Posts tagged Krewe of Mardi Gras
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.
Carnival in New Orleans wouldn’t be the same without the annual appearance of the famed Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale Horses. The eight horse hitch pulling the traditional Budweiser beer wagon will appear in seven parades in the New Orleans area: 2/6, Excalibur (North Shore); 2/7, Mardi Gras; 2/10, Druids; 2/13, Endymion; 2/14, Bacchus; 2/16, Zulu.
The Clydesdale breed is a heavy draught (work) horse breed originating in Scotland and improved through crossbreeding with Flemish stallions. They were introduced into America as a draught horse used to pull a load.
In 1933, August A. Busch, Jr. introduced the first Clydesdale hitch to celebrate the end of Prohibition. Today, three eight-horse hitch teams travel the US, making more than 400 appearances annually.
The Clydesdales travel in style. Each eight-horse hitch is transported via caravan in three fifty by eight-foot custom designed vans with air cushion suspension, thick rubber flooring to ease the rigors of standing. Vent fans and insulation assure fresh air and comfortable temperatures. The caravan stops each 100 miles while traveling and at night to attend to the horses’ comfort.
Weighing in at slightly more than one ton, each gelding eats 25 pounds of pounds of beet pulp, crimped oats, bran, minerals, salt, and molasses daily, plus 55 pounds of hay.
In 1950, the first dalmatian appeared for the Newark Brewery Opening. They have been the official mascot ever since.
Grooming and dressing the Clydesdales is a massive undertaking. It takes an average of 45 minutes to wash a single horse. Braiding ribbons into the mane and tail takes another 20 minutes. Then into the black and brass $35,000 custom-made harness-ware. In all, it takes five hours of strenuous work to ready each animal to meet their public, and they sometimes make two appearances in a day.
In the New Orleans area, the Clydesdales are stabled at the local Budweiser Distributor:
Southern Eagle Sales & Service
5300 Blair Drive
Metairie, LA 70003
They always have a nice display set up and you can come out and pet them and meet the handlers who take care of them and travel with them.