Posts tagged Knights of Babylon

WDSU Parade Tracker System Review


I’m a big fan of this parade tracker system, when you want to find the start of a parade that’s rolling or a parade stops for some reason.  How does the system operate?  WDSU puts a car near the front of the parades they cover. The car uses the GPS tracking system to pin point where the tracking car is, and relays that information to a computer, which texts that info to all opt in phones.  The system is a bit intrusive when you are already at a parade, catching throws and enjoying the sights and sounds of  of the event.  You constantly receive parade updates on your phone, when you don’t need them, as you are already parading. You could always opt out when at parade, and opt back in when you are searching for a parade on the street. However you might think this is a bit much opting in and out.

To get Parade Tracker updates  on your mobile phone, text “follow parades” to 40404. This is the second year for this service. If you opted in last year, you were automatically opted in for this year. For some parades, you can track the parade’s progress on, via a special map. The markers on the map show the location of the lead float in the parade, and they update every 10 seconds or 20 feet.

The biggest flaw in the system is they skip parades!  Babylon had to switch days because of bad weather. Could parade tracker keep up with parade rescheduling? NO.  No parade tracking for Babylon.  Earlier in the Carnival season, when some of the smaller parades roll, parade tracker opted not to cover the earlier parades.

Among the Orleans parades that WDSU opted not to track were Sparta and  Ponchartrain.

My thoughts on the inconsistent tracking is that if you are going to offer a parade tracking system, you should cover all the parades in an area.

Muses & Babylon Move, & Chaos Cancels


Krewe of Muses shoe collage

Muses moved to Friday night, rolling after Morpheus; Babylon moved to Sunday and will roll before Okeanos;  and Chaos has canceled for 2010. Normally on Sunday morning before Fat Tuesday,  Okeanos starts at 11 am, then Mid City at 11:45  & Thoth at noon. Muses is scheduled after Morpheus, which is the 3rd parade tomorrow, after Hermes & d’Etat.  Muses takes a long time to roll because of their immense length and numerous walking groups, like the Pussyfooters, 610 Stompers and Flying Elvi. Could be a very long night tomorrow. Babylon is usually a brisk parade and may roll completely in the hour allotted.

There is nothing like the all female Krewe of Muses, which rolls last tonight after Babylon and Chaos.  Now I love Babylon, and Chaos is very cool, but Muses is a different krewe with their own agenda, and frankly they kick butt!  Muses is the only all female krewe parading at night.  They are a very large krewe with well over 1,000 members. They have 30 throws with their logo on it, and they have in 10 short years developed a one of kind, collectible throw that challenges the famed Zulu Coconut- the decorated shoe! The above shoe collage, borrowed from the Muses web site , shows just how fancy the decorated shoes can be. Like Zulu coconuts, Muses decorated shoes are all hand made by krewe members &  their families, and each is a labor of love.

The Knights of Chaos was built by Royal Artists last year, which gave the floats an old fashioned, jiggly look.  Chaos utilized a relatively new kerosene flambeaux that are not part of the original set made for the old krewes.  An ingenious and crafty krewe Captain studied the original flambeaux and created very close copies that work similarly but apparently don’t violate any patent.

Chaos also rolls on the old wooden wagon wheel float chassis. Now Chaos isn’t a very old krewe, and previously, only the oldest krewes utilized these chassis, as the wooden wheels are very hard to maintain these days.
The fact that Chaos uses these very old wooden wheels shows they are somehow connected to the old line krewes of Rex, Momus, Proteus, & Comus. It turns out that Chaos purchased the old wooden wheel cotton wagon chassis from the Krewe of Momus. They used them for over 100 years before stopping parading in 1992 as a result of City Councilwoman Dorothy Mae Taylor’s, aka the Grinch Who Stole Mardi Gras, ordinance to stop discrimination luncheon groups & Carnival Krewes.

The Knights of Babylon rolls first tonight. They are an old line krewe founded in 1939. They say they make their floats the same way they did back then. They utilize the old line keresene flambeaux, casting an eerie glow over the proceedings.  Babylon’s sponsoring organization is the Jester’s Club. They don’t use the old wagon wheels, even though they are 60 years older than Chaos.

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