Krewe du Vieux 2010

Krewe du Vieux is Fired Up!!

Krewe Website:

Parade Rolls January 30th, 2010  6:30 pm

August 5, 2009  FIRE AT THE KREWE DU VIEUX DEN!!  Here’s my post that day:

Got this from one of the New Orleans bloggers: Just got home. Fire trucks everywhere. KdV Den fire. Seeds, Lewd and TOKIN floats are toast. Fire out now. Looked in for a sec before being shooed away. Front right corner of the den is just pretty much gone–I mean the stuff that was in that corner. Wanted to take pics but wasn’t allowed. Will try to get over there again. No word on the cause.

KdV fire damaged area

KdV Seeds after den fire

January 12, 2010- I’m happy to report the damaged floats are repaired, and the krewe is putting the finishing touches on all floats as they prepare to roll in a couple of weeks.

No parade heralds the start of the Orleans Parish Parade Season more than KdV. I’m an escort in the parade, as I was last year. That means I’m float and krewe security while the parade rolls. I get to photo the krewe and the den before the parade, interview key krewe leaders.

Before there was KdV, there was its predecessor, Krewe of Clones.  Clones grew directly out of the Contemporary Arts Center. The CAC ran the parade, and the parade staging area was the CAC parking lot on Camp Street. It was an arty, satirical parade from the start. I still have an original Krewe of Clones T shirt with the theme Barbie & Ken go to the World’s Fair.

After watching the parade one year in front of the CAC, we noticed the CAC Parade Marshall was drinking heavily over the couple of hours it took the parade to leave the staging parking lot.

The next year, we hatched a plan to crash the parade with our own float, taking advantage of  the Marshall’s inebriation. We decorated our VW van into an elephant float by dying some sheets gray, and constructing a paper mache trunk, ears, and tail.

The night of the parade, we drove our float into position next to the CAC.  When the parade was almost out of the staging area, we took advantage of the loose formation conditions, and drove our float straight onto the route. The Parade Marshall waved us on. For the next few years, we morphed that old van into other animals, and continued to crash the parade until the Marshall ‘retired’.

As stated, I’m in the Krewe of Underwear. Here, straight from the Krewe’s of Underwear website is the rest of the story:

The Krewe of Underwear was founded in [the early 1980s] as a sub-krewe of the storied Krewe of Clones. This wild, satirical Carnival parade, which first marched in 1978, was based out of New Orleans’ Contemporary Arts Center.

Unfortunately, in 1986, infighting among the Krewe/CAC leadership, combined with pressures from the City due to the parade occurring the night before the Super Bowl was to be played in New Orleans, caused the untimely demise of the Krewe of Clones. Not wishing to be denied a good time or any excuse for wild excess, the Krewe of Underwear along with another Clones sub-krewe, the Krewe of Mama Roux, held a “Clone Funeral”. An anatomically correct (and erect) clone was created and placed on a funeral cart, and a short march to a party site was planned.

At the last minute, the individual most responsible for the entire problem got word of the plans, and called the police on the unauthorized march. Informed by New Orleans’ finest that they could not march in the street, since that would block traffic, the Underwearians and their fellow mourners marched on the sidewalk, while eleven police cars rolled along next to them, blocking the street far more effectively than the marchers ever could have.

That same year, two other Clones sub-krewes, the Seeds of Decline and the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., held their own informal march on Mardi Gras itself, in the French Quarter. After Carnival was over that year, the two groups got together, established an official parade date (three Saturdays before Mardi Gras, the old Clones date), and received permission to march in the French Quarter. Thus was born the Krewe du Vieux Carre (the old, French name for the Quarter), now shortened to Krewe du Vieux. The first Captain of Krewe du Vieux was Underwear’s own Craig “Spoons” Johnson.

As a founding sub-krewe of Krewe du Vieux, Underwear is a leader in theme and float creativity, satire, obscenity, and general crazed celebration. Instantly recognizable by the long, red union suits that are the basis of Underwear apparel (not to mention the only underwear ever worn by most krewe members), the Krewe of Underwear takes on political follies, social norms and a large amount of alcohol every year in the best parade in New Orleans, the Krewe du Vieux.