orleans Parish, my home since I was a Senior at Cornell. Here’s the schedule for Orleans Parish-


  • Krewe of Cork at 3pm in the French Quarter
  • Krewe of Oshun Uptown 6:00pm


  • Krewe of Pontchartrain Uptown 2:00 p.m.
  • ‘tit Rəx Bywater 5:30 p.m.
  • Knights of Sparta Uptown 6:00 p.m.
  • Krewe of Pygmalion Uptown 6:45 p.m.


  • Krewe of Carrollton Uptown 12:00 p.m.
  • Krewe of King Arthur Uptown 1:15 p.m.
  • Mystic Krewe of Barkus French Quarter 2:00 p.m. This parade is all for dogs.


  • Krewe of Ancient Druids Uptown 6:30 p.m.
  • Krewe of Nyx Uptown 7pm


  • Knights of Babylon, Uptown 5:45
  • Krewe of Chaos, Uptown 6:30
  • Krewe of Muses, Uptown 6:30


  • Divine Protectors of Endangered Pleasures or DIVA French Quarter 1:30 p.m.
  • Knights of Hermes Uptown 6:00 p.m.
  • D’Etat- Uptown, 6:00 p.m.
  • Krewe of Morpheus Uptown 7:00 p.m.


  • Iris – Uptown, 11:00 a.m.
  • Tucks – Uptown, 12:00 p.m.
  • Endymion – Mid City, 4:15 p.m.
  • Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, Central City and CBD, 5:00 p.m.


  • Okeanos – Uptown, 11:00 a.m.
  • Mid-City – Uptown, 11:45 p.m.
  • Thoth – Uptown, 12:00 a.m.
  • Bacchus- Uptown, 5:15 p.m.


  • Proteus- Uptown, 5:15 p.m.
  • Orpheus – Uptown, 6:00 p.m.
  • Lundi Gras Celebration


  • Zulu- Uptown, 8:00 a.m.
  • Rex – Uptown, 10:00 a.m.
  • Elks Orleans – Uptown, 11:30 a.m.
  • Crescent City – Uptown, follows Elks

Mardi Gras Parade Rules of Conduct!!


There is nothing like Carnival in New Orleans. We have more parties, balls, parades, and events than any other Carnival City in the world. Therefore, following a few common sense rules will help all enjoy the festivities all the more.

1. Watch parking around parades Parking legally is more important than ever, as meter maids track parades big time and ticket on both sides of the parade. Neutral ground parking, which works when it rains real hard, doesn’t fly for parades.

2. Drinking and Mardi Gras  Booze and Carnival are certainly kissing cousins. Beer, wine, and hard booze are all featured each and every day of the Carnival season. Those that imbibe a bit much should call a cab! It’s way cheaper than a DUI.

3. Parade Watching  Most parades, especially the Super Krewes, have very large crowds. Acting mature is the secret; no one meant to run into you while jumping for a neat throw. Keeping your cool and a good attitude is paramount for maximum enjoyment. Stomping on anyone in pursuit of a hot throw is verboten.

4. Special Parade Cases  The old, very young, infirm and handicapped all love parades as much as anyone. If they sit in the front to watch the parades, please give them some space.

Children Having Fun During Mardi Gras Parade

Children Having Fun During Mardi Gras Parade

5. Getting Lost  Prevent it by making certain that everyone has a common meeting place, and has the funds and instructions for getting there or getting home. Pin name, address and phone number tags on small children. Police routinely gather up small children and take them to a central area, usually a mobile unit on Canal Street or St. Charles Avenue.

6. Bathrooms There is money in the bathroom business during Carnival parade season. On Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue, where most parades line up, there are a number of schools along the route uptown that offer indoor bathrooms or neat port-o-lets for a buck a session, or 5 or 10 bucks for the day/evening. Sophie B. Wright Charter sells fish/chicken plates with bread, macaroni & cheese, peas, and cake. They also have indoor bathrooms for a buck a time.

7. Grandstand Parade Viewing Area The City of News Orleans annually sells Grandstand tickets for most parades. Seating for parades as shown in the map below can be purchased through Ticketmaster.

Grandstand Seating Downtown New Orleans During Painting

Grandstand Seating Downtown New Orleans During Painting

Grandstand Parade Viewing Areas

Downtown New Orleans Grandstand Parade Viewing Areas

New Orleans Parking
New Orleans Parking

Parking in New Orleans can be challenging, considering the millions of visitors who visit by car every year. Even local residents find the parking rules of the city daunting.

The many commercial lots in the French Quarter can usually accommodate enough visitors on a given day. At a few locations within the French Quarter, Early Bird specials are available to motorists ranging from $7.00 to $10.00 all day. With Early Bird deals, however, the driver needs to park by 9:00 A.M. and leave by 6:00 P.M. and cannot leave the parking lot before 3 PM.

After 9:00 a.m., prices rise considerably: hourly rates can run as much as $10.00 in some areas. Please check the hourly rate before deciding where to park.

More daring motorists willing to troll for a space on the street should remember the most important rule of parking in New Orleans: READ PARKING SIGNS CAREFULLY! Rules can change from neighborhood to neighborhood, and some violations can be very costly.

Violations range from $20 at an expired meter and $40 for parking too close to a corner, to $75 for parking on the median (called a “neutral ground” in New Orleans), $200 for parking on the sidewalk in the French Quarter, and $500 for parking boats or trailers in unauthorized areas (which is almost everywhere in the city limits).

Parking Offenses

  • Blocking driveways or fire lanes
  • On sidewalks or neutral grounds
  • Near fire hydrants (within 15 feet)
  • On corners and crosswalks (within 20 feet)
  • In loading and service zones (buses and cab zones too)
  • On a parade route within two hours of a parade
  • During rush hours (7-9 a.m., 4-6 p.m.) on major streets
  • On street cleaning days (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. – Noon)
  • At bagged meters (during special events) and broken meters
  • Near railroad crossings (within 50 feet)
  • On-street for more than 24 consecutive hours
  • Vehicles longer than 22 feet overnight in the Central Business District
  • On a narrow street without allowing 10 feet of unobstructed roadway
  • More than 18 inches from the curb
  • Having 3 or more unpaid parking violations.

If your car is towed away (we’re sorry, but it happens), contact the Claiborne Auto Pound at (504) 565-7450.

Parking Meters

The city has modernized many of its parking meters, and some now accept dollar bills and credit cards which give you a printed receipt to place on your car dashboard. AS OF MARCH 2010, REGULAR TWO-HOUR METERS COST $1.50/HOUR AND LONG-TERM METERS (UP TO 10 HOURS) COST $1.00/HOUR. BOTH TYPES OF METERS ARE ENFORCED FROM 8 A.M. – 6 P.M. MONDAY – SATURDAY. Parking is prohibited at meters in designated rush hour zones from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Please read the meters before you park! Also know that broken meters are not free passes. They are technically off-limits and could land you a ticket!

Handicapped Parking

Don’t park in Handicap Zones without an official handicapped license plate. Drivers in rental cars may obtain a special handicapped placard by calling (504) 483-4610.

Park-N-Shop Lots

Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.


Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.

Two Central Business District shuttles routes are available. Please call for rates and shuttle information.

Park N Ride
900 Howard Avenue
(504) 307-5726

There are two Howard Ave Park and Ride shuttles that run every 6 minutes between 6am – 9:30am and 4pm – 6:30pm. The shuttle driver  is also on call between 9:30 am – 4 pm at 504-307-5726.

The shuttle leaves from the lot at 922/932 Howard, next to WDSU Channel 6, and costs $4/day or $75/month (monthly passes can only be purchased at the beginning of the month). It makes 3 stops:

  1. O’Keefe and Poydras
  2. St. Charles and Poydras
  3. Girod and St. Charles

Fulton Street Garage
901 Convention Center
(504) 891-2897

Drivers can also park outside the downtown area preferably near a Streetcar route, either at parking lot for a fee or on the street, and ride the Streetcar to their destination.


Parking is free on “meter” holidays observed by the City of New Orleans:

  • New Year’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Martin L. King, Jr. Day
  • Labor Day
  • Mardi Gras Day (the day before Ash Wednesday)
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Christmas Day

Airport Parking

Louis Armstrong International Airport offers plenty of safe, affordable, covered parking connected directly to the main terminal. For rates and more information, visit:

Numbers to Know

General Parking Questions & Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Administrative Hearing Center: (504) 658-8004, (504) 658-8005
Booting: (504) 565-7451
Towing Information/Auto Pound: (504) 565-7451
Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200

Thanks to New Orleans online for the above More Parking Information.


REX to Introduce New Butterfly King Float!!!

Rex Butterfly King Float, New for 2012

Rex Butterfly King Float, New for 2012

First new float for REX in 30 years, that’s quite a while. I’m talking about custom REX floats that they reuse each year, like the Jester, Boeuf Gras, etc. floats. The Butterfly King is a historic figure going back well over 100 years.

The Butterfly King, a mythical figure that symbolizes the transient nature of Mardi Gras, will be represented by a permanent float in the Rex parade, starting with this year’s procession on Feb. 21. The monarch, a tubby, bewigged individual with multicolored wings, has been used by the Rex organization in designs and invitations for 130 years. The float, which is designed to carry 24 riders, is the first permanent addition to the krewe’s Fat Tuesday parade in about 30 years, Rex archivist Stephen Hales said.

Jonathan Bertuccelli, a member of a float-building family from Viareggio, Italy, is building the float, which will feature flapping wings for the king. His father, Raul Bertuccelli, was discovered by Mardi Gras mogul Blaine Kern in the 1960s, when Kern was studying European celebrations. Bertuccelli and his family moved to New Orleans in 1977 to work with Kern.

Jonathan Bertuccelli, a member of a float-building family from Viareggio, Italy, is building the float, which will feature flapping wings for the king. His father, Raul Bertuccelli, was discovered by Mardi Gras mogul Blaine Kern in the 1960s, when Kern was studying European celebrations. Bertuccelli and his family moved to New Orleans in 1977 to work with Kern.

Viareggio, Italy Coast Line

Viareggio Coast Line

Viareggio, Italy Carnival Float

Viareggio Carnival Float of the Provocative Singer Renato Zero.

The Viareggio floats are huge, they are often taller than the buildings along the promenade. People who see them for the first time are usually impressed by their size, which was unexpected. But they are also beautiful and extremely complex. It takes about a year to make one of them. The creator is often a renowned local artist, a painter whose float carries his signature as if it were a painting or sculpture.


While the parade rolls, circling the seafront, the float is animated from within by several people who operate the mechanisms that make heads on the float turn, eyes roll, mouths open and smile, arms and legs raise, birds spread their wings, and every little detail come to life.


2012 Carnival Season Update – Krewe du Vieux!!!

Updated KdV 2012 Party Poster

Updated KdV 2012 Party Poster

Mardi Gras preparations are in full swing!  My krewe marches 2.5 miles around the Marigny in under 2 weeks!! I’m very excited to say the least!!

All of Krewe du Vieux’s floats are mule-drawn. All the bands, and each float has their own live marching band- are brass bands. While the krewe throws a krewe cup and wooden nickel, each float generally has their own throw central to that float’s theme.

KdV is the most ribald by far of all the satirical parades. Large paper mache genitalia -6 feet tall in some cases- decorate many floats. Each has their own take on the krewe theme, for 2012 the krewe theme is ‘Crimes Against Nature’.

What is Krewe du Vieux? Thanks to Krewe du Vieux for some of the content below.

The Krewe du Vieux is a New Orleans Mardi Gras or Carnival krewe, originally and more fully known as the Krewe du Vieux Carre (“Vieux Carre” being another term for the city’s French Quarter). It is one of the earliest parades of the New Orleans Carnival calendar, and is noted for wild satirical and adult themes, as well as for showcasing some of the best Brass and Jazz Bands in New Orleans. Originally, KdV was the Krewe of Clones, and was sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Center. It was very wild, as the person in charge of letting the floats out of the CAC den and onto Camp Street would get plastered. After one year as a member, we figured out that we could dress up our old VW van as an elephant or giraffe and just join the krewe as part of the procession. This was a really fun event for the few years it lasted.

Krewe of Clones 1979 Poster

Krewe of Clones 1979 Poster Featuring the Radiators!

Deon Haywood named Queen of Krewe du Vieux 2012
Women With a Vision's Deon Haywood

Women With a Vision's Deon Haywood

It takes a special kind of person to be the Queen of Krewe du Vieux. It also takes a special kind of person to devote herself to fighting for the rights of some of our society’s most neglected members: women, primarily of color, poor, often not well educated, sometimes addicted to drugs, many of them sex workers, no small number the victims of abuse.

This kind of work requires vision – which happens to be a specialty of Deon Haywood, Executive Director of Women With A Vision and the Queen of Krewe du Vieux 2012.

Women With a Vision Logo

Women With a Vision Logo

“I’m truly honored and excited to be the Queen,” quoth she. “What better Krewe to roll with? Krewe du Vieux is the only group of people that can truly make fun of the screwed-up kinds of laws we have in this state.” (Not to mention violate large numbers of those laws at the same time.)

Here’s my Krewe of Underwear float from 2010-

Krewe of Underwear 2010 Float

Krewe of Underwear 2010 Float

Krewe of Clones Wooden Nickel, Circa 1980

Krewe of Clones Wooden Nickel, Circa 1980


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