Posts tagged Jefferson Parish
We are roughly four months before Fat Tuesday. As we approach Halloween, the Mardi Gras drumbeats are getting louder. I’ve already heard a bunch from my own Carnival krewe, the Krewe du Vieux. We roll throughout the Marigny and French Quarter on January 31, 2015. I LOVE Mardi Gras and always have. Getting older hasn’t dulled my appetite for all things Carnival!
I used to see parades in all the surrounding parishes. I don’t anymore. I guess I don’t feel the need to dash around from parade locale to parade locale anymore. Seeing parades in Orleans, Jefferson and St. Bernard parishes in a single night was no biggie. Seeing the same parade in different spots
|Sunday||January 6, 2015||Phunny Phorty Phellows||Uptown Streetcar Route|
|Sunday||January 6, 2015||Krewe of Jeanne d’Arc||French Quarter|
|Saturday||January 31, 2015||Krewe du Vieux||Marigny/French Quarter|
|Friday||February 6, 2015||Krewe of Oshun||Uptown|
|Friday||February 6, 2015||Krewe of Cleopatra||Uptown|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Pontchartrain||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Choctaw||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Freret||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Knights of Sparta||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 7, 2015||Krewe of Pygmalion||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Krewe of Carrollton||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Krewe of King Arthur||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Krewe of Alla||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Sunday||February 8, 2015||Mystic Krewe of Barkus||French Quarter|
|Wednesday||February 11, 2015||Krewe of Ancient Druids||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Wednesday||February 11, 2015||Mystic Krewe of Nyx||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Thursday||February 12, 2015||Knights of Babylon||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Thursday||February 12, 2015||Knights of Chaos||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Thursday||February 12, 2015||Krewe of Muses||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Friday||February 13, 2015||Krewe of Hermes||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Friday||February 13, 2015||Le Krewe d’Etat||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Friday||February 13, 2015||Krewe of Morpheus||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Saturday||February 14, 2015||Krewe of Iris||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 14, 2015||Krewe of Tucks||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Saturday||February 14, 2015||Krewe of Endymion||Mid-City|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Okeanos||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Mid-City||Uptown – Jefferson|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Thoth||Uptown – Henry Clay|
|Sunday||February 15, 2015||Krewe of Bacchus||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Monday||February 16, 2015||Krewe of Proteus||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Monday||February 16, 2015||Krewe of Orpheus||Uptown – Napoleon|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Krewe of Zulu||Uptown – Jackson|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Rex, King of Carnival||Uptown – Claiborne|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Elks Krewe of Orleanians||Uptown – Claiborne|
|Tuesday||February 17, 2015||Krewe of Crescent City||Uptown – Claiborne|
Jefferson Parish’s Carnival is downsizing and changing for the worse in the last couple of years- one of the oldest krewes in Jefferson, the venerable Krewe of Thor, won’t parade in 2014, their 40th anniversary. Earlier this year, another old line Jefferson parade, Grela, called it quits. Jefferson Parish parades on both sides of the Mississippi River have been struggling even before these parades cancelled. It seems Jefferson parades are on a suicide march.
A new parade, the Guardians of Atlantis, won’t roll either. Membership concerns was the reason given.
Last year, some Carnival krewes in Metairie were fined for violating parade ordinances enforced for the first time.
“I was shocked. I felt like it was a slap in the face,” Krewe of Thor captain McKinley Cantrell said.
Cantrell, a 38-year captain and president of the Krewe of Thor, which was founded in 1974, said his krewe has been fined $400 for violating an ordinance prohibiting unmasked riders. The citation states that 60 of the krewe’s 500 riders did not follow the rules.
“I don’t have any control. I don’t have any control over that,” Cantrell said.
Cantrell said at least three Carnival krewes in Jefferson Parish were cited for violating parade ordinances. The Krewe of Atlas was fined $600 for two violations, member Daniel Murray said.
Smoking a joint on the float. The second violation is somebody on the float threw beads soaked in vomit, Murray said. That is really disgusting, they should have locked up the rider who threw vomit soaked beads.
There’s probably a link between last year’s fines and Thor throwing in the towel.
I cannot agree with Cantrell’s statement that he cannot control his members masking or not. If the Captain tells his membership to mask or else, they will mask. Orleans krewe members mask because there are well known penalties for disobeying. The truck floats on Mardi Gras Day have laxer rules than regular Orleans parades.
For decades, the Cantrell family was a major Mardi Gras float building company, building parades in the metro area for 60 years. Cantrell Sr. was Captain of the Krewe of Mardi Gras, and Jr. was Captain of Thor. Each was a pretty substantial parade back in their heyday. The Krewe of Mardi Gras ceased parading years ago. Now that Thor has stopped, it’s the end of an era in Jefferson.
When I was younger and my wife was by my side, I took my family during Carnival season to a lot of parades annually. We are talking around 40 parades per season, and we saw many twice. We were as wild a bunch of parade goers as ever was, and we loved every moment of that lifestyle. We gathered up our kids and the neighborhood kids and off we went, to the Orleans parish parades first, and in those days, we went to Hayne Boulevard, Freret Street, Claiborne Avenue, Downtown, Uptown, Mid City, Metairie, the West Bank, Slidell, the North Shore, and anywhere else a Mardi Gras rolled in the Metro area.
Now to talk about Metairie parades, they kind of suck these days, but Alla and Caesar will never suck; they remain really good parades in all aspects. What has happened is sad, but Metairie parades have been fading in quality for a while now. Not enough bands, not enough masking and costuming by float riders. That is now, but back then, when Metairie had very good parades, they were lots of fun and very worthwhile to attend. I remember how large Thor and Mardi Gras (now gone) was, they were captained by a father-son team, who also were float builders.
I had a resume company in Metairie, my only Jefferson job. This was when the Louisiana oil patch was doing poorly, and I learned a little about a lot of jobs. My office was right on Veterans near Bonnabel, and we would go out their to hang out during parades, have our own bathroom, and brought all sorts of delectable foods to snack on. I remember catching like a zillion cups during a Thor parade years ago.
Jefferson Parish officials fined a number of Metairie krewes because of lack of bands and not masking or costuming. $6,000 worth of fines have been assessed, more than four times the 2012 amount. The Jefferson Truck parade was charged $2,500 and the other truck parade, Elks Jeffersonians, was charged $1,800. Thor was hit with a $900 fine, Atlas $500, and Adonis $200. 2013 was the first year the Jefferson truck parades were subject to the costuming/masking requirements. They didn’t do well, did they?
Jefferson Parish officials are thinking about adding a second route. The only route for many years was down Veterans to Bonnabel Avenue, turnaround on Bonnabel, back to Veterans Boulevard to Severn Avenue, down Severn, then turn around on Severn to Veterans, then down Veterans to the end. We used to see the parade twice as it turned around on Bonnabel, running back and forth across the neutral ground to catch each float twice!
So what will happen to the Metairie Mardi Gras parades? That chapter hasn’t been fully written yet. Several krewes aren’t happy with the Veterans route, and are thinking of Metairie Road. The problem with Metairie Road is it is narrow with no neutral grounds and few sidewalks. Still, it’s a beautiful area with a good bit of shade trees (many nice oaks) despite all the shopping that has been built over the last few decades. Like Veterans, behind the stores are homes, homes, and more homes.
Politics has reared its ugly head upon the pristine party pastures of the New Orleans Mardi Gras.
I’m trying to figure out who is the bad guy in this story, and I’m fairly sure, though not 100% positive, that Arthur Hardy is the bad guy. It’s a confusing set of facts, however, so I’m going to try to sort things out.
A rumor was started that the Krewe of Zeus had canceled their Metairie parade. WWL and WDSU TV both reported that Zeus canceled. Once an innuendo gets launched, it helps to have two major networks carry your fake story. This makes the false tale seem real, since your trusted newscaster told you. WDSU revised their story and stated that Hardy gave them this information.
According to the Krewe of Zeus, they haven’t canceled, and plan to parade on Lundi Gras right after the brand new Hera, the newest parade, and one that is affiliated with Zeus.
Next, Zeus’ logistics officer, Brian Landry, denied the cancellation reports and blamed Hardy on his Facebook page. Landry wrote, Latest reports name the unnamed source on the false reports as none other than…Arthur Hardy!! I knew there would be a backlash when we opted out of an ad in his magazine.
Here’s where politics intrudes itself into the Jefferson Parish Carnival scene. Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts blamed his own Carnival coordinator, Scott Burke, for the discredited report of the Zeus parade cancelling.
In faulting Burke, Roberts refocused attention on the degrading relationship between council members and Parish President John Young’s administration. Roberts and Young don’t see eye to eye on this or many other issues.
Hardy has responded, claiming he did not say Zeus was cancelling.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Jefferson Parish krewes enjoyed much lower standards, such as three bands per parade. That’s really not many for a full sized Mardi Gras parade. The parish has attempted previously to tighten the requirements, but between the storm and the recession, the new rules were relaxed.
However, a new day has dawned- the Parish Council has raised standards again, and that’s a good thing. For sure, the people of Jefferson are a fun loving group, and deserve more high school bands in their Carnival parades.
Naturally, some krewes are in favor of the upgrades, and some see them as a wrong step. The new rules bring the standards back in line to pre Katrina levels- 10 bands per parade. The council has offered the krewes a major bone with this change, telling them they only need to add one band per year, and they don’t have to do anything for Carnival 2012. From 2013 to 2019, they are required to add a band annually.
I think the Parish Council showed their restraint and wisdom with this move, and I applaud the attempt to upgrade the parades. There’s more to the new rules, and they all seem logical to me. Krewe members are now required to be in costume and masked, and float drivers (?) and horseback riders must abstain from drinking. Aren’t float drivers responsible for the safety of the krewe members on the float he or she is pulling? Isn’t drunk driving already very illegal in all 50 states of the Union?
Security concerns make for another new rule, this one should have been in force for years. All krewes are required to submit a complete list of all participants and their location on the floats, so if any unlawful behavior occurs on the route, they can hold the proper person responsible.
According to Sean Burke, director of the parish’s Citizen Affairs Department, which oversees the parades, his office has received an application for a new krewe for 2012, the first time since Katrina this has occurred.
According to Councilwoman Cynthia Lee-Sheng, although the krewes themselves are private, Carnival is a community tradition that needs to be protected lest parades become indistinguishable from other parades, such as the Irish-Italian parade and others, who aren’t regulated very much, and have few live bands.
One other new regulation has to do with music, but not live high school band music, instead the recorded music blaring off of many floats for the entertainment of the riders more than the crowd. Sheng recalled one band who refused to finish the parade because they were being drowned out by the canned music from the float. They aren’t banning recorded music, but it can no longer compete with the band.