Posts tagged Carnival

The Democratization of Carnival!!


Chewbacchus costs $42 for an adult, and $21for a child. My own Krewe du Vieux is under $200. I don’t know what costs, but I know it’s very cheap.

What all this means is you can have one hell of a time from the inside of Mardi Gras krewe for not too many shekels. That’s real democracy in action!

Back in the day, krewes were both exclusive and costly. A super krewe such as Bacchus, Orpheus, and Endymion cost a small fortune, just for the throws. Is it more enjoyable to ride with a big, expensive krewe?  I think not, since I have ridden with Tucks several times and with KdV more than that.

All krewes are fun, and there are all kinds of krewes. Depending on your budget, there’s a lot of fun to be had. In my opinion, it’s a lot of fun to experience Carnival from a spectator’s vantage point, but it’s even more fun to ride or walk with your own krewe.

Float 4, Krewe du Vieux 2012

Float 4, Krewe du Vieux 2012

Tit Rex Float

'tit Rəx Float

Krewe of Chewbacchus Inaugural March Participants

Krewe of Chewbacchus Inaugural March Participants photo Ian McNulty



2012 New Orleans Mardi Gras Forecast!! part 1, Sports Influence


Indianapolis 2012 SuperBowl XLVI Logo

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.


Drew Brees and Shaun Payton and Super Bowl Trophy!!

Drew Brees, Sean Payton and Super Bowl Trophy!!

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.

Super Bowl Champs N.O. Saints Super Parade   AP

Super Bowl Champs N.O. Saints Super Parade AP

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)




Mardi Gras Stats Mashup Courtesy of, compiled by Margaret Rhodes

Mardi Gras Mash up

Mardi Gras Mash up

Military Mom Leads Campaign to Send Carnival to the Troops

Iraq Mardi Gras

Iraq Mardi Gras

Now in its fourth year, Operation Overseas Mardi Gras plans to send 1,500+ boxes filled with Carnival supplies to the troops in Afghanistan & Iraq. If you are interested in sending your own box, email mardigras at soldiersangels dot org for the address. Cherry Blackwell of Destrehan is running the program this year, covering for Tawny Tallo, who is in Basic Training.


1. Go to the Post Office and get the 12″×12″ flat rate box that says APO and FPO. It is free.

2. Pick up Customs Declaration and Dispatch Note (2976-A). List everything in your box on the form in detail.

3. Fill the box with Mardi Gras themed items (no pork products, liquids or obscenity); throws (not jumbled together);costumes, LA inspired food products, costumes, Mardi Gras decorations, and cards made by kids.

4. Place a nice note in the box with your return address on it.

5. Write Soldiers’ Angels Operation Overseas Mardi Gras on the side of the box.

6. E-mail us at MardiGras at soldiersangels dot org and you will be given the address to mail the items.

7. Head to the post office with customs form filled out and box of Mardi Gras cheer. Cost $12.50 to
mail and you must be present to mail it.

Shangri-La Gives Up the Ghost!!


Krewe of Shangri-La Crest

Sad day indeed when the former mighty Queens of St. Bernard Mardi Gras, the Krewe of Shangri-La, ceases to exist as a parading Krewe!

My family had a real blast during Shangri-La’s heyday in St. Bernard, with over 1,000 Krewe members riding in a huge parade with  around 38 units.  I’m talking about the mid 1980s, when the Krewe was at their mightiest.  By 1982, Shangri-La was the largest woman’s organization in the history of Carnival in New Orleans.

In another Mardi Gras life, I would see around 40 parades per season.  I had my own crazy Mardi Gras  posse- My wife Meg, her daughter Sharon, Sharon’s friend Tara, Tara’s brothers Hank and Eddie and Eddie’s friend Bruce.   We’d go see the parades in New Orleans very early, then hit St. Bernard, or Metairie, which had more parades in the 80s. We’d go to Slidell, the West Bank, anywhere to catch a local parade. We’d catch some parades at the start, some in the middle, and some at the end.  Fun, fun, fun was had by all.

We used to watch Shangri-La twice, once on St Bernard Highway, and then on Judge Perez Drive.  You catch way more throws that way.

One year I took the Posse out to St. Bernard for the then fabulous Shangri-La. On the way out, the skies opened up and it began to rain cats and dogs. We persevered, as did the parade. It was warm that evening, we were young, and didn’t mind getting soaked to catch a few beads.

The parade crowd dissipated, and the route was almost devoid of any spectators.  The krewe noticed we were almost the only folks out watching, and they dumped throws on us to show their appreciation. That is my wettest Mardi Gras Parade story, and I’ll never forget how generous the krewe was that night. It was the most throws we ever caught, and just about the most fun our posse ever had at the parades.

Shangri-La started in 1973 and paraded in Chalmette until 2000, when they moved to uptown to St. Charles Avenue. The krewe started admitting men into their ranks at this time.

St. Bernard was especially hard hit during Hurricane Katrina 5 years ago, receiving almost 25 feet of water, the most in the Metro Area.  The population was slow to return, which severely impacted Shangri-La’s membership.  Many members returned for the parade from out of town.  2 years ago, the krewe adjusted to the diminished membership by successfully transforming the street parade into a French Quarter carriage parade.

In 2010, a 45 unit parade ushered in Mardi Gras on the eve of Super Bowl 44. This was a very exciting time in New Orleans, and their final French Quarter stroll was fun.

During a July meeting, the Shangri-La Board voted unanimously  to become a Social Club and continue their philanthropic plans.  After 37 years, the once fabulous Shangri-La Carnival Club ceases parading. They live on the web at Krewe of Shangri-La.

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