Posts tagged Carnival New Orleans
While hanging out on Napoleon Avenue this morning before NOMTOC, I witnessed a number of small incidents that depicted the competitive nature of parade watchers.
I watched this guy arrive this morning about 8 am. He set about searching for his stuff- chairs, table, etc. His belongings had been moved to the back of the neutral ground. When he realized that the folks who moved his stuff were not there, he moved his stuff back by removing the tarp that had replaced his stuff. He moved their tarp to the back of the neutral ground.
Immediately the neighbors started giving the man crap about moving the tarp, claiming the tarp was there before the guy’s stuff; he claimed he would never put his stuff onto someone else’s tarp!
An hour passes, and the guy is still sitting in his chair. I notice that his car is right across the street, and NOMTOC is starting!! There are band units lining up to the left and right side streets. He calls over a friendly cop who helps him get out of his predicament. It takes about 20 minutes, and he finally gets off the parade route.
Within five seconds the vultures descend on the unguarded spot and discard the guy’s chairs, etc., re-institute their tarp and that’s it, our guy has lost the spot he held for 2 hours before the parades ever rolled on the historic longest day of parades ever.
Someone is not being truthful here, and that’s the real manners violation. These is Mardi Gras, and masking is all the hiding most people do. But some have other agendas that include fibbing to their fellow parade watchers to gain a better spot?
The second incident mirrors the first. A man and a woman had the same basic argument about who moved whose stuff, who was there first, etc. This must have occurred all over the parade route at different times and places.
That’s where it crosses the line, and becomes anti-Mardi Gras. So where is the fun in that?
Update! Endymion will be foregoing the Canal Street loop because of inclement weather.
The threat of heavy rain and thunderstorms on Saturday evening has forced NOMTOC, Tucks and Iris to switch days to Sunday and Monday. Endymion and Chewbacchus are still planning to roll today. Depending on how the weather fares this afternoon, Endymion could switch to Sunday night, following Bacchus.
As it stands now, NOMTOC and Iris will roll before Okeanos early tomorrow morning, and Tucks will roll before Proteus on Monday at 3 pm, followed by Orpheus.
Endymion has announced they plan to roll at 5:30 pm today on their traditional Canal Street route.
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.”
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
Baby Boyz Brass Band
Stooges Brass Band
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.
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.
Deon Haywood named Queen of Krewe du Vieux 2012
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.
“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-
Reuters Thursday published an article saying New Orleans’ rising murder rate has the city on the defensive just as it is gearing up for Mardi Gras and the height of the tourist season. The article repeats the statistics on murder and mayhem for 2011 and January which are very familiar to those of us who live here.
Not sure that Reuters really understands what Mardi Gras in New Orleans means to America and the World. It’s the ultimate free public party in America. Mardi Gras in New Orleans is the one stop party shop of the year,and it will be right back next year.
Generally the event itself is rather safe, though we’ve had a few parade route shootings over time and a few French Quarter gun pulls as well. However more than a million folks attend the entire Metro event over the season, and 99.999% report having a dream of a time.
So any rooms not booked due to an increasing murder rate will be booked by the next enthusiast. If they decide not to come, the next enthusiast will be happy to have that room.
The city’s homicide statistics are rising as the national rates are declining, and city officials don’t really know why. It notes Mayor Mitch Landrieu’s plan to adopt Chicago’s CeaseFire program as pilot program in February. Noting that the perpetrators and victims are generally young black men, the article quotes Tulane University criminologist Peter Scharf as saying the city has failed to come to grips with the drug war it has on its hands. “You have to deal with the vibrant dope economy and culture around these guys,” Scharf said. ” CeaseFire is fine, but that doesn’t replace the need for a plan.