Posts tagged Carnival

Gigantic New Orleans Saints Parade Today

Sean Payton holding Lombardi Trophy from Car Sun Roof        Patrick Semansky / AP

In the middle of the 2010 Carnival Season, our New Orleans Saints managed to kick butt on the favored Indianapolis Colts, and win the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time in their 44 year history.  A parade has been planned since the Saints entered the playoffs, win or lose. We WON, so count on a big, oversized, extremely crowded parade. The route is entirely downtown, and slightly shorter than the traditional Carnival parade route down St. Charles Avenue.

It was estimated by police that up to 15,000 Saints fans came out to New Orleans International Airport to greet the team on their return from Miami, where Super Bowl 44 was played. Based on that enthusiasm, you can expect the Saints Parade to draw crowds comparable to Endymion. The route is entirely down town, and slightly shorter than the traditional St. Charles route.

Very cold weather and blustery winds generally cut Mardi Gras crowds up to one half.  It’s quite possible tonight’s Saints Parade will have smaller crowds as well.

Floats for the Saints Parade are being donated from the major Mardi Gras Parading Krewes, including Bacchus, Endymion, Alla, & Zulu. According to Blaine Kern Productions, producer for the parade, the Super Bowl Saints Parade will be the greatest, over the top Super Bowl Parade ever.  However, the throws won’t be Saints logo throws, as all of those were purchased over the last several months as the Saints became hotter than a pistol.  I hear that the Saints players will throw some NFL footballs- apparently, they control a good supply. As for bands, the best local Parade bands- U.S. Marine Marching Band,  St. Augustine, Jesuit, McDonough 35, Carver, St. Mary’s Academy, and many more. The Budweiser Clydesdales are making a special appearance as well.

I could not have asked for a better outcome of last weekend. Mardi Gras is in full swing. What happened last weekend? The populace of New Orleans came to their collective senses in the voting booths, and threw away the politics of race and divisiveness. An amazing 67% of voters chose a white candidate, Mitch Landrieu.  Why? There are a couple of key reasons.  First, he was the best candidate by far. Second, buyers remorse. Landrieu lost closely to Ray Nagin in the last Mayor’s election, and after 4 more years of terrible Nagin, voters realized this weekend that they chose the wrong horse last time and the City suffered badly with a non-caring, do nothing.  If Landrieu had been Mayor instead the last 4 years since Katrina, New Orleans would be in a much better place now, instead the recovery is half finished and half baked.

The voters had very stark differences between the Mayoral Candidates. Landrieu is an experienced politician with a Sister who’s a US Senator from Louisiana, and another Sister who is a Judge. His Dad was Mayor in the 70s and desegregated City Hall and Government. All the other candidates were political novices with with either business experience, the law, but no politics to speak of, and no relatives in very high political office.

Saints Super Bowl Parade photo dsb

dsb nola

What Happened to Sparta??


Sparta Crest in Tiles at Mardi Gras Fountain

Saw Sparta last night on St. Charles Avenue. It was a cold and windy night, and I was counting on warming myself up at the Lighting of  the Flambeaux  that DIDN’T take place last night.

Flambeaux Lighting 2009 photo by neworleansmusicman

Where were the flambeaux? Where was the lighting?

What’s up with Sparta? Inquiring Mardi Gras Bloggers want to know….

After the first few traditional floats, such as the Captain’s Float, the floats were attractive  but they didn’t have the usual old time look and there were fewer bands. The whole parade passed in well under one hour, which is remarkably fast for any parade down St. Charles Avenue, even Sparta, which always hurtles down the Avenue.

Here’s a passage from the official web site for the Knights of Sparta

A spectacular signature float, a mule-drawn king’s float, traditional flambeaux, and mounted officers are just a few of the wonderful features of the Knights of Sparta street parade each year.

Photo by David Gladow

Alice in Wonderland Float, Knights of Sparta 2010

Biggest Weekend Since….


This weekend features 3 major events: the Super Bowl featuring our own long suffering New Orleans Saints; the end of a horrible, terrible political era- the primary election to get rid of Mayor Ray Nagin; the beginning of the 10 big days of Carnival- Major parades commence mostly every day right through Mardi Gras Day, Tuesday, February 16.


Enough’s been written about New Orleans Saints first appearance in the Super Bowl. It’s been 43 years since the Saints were formed, and the Crescent City has suffered through decades of bad teams, starting with the original owner, John Mecum, Jr., who never understood the game of professional football very well.  Finally Tom Benson, who made his money in San Antonio, Texas selling cars, bought the team from Mecum.  A new era began, but the Saints still took a couple of decades to reach 2010, the year the Saints shook off shackles, real or imagined, and made it to the Big Game in Miami.

Mayor Ray Nagin has been the worst mayor in decades. He was the mayor of record when Hurricane Katrina hit on August 30, 2005. His actions over the last few years have retarded New Orleans recovery. Good riddance to Mayor Ray Nagin.  The election on Saturday will start the process of getting rid of this miserable politician.

Horrible NOLA Mayor Ray Nagin

Last but not least, it’s the first big weekend of Carnival 2010. Parades roll throughout the New Orleans Metro Area. Due to the Super Bowl, some parades have changed starting times, one has cancelled, and at least one has switched days.

Krewe of Bacchus' Bacchusaurus passes Gallier Hall

2010 Mardi Gras Throw Predictions & 2009 Round Up


2008 Muses Hand Decorated Shoe Throw

2009 Green Scull Float, Krewe d'Etat

Throws are getting more sophisticated every year. Throw variety stagnated for decades, but now, certain forward leaning Krewes are pushing the throw envelope in exciting new directions. Most novel throws are novelty in nature, but some are functional as well. The clear leaders in 2009  were Krewe of Muses and Krewe d’Etat. Muses had more depth and breath of new throws than any other krewe last year in MG history hands down. d’Etat had the number 1 overall throw, but no depth or breath to speak of.

The clear functional and fun winner last year, d’Etat’s crowning achievement, the 3D 360 lenticular, full color  Super Cup.  Obviously the most fun, functional MG cup ever!  My hat’s off to d’Etat’s throw innovation. Here’s to 2010!

Now to the overall winner by a country mile, Muses. Egad, what an elegant krewe, cooler than cool, all New Orleans and all good things about New Orleans. Innovation across the board- more original, new throws than all the other krewes together! Keeping Mardi Gras Throws innovative and fresh into the new decade!!

Throw innovation is only one of the games of Muses, the largest and baddest of all the woman’s krewes.  In their prime in the mid 1980s, Shangri La in Chalmette was a mighty all-female krewe, with over 1,000 members. However, their membership declined since Katrina, and chose not to parade in 2009.

Muses began parading as an all-female krewe in 2001. Staci Rosenberg is founder and captain of Muses. In just eight short years, Muses is at the absolute top of the New Orleans krewes in terms of creativity and numbers of throws. No other krewe comes close to matching the depth and breadth of their throws. They also are one of the largest krewes in terms of membership, with 1,500 members.

Muse’s personalized throws from 2008 (incomplete list): oversized logo powder puff, working lava lamp key chain, Muse comic book ( “SuperMuse”), full size decorated woman’s shoes, shoe medallion bracelets,  roller skate medallions, Muses LED-Fan, Muses glitter stick-on fashion accessory, lighted shoe medallions, Muses Night Fever (parade theme), lighted medallion, plastic crystal lighted heart medallion, soft spear, headband, disco ball medallion, song spoofs and lyrics booklet, regular logo beads, and more. Here’s a link to a really cool U-Tube video we shot of a 2009 Muses LED-FAN throw Muses LED-Fan

At the 2010 Pussyfooter’s Ball at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World on the East Bank, the centerpieces on each table were Muses shoes decorated in Pussyfooter themes and colors. Now the Pussyfooters march in Muses each year, so that was another cool aspect of that excellent ball, the Muses connection.

Pussyfooter having fun at her 2010 Ball

Onto predictions…

The easiest throw trend to follow merges the Saints success with Mardi Gras. At bead stores across the metro region, anything Saints is selling very fast.  Tons of black & gold beads, Fleur de Lis Medallions,  footballs,flags, pendants, bracelets, plush throws, etc. have flown off store shelves.

Muses, like most krewes, keep their new throws hidden from public view until the parade rolls. Muses has announced for their 10th anniversary ride, they have a lighted shoe bead with several flash settings, plus a plush birthday cake.  No doubt that is just the tip of the iceberg, I’m  confident that Muses is saving the best for the parade. They have more throws bearing their logo than any other krewe, numbering around 30. Their throw quality also breaks records- jewelry to be thrown by Muses for 2010 will the highest quality yet. None of this is cheap, throws are getting more expensive, which is surprising considering the recession.

I follow Minister DI from Le Krewe d’Etat on Twitter, here’s his post from July 09- Can our 3-D drinking vessel be topped? We are working on that and promise new fresh for KDE followers. Live to Ride. Ride to Live. I’m convinced that d’Etat will offer another ground breaking throw for 2010.

Rex King Greets His Subjects

Rex Jester Float

Rex, King of Carnival, throws a brilliant daytime parade on Mardi Gras Day. Their throws have always been behind the curve, as innovation has come very slowly to the School of Design’s (Rex’s organization) parade.  2010 changes all that, as Rex has gone GREEN!!! Their purple, green and gold cups will be biodegradable, and the bead string is biodegradable also. Now when Rex beads get stuck in Quercus Virginiana (the Live Oak Trees that line Rex’s St. Charles Ave. parade route) the strings will dissolve.  I’m not sure how that helps the environment or lowers the carbon footprint of beads. Nevertheless, for their cup, Rex has broken new ground that lowers its carbon footprint.

Mardi Gras Louisiana Lottery Tickets


The state of Louisiana has 2 different tickets, 1 based on the Krewe of Zulu, the other a Purple, Green & Gold ticket. The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club’s ticket can win up to $10,000, and the Purple, Green & Gold Ticket pays out a maximum of $3,000.

Zulu Louisiana Lottery Ticket

Generic Louisiana Lottery Ticket

The Zulu ticket features Zulu characters the Witch Doctor, Big Shot, and the King from the  historic krewe.

Go to Top