Posts tagged Mardi Gras

Final Big Weekend of Mardi Gras 2017 Approaches!

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We’re in the lull now, the two days before the 5 days of all out parades, parties and Carnival revelry. Had a great time at the parades this past weekend, and caught some cool throws. 

   Thongs Throw! Weird Throw!

 

 

2nd Weirdest Throw Caught this Weekend

 

Parades start again tomorrow with Druids and NYX. NYX has worked hard to establish their own icon throw, similar to the Krewe of Muses Shoe and the Zulu Coconut. The NYX Purse is a hand decorated purse or small hand bag. Their krewe has grown substantially the last few year as their parade presence has grown. Looking forward to their parade tomorrow night.

NYX Purse

 

Working on my purple, green and gold costume for Fat Tuesday. Always celebrate Fat Tuesday in the official colors of Mardi Gras. Though Blaine Kern Artists remain the largest of the float builders, Royal Artists is my personal favorite. I catch Zulu on Jackson Avenue, then head to Harmony and St. Charles for REX. After REX I follow the truck parades downtown, and meet my girlfriend Sue Repasky. We ate at Mandina’s later that afternoon, and it was very good.

I’ve been in New Orleans for a long time, now, and I’m excited about Mardi Gras like I was brand new to it. There is something about the combination of bands, floats, crowds, ambiance, friends, family, and tradition that makes me very happy.Happy Mardi Gras!

CARNIVAL 2016 WRAP UP!!

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Mardi Gras 2016 was fantastic, it was exciting, it was downright thrilling at times. Of course, I’m a Mardi Gras freak. It was a very short season, ending on February 9. Next year, Fat Tuesday is more than 2 1/2 weeks later.

I want to thank my sweet girlfriend Sue and my good friend Billy, both Mardi Gras freaks without whom the entire season wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. Billy lives a block from St. Charles Avenue so his house was parade central and I went to virtually all my parades with Sue.

The season began for me with my own Krewe du Vieux, which rolled January 23. It was a terrific parade and the ball was fantastic, with none other than Texas guitar legend and ZZ Top front man Billy Gibbons on guitar and vocals along with Walter Wolfman Washington and George Porter, Jr. The ball was held in the Civic and it’s a pretty nice party forum compared to some of the more sorry auditoriums KdV has used in their recent past.

 

ZZ Top Guitarist and Lead Vocalist Billy Gibbons

ZZ Top Guitarist and Lead Vocalist Billy Gibbons Burned Down the Civic!

 

New Thoth Throw - The Thoth Fedora!

New Thoth Throw – The Thoth Fedora!

 

I caught a couple of newish throws, the Thoth Fedora and the NYX Earbuds.

 

NYX Earbuds

NYX Earbuds

 

When Fat Tuesday was only a couple of hours past sunrise, I was on Jackson Avenue below Dryades for Zulu. I was wearing my purple, green and gold silk scarf, my purple reversible satin cape from amazingcapes.com, my gold half mask, and my newly acquired Mardi Gras furry leggings. I bought the leggings Fat Tuesday morning on the Zulu parade route from a shopping cart vendor.

Bands play a big role in parades, the best bands generally are from local high school and surrounding colleges. Out of town bands perform in many parades toward the end of each season, as local high schools are limited to seven parades per season. Bands have been part of Mardi Gras processions and parades since the very beginning. Bands cost the krewes a lot more money post Katrina. Before the storm, parade band fees ran $1,000-$1,500 per parade. After Katrina, the bands ask for and get $3,500 or more. Bands are in demand for more than one reason. They add the beat and the funk, essential elements of parades. The New Orleans City Council has mandated that all Orleans parish parades have 7 bands. My own Krewe du Vieux has around 20 brass bands participate in the parade.

Year after year, the best high school band is the St. Augustine Marching 100, and the best college band is the Southern University Jaguar Band. Other notable bands in 2016 include the Landry Walker High School Band and the Texas Southern Ocean of Soul.

Some of the best looking floats all year were in the Proteus parade. Royal Artists create this parade, and it’s the best work they do by far.

Proteus Blue Halo

Proteus Blue Halo Float

 

I ended up in the French Quarter at Molly’s at the Market on Decatur around noon Fat Tuesday, to meet the Perv Patrol, my girlfriend’s Sue’s themed costume group. It was the first time in decades I missed REX which was my choice after deciding to see all of ZULU for the first time in as long. ZULU had a long break near the beginning that was over 30 minutes long and set the parade back big time. We ran into the Krewe of Cosmic Debris which had come down Decatur Street just as I arrived. Molly’s is one of their stops so I had a really hard time getting a drink when the krewe invaded the bar. I went down the street to an adjacent bar and bought a double and returned to Molly’s.

Molly's Costumers

Molly’s Costumers

 

Mardi Gras Revelers

Mardi Gras Revelers

 

Molly's Revelers 2

Molly’s Revelers 2

 

Molly's Reveler's 3

Molly’s Revelers 3

 

Krewe of Cosmic Debris

Krewe of Cosmic Debris

 

Molly's Revelers 4

Molly’s Revelers 4

 

Marine Band during ZULU

Marine Band during ZULU

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade Schedule!!

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NOMusicMan at KdV 2015

NOMusicMan at KdV 2015

 

Krewe of Underwear 2015 Float j

Krewe of Underwear 2015 Float

 

KdV2015 Title Float- Begs For Change!

KdV2015 Title Float- Begs For Change!

Sat, January 23, 2016
Krewe du Vieux (Mature themed) 6:30 p.m. French Quarter
Sun, January 24, 2016
Little Rascals Noon Metairie
Perseus 1:00 p.m. Slidell
Fri, January 29, 2016
Cork 3:00 p.m. French Quarter
Oshun 6:00 p.m. Uptown
Cleopatra 6:30 p.m. Uptown
Eve 7:00 p.m. Mandeville
Excalibur 7:00 p.m. Metairie
Athena 7:30 p.m. Metairie
Sat, January 30, 2016
Mystic Knights of Adonis 11:45 a.m. Westbank
Knights of Nemesis 1:00 p.m. St. Bernard
Pontchartrain 1:00 p.m. Uptown
Choctaw 2:00 p.m. Uptown
Freret 2:30 p.m. Uptown
Knights of Sparta 6:00 p.m. Uptown
Pygmallion 6:15 p.m. Uptown
Caesar 6:00 p.m. Metairie
Olympia 6:00 p.m. Covington
Chewbaccuhus 7:00 p.m. Marigny
Titans 6:30 p.m. Slidell
Sun, January 31, 2016
Carrollton Noon Uptown
King Arthur 1:00 p.m. Uptown
Alla 1:00 p.m. Uptown
Dionysus 1:00 p.m. Slidell
Tchefuncte 2:00 p.m. Madisonville
Wed, February 3, 2016
Druids 6:30 p.m. Uptown
Nyx 7:00 p.m. Uptown
Thurs, February 4, 2016
Knights of Babylon 5:45 p.m. Uptown
Knights of Chaos 6:15 p.m. Uptown
Muses 6:30 p.m. Uptown
Fri, February 5, 2016
Hermes 6:00 p.m. Uptown
Le Krewe D’etat 6:30 p.m. Uptown
Selene 6:30 p.m. Slidell
Morpheus 7:00 p.m. Uptown
Centurions 7:00 p.m. Metairie
Sat, February 6, 2016
NOMTOC 10:45 a.m. Westbank
Iris 11:00 a.m. Uptown
Tucks Noon Uptown
Endymion 4:15 p.m. Mid-City
Isis 6:30 p.m. Metairie
Sun, February 7, 2016
Okeanos 11:00 a.m. Uptown
Mid-City 11:45 p.m. Uptown
Thoth Noon Uptown
Corps de Napoleon 5:00 p.m. Metairie
Bacchus 5:15 p.m. Uptown
Mon, February 8, 2016
Proteus 5:15 p.m. Uptown
Orpheus 6:00 p.m. Uptown
Tues, February 9, 2016 FAT TUESDAY
Zulu 8:00 a.m. Uptown
Rex 10:00 a.m. Uptown
Elks Orleanians (Truck Parade) Follows Rex Uptown
Cresent City (Truck Parade) Follows Elks Orleanians Uptown
Grela 10:00 a.m. Gretna
Argus 10:00 a.m. Metairie
Krewe of Jefferson (Truck Parade) Follows Argus Metairie
Elks Jeffersonians (Truck Parade) Follows Krewe of Jefferson Metairie

Twelfth Night Arrives; Carnival 2016 Kicks Off!!

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The Joan of Arc parade rolls in the French Quarter and the Phunny Phorty Phellows (PPP) down the St. Charles Streetcar line.  The Phellows leave the Willow Streetcar Barn precisely at 7 pm and Joan of Arc parades downtown also at 7 pm. My own parade, Krewe du Vieux, rolls very early this year, since Fat Tuesday is very early, February 9.

 

2010 Phunny Phorty Phellows

 

The original PPP first paraded in the 19th-century. It followed behind REX on St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day and its symbol was an owl. In 1981, WYES Producer Peggy Scott Laborde and her husband Errol Laborde, along with their friends brought back the PPP name informally, tossing beads from a streetcar to herald the start of the Carnival season. Soon the streetcar krewe solidified and legitimized.

Joan of Arc parades in honor of St. Joan and New Orleans’ French cultural heritage. Here’s their route-

 

Joan of Arc Parade Route 2016

Joan of Arc Parade Route 2016

 

Twelfth Night is also the unofficial start of the King Cake season, which does seem to informally start before the New Year rolls around! A huge amount of King Cakes are sold through February 9, or Fat Tuesday 2016. Uber has gotten into the act, partnering with Haydel’s Bakery for the second year in a row. From 10 am to 2 pm on January 6, Uber app users just needed to ask for a King Cake instead of a car. Only traditional, unfilled King Cakes are available from Uber’s service.

In 3 weeks, my own krewe, Krewe du Vieux (KdV), rolls in the Marigny and French Quarter.

Marching in a parade is what living in New Orleans is all about. I’ve been in Krewe of Clones, Tucks, and now Krewe du Vieux. Mardi Gras is lots of fun as a spectator sport, but joining the parade changes things big time. The fun, comradeship and excitement of belonging to a Mardi Gras krewe cannot be beat. It’s a top drawer New Orleans experience.

From the KdV web site- The Krewe du Vieux was founded in 1987, born from the ashes of the fabled Krewe of Clones. The Clones began in 1978, based out of the Contemporary Arts Center. This ‘Art Parade’ became wildly popular for their imaginative and creative street performance art. By 1985, the Krewe of Clones had grown to 30 sub krewes and over 1,500 marchers. After the Clones imposed rules designed to create a respectable Uptown parade, Craig “Spoons” Johnson of the Krewe of Underwear and Don Marshall of Le Petite Theatre du Vieux Carre conspired to form a new parading Krewe. Their intent was to bring back parading in the French Quarter in the free-wheeling style of the Clones without myriad rules and expenses. Free from the constraints of decorum and reality, KdV was established as a official parade.

The next paragraph is from Wikipedia.com

The Krewe du Vieux is perhaps simultaneously the most individualistic and the most traditional of all New Orleans parading krewes. It has no large tractor pulled floats like the larger krewes, using only old-style, small, human-drawn or mule-drawn floats interspersed with marchers on foot. It has no recorded music blaring from boom box trucks, for the Krewe du Vieux uses music only from live bands. The floats are handmade and decorated by members of the respective sub-krewes, often with themes satirizing local politics and customs, sometimes of a bawdy nature — in such aspects arguably closer to early-19th-century Carnival traditions than any other Krewe currently parading. The Krewe du Vieux is the only Krewe still allowed to parade through the French Quarter (other than some small walking Krewes on Mardi Gras Day); krewes with larger floats have been prohibited in the narrow streets of the old town since the 1970s.

Krewe du Vieux Mule

Krewe du Vieux Mule

 

Happy Mardi Gras!!!

 

NYX Membership Growing By Leaps and Bounds!

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NYX Bag!

NYX Bag!

When a Carnival krewe’s membership grows by roughly 50% last year (actually this year), you might say they have captured the public’s imagination. It takes a big effort, ridership and budget to make a real splash on the St. Charles parade route. We have Bacchus, Muses, Orpheus, and Thoth with well over 1,000 members, and the biggest of all, Endymion, has just over 3,000 members. Now NYX has 2,232, making them the second biggest krewe. A super krewe is measured by more than membership. The parade counts a lot. They have a very original throw, the decorated, logoed woman’s purse. But they have no original floats yet, as they are building their first for 2016. You need super floats for super krewe status, so NYX won’t arrive on that level until they have a handful of icon, original floats owned by the krewe, and not just rented ones.

NYX, Greek Goddess of the NIght

NYX, Greek Goddess of the NIght

 

When you see the Bacchagator or the Jester Float, it’s exciting because you are witnessing two of the icon floats of all of Carnival around the world.

 

No Wonder They Are Growing- Their Purses Are Sublime!

No Wonder They Are Growing- Their Purses Are Sublime!

 

 

Rex Jester Float

Rex Jester Float

 

Blaine Kern Artists Created the Bacchagator

Blaine Kern Artists Created the Bacchagator

 

In Greek mythology NYX was the Goddess of Night. NYX stood at or near the beginning of creation and was one of the first elements emerging from Chaos along with day, fire, and water. Her appearances in mythology are sparse, but reveal her as a figure of exceptional power and beauty. NYX had prophetic powers, and gave oracles from her home at the edge of the cosmos. She mothered other personified deities such as Hypnos (Sleep) and Thanatos (Death), with Erebus. She was older and more powerful than Zeus, who deferred to her wishes.

Each year the krewe visits the tomb of Marie Laveau, legendary Voodoo priestess, to ask for good weather for their parade. Laveau is buried in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1.

Marie Laveau Mausoleum in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

Marie Laveau Mausoleum in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1

 

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