Posts tagged Chalmette
Not a big fan of the NOLA Mardi Gras blog because of a participant named Bacchusrider, a big bully and worse, but this story was just too cool to pass up. This from Syracuse.com, and was written by Anthony Veiga with Taylor Clarke from the Post-Standard.
Parade made all the work worthwhile
Last summer my high school’s jazz band set out to raise money to help pay for a trip to New Orleans. We knew that selling candy bars and baked goods wouldn’t get us enough money, so we performed a dozen gigs. Had it been any other trip, all this fundraising might not have been sustained, especially over the summer, but we were excited and determined to perform in New Orleans during Mardi Gras.
When we left, just days after the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl and at the start of the Mardi Gras festivities, we knew our dedication over the summer was going to be worth it.
After a 24-hour bus trip, we arrived in our host city, Chalmette, and were shown to a mansion where we watched our first Mardi Gras parade. The shower of beads that were thrown at us (none earned in the well-known manner) were all very different in color and size.
Our first morning there, we awoke to a performance by the Chalmette High School jazz and concert ensembles. They clearly had the “Southern” jazz style down, and when they played “When the Saints Go Marching In” chills went down our spines. We followed with our own “Northern” version of the song. We played as in tune and loud as possible, convincing some Chalmette students that the northern “funk” way was the only way to play that song.
We spent the rest of the day sightseeing on a jazz cruise and resting up for our big event the following day: playing in a 13.5-mile-long Mardi Gras parade with the Chalmette musicians.
Before the parade, we learned a Southern-style dance with the other students, which got us even more excited for the parade. At the launch site we assumed our position at the front of the entire parade: students from Mexico Academy were going to lead the Krewe of Thoth. We played our hearts out. It was tiring, but we continued on and 13.5 miles later, when the end came, everyone thought it was worth it. In fact, some wanted to keep going.
When we arrived, we weren’t sure we could make it through such a long parade. We left New Orleans only wanting to return and be a part of Mardi Gras all over again.
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 last year, 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
No other krewe comes close to the number and variety of personalized throws that Muses throws. I’ve seen the short published list of new throws for 2009, and I’m sure it is very incomplete. Muses do not publish their full list before the parade.