KdV 2012 Party Poster

KdV 2012 Party Poster

Under the night sky and perfect weather, the fabulous, one of a kind, historic Krewe du Vieux rolled through the historic Marigny and French Quarter. My Krewe of Underwear, with a donkey pulling the float and a great brass band behind the float, joined the procession as float #6. Our krewe’s theme was “Bayou Beautox.”

2012 Krewe of Underwear Float, entitled Bayou Beautox

2012 Krewe of Underwear Float, entitled Bayou Beautox

Regular Mardi Gras parades in Orleans Parish are banned from the French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny since the 1970’s, their big tractors and super floats couldn’t allow emergency vehicles to pass freely around the Quarter.

I’m in a Parade Referee, meaning I’m supposed to stay sober and guard the floats. I keep parade watchers from joining the parade enroute; keep the crowds back while the parade rolls by; and report any medical or dangerous to parade management or police, depending on the situation. I’ve been doing this job for a number of years, and I’ve never had a drink while the parade is rolling and most years I don’t drink at all.

2012 PARADE BRASS BANDS

Lagniappe
Pinettes
Kinfolk
TBC
New Birth
Jazzmen
Bone Tone
Young Fellaz
Paulin Bros
Baby Boyz Brass Band
Stooges Brass Band
One Mind
Panorama
The Tornados
Free Agents
Treme Brass Band
Egg Yolk Jubilee
Hot Eight Brass band
Down and Dirty

The after party was a musical blast! The Brass Band Jam was unbelievable!!

Krewe du Vieux Doo
February 4, 2012
2830 Royal Street
Door opens at 9:00

With close to 1,000 total members, the parade has grown in popularity to the point that a new member can join only when another drops out. It rolled Saturday night through Faubourg Marigny and the French Quarter.

Drips and Discharges‘ 20th anniversary formed a large part of the design for this year’s float, with signs and photos recalling themes of parades past, including “Star Whores” and “Drips and Discharges Are Porn Again.”

For people in an occupation that can often be extremely stressful, the parade provides a creative outlet, subkrewe captain Eileen McKeown said, and a “chance to let our hair down and be a little crazy and forget about it all.”

Krewe du Vieux, now in its 26th year, takes great pride in its uniqueness. It alone, the nonprofit organization boasts on its website, “carries on the old traditions of Carnival celebrations, by using decorated mule-drawn floats with satirical themes, accompanied by costumed revelers dancing in the streets to the sounds of jazzy street musicians.”

This year, under the “Mutha” krewe theme of “Crimes Against Nature,” Drips and Discharges decided to take aim at a German automaker’s appropriation of the Superdome, now known as the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

“We thought it was a crime against nature that the Germans own part of New Orleans,” McKeown said of the “Benz Over” theme.

The Dome’s new name came as a surprise to most Orleanians last fall, overnight giving the city’s most famous building a new sign, a new name, a new sponsor and a gigantic light-projected symbol of the foreign automobile manufacturer.

“It’s just business,” said float captain Ellis Chappell, and not entirely unexpected. But nothing is off limits for Krewe du Vieux when it comes to poking fun at the year’s happenings. “If some happy little German company gives you $10 million you go for it,” said Chappell, who, alongside his son Reed, a comic-book artist, spent a week carving a “Superdome with ass cheeks” out of styrofoam for the float.

Chappell said the Drips’ theme meetings are “fueled by pitchers of mojitos,” and the ideas get better with each pitcher.

Krewe members Saturday night wore lederhosen and plastic butt hats and carried staffs topped with the Mercedes-Benz symbol.

McKeown, a physician recruiter, joined Aiken and approximately 30 others in Drips’ 1993 founding march. She said her favorite part of the night is when she hears the opening beats of the brass bands, 19 in total, at the start of the parade. “Your adrenaline starts rolling and never stops,” she said.

Other satirical “Crimes Against Nature” themes included the Krewe of Comatose’s “Dollar General Hospital,” aimed at the leveling of a Mid-City neighborhood for new hospitals; the Krewe of Rue de Bourbon’s “We Are the 1 Percent”; and the Krewe of Underwear’s “Bayou Beautox.”

Also in the lineup were several apocalypse-related themes, including the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E’s (Committee to Revive Urban Decadent Entertainment) “HEY a-POCKY-lypto WAY,” featuring the 2012 Mayan Calendar girls.

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