Posts tagged Mardi Gras Parade
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.
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.
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.
The New Orleans City Council put through a new set of rules governing Carnival in New Orleans. Prior to the 2014 Carnival season, the council passed regulations that affected parade goers. This time, new rules make changes for the parading organizations.
The Mayor’s Mardi Gras Advisory Council has been formed, and is made up of representatives from each Carnival organization that paraded the year before. This committee reports directly to the mayor and will consider new krewe applications.
No more than 2 parades can roll on the same night, but with a grandfather clause allowing krewes that paraded that night the previous year. The city will issue no more than 30 permits annually, 4 fewer than in the past. However, if all requirements are met, any krewe that paraded last year will be allowed to parade the following year. The number of parades will be reduced by attrition only until 30 permits are left.
Each parade must have at least 14 floats. The maximum number of floats has been increased from 27 to 44 pull units, defined in the ordinance as a single tractor or mule pulling a float or a tandem float.
No more letter designations for royalty and specialty floats, all must have a unique, sequential Arabic number from now on. The definition of a tandem float has been updated. Now it means two or more floats, attached to one another and pulled by a single pull unit.
If a parade has 14 to 27 pull units, a minimum of 7 bands must participate. Those with 28 to 36 pull units must include 10 bands. 14 bands are required if you have more than 36 pull units. The old ordinance required a minimum of 7 bands per parade.
The schedule listing when each parade would run if bad weather caused rain-outs has been dumped, and the mayor now makes these decisions. The bad weather schedule sometimes led to several long parades in a row, leading to finish times of 12 am or later. Security is reduced greatly after midnight along the parade route, so this was partially a safety issue.
Night parades begin at 5:15 pm, a marching band is officially sanctioned and must be a middle, junior, high school, college, military or university band with no fewer than 30 musicians.
It was a short public feud, less than 1 month. There’s so much money for the Kerns at stake, some of the major krewe captains, notably Owen ‘Pip’ Brennan (Bacchus Captain) and Ed Muniz (Endymion Captain) got the Kerns to sit down by inviting the father and son to a meeting without telling each other. It was a classic usage of the Take Away Sale- If you don’t kiss and make up, we’ll take away Bacchus and other key krewes.
This is a hollow threat, there’s no other float builder around to take up the slack if the Kerns don’t build the major krewes. Carnival is less than 6 months away, and that’s go time in the float building business. Only Blaine Kern Artists have the size to build Bacchus, Rex, Endymion, Muses, Alla, Orpheus, and many more parades at once.
It’s very ironic that a Brennan was called to settle this family feud, since the Brennans have a large family and have been feuding in and out of the newspapers for decades
The family survived a rift that left the children of the late Owen Sr. about as disposed toward their aunts and uncles — Adelaide, John, Ella, Dick and Dottie — and their 11 children as the Hatfields were disposed toward the McCoys. Since 1974, when the feud split the business, Owen’s children — Pip, Jimmy and Ted — have run the family’s original restaurant, Brennan’s, on Royal Street.
At the same time, Ella, Dick, Adelaide, Dottie and John took over Commander’s Palace in the Garden District and built it into one of the 10 top grossing restaurants in the United States. Adelaide, who did not have children, died in 1983. Ella, Dick, Dottie and John continued to run Commander’s and built five other restaurants — Mr. B’s, Palace Cafe and Ristorante Bacco in New Orleans, Brennan’s and Third Coast in Houston.
The night might have been cold, but the crowd gathered for KdV was anything but. It was an overflowing, warm crowd welcoming in the 2010 parade season. KdV didn’t disappoint , with their well made, home made floats, skewering Mayor Nagin, Bill Jefferson, etc; their 17 brass bands & 18 mules; plus their wildly original throws, including golden dreidels, devil match books, Mardi Gras colored, handmade bead encrusted match boxes, and much more. We caught an illegal Saints bath towel- black with a gold Fleur de Lis.
I’m in KdV, and it’s an indescribable experience, rolling down the historic streets of the Marigny and French Quarter, meeting and greeting thousands of Mardi Gras and Saints revelers. Yes, it was absolutely freezing last night with a howling wind, but the city and the crowd embraced our parade as they always do and will, and it’s among the greatest feelings in the world. Running into old friends, making new ones, there’s many layers to the fun of Carnival. You could tell the crowd was having a ball as much as the krewe members.
Once the parade assembles and starts rolling, it’s 2.5 hours of screaming “Happy Mardi Gras! & “Who Dat!” & “Go Saints!” over and over, and high fiving thousands and thousands of folks lining the parade route. As a Guardian for the Krewe of Underwear, I stood next to my float, guarding it from overzealous fans, constantly checking behind me to make sure the krewe members were keeping behind the float but in front of the marching band.
A complete parade unit- band, marching krewe members and donkey pulled float tends to undergo a Slinky-type maneuver as the parade progresses. The 3 discrete units get too close together, then too far apart, imitating a Slinky’s motion. This occurs when krewe members get occupied and slow down to a crawl. The band closes in from behind, and the float moves ahead.
The Krewe of underwear’s band last night was Egg Yolk Jubilee. They were terrific, playing a wide variety of marching music.
When you high five someone, your eyes meet, and you form an instantaneous Mardi Gras and/or Saints connection that lasts a microsecond, before the next high five begins. It’s a bit of a power grab by the krewe member that only lasts for a moment, since the parade goers want a throw, and only the krewe members have those throws. These moments aggregate over the 150 minutes the parade is on the street and impart a good feeling that lasts a few days.
That feeling dissipates slowly over the next couple of days, but each time you remember the experience, that great feeling returns for an instant- you are happy!
One notable aspect of the KdV floats that has become much more obvious to the krewe members is how professional the floats construction has become. The sub krewe members decide themselves what their float theme is, what materials to use in construction, and and built it themselves. Over the decades, these amateur float builders have learned carpentry, paper mache sculptures making , building & maintaining float carriages, lighting, and any other skilled crafts necessary for their float’s execution. I was positively amazed at how professional in all aspects the finished Underwear float was.
Register online or by Fax Download Barkus 2010 Registration Form for all information needed. (PDF file readable with Acrobat Reader; download it free at www.adobe.com.) Fax number on form – 504-522-0239 — For more Membership information click this link.
fax/online registration ends 9PM CST, February 6, 2010.
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus was envisioned and created in November 1992 at a meeting of the Margaret Orr (WDSU-TV Weather Anchor) Fan Club held at Good Friends Bar. Thomas Wood brought his dog Jo Jo McWood to the meeting, where people complained about her neurotic ways. To get back at them all, Wood decided to make Jo Jo McWood queen of her own parade and captain-for-life. Thus, the Krewe of Barkus was born.