Posts tagged Marigny
Mardi Gras preparations are in full swing! My krewe marches 2.5 miles around the Marigny in under 2 weeks!! I’m very excited to say the least!!
All of Krewe du Vieux’s floats are mule-drawn. All the bands, and each float has their own live marching band- are brass bands. While the krewe throws a krewe cup and wooden nickel, each float generally has their own throw central to that float’s theme.
KdV is the most ribald by far of all the satirical parades. Large paper mache genitalia -6 feet tall in some cases- decorate many floats. Each has their own take on the krewe theme, for 2012 the krewe theme is ‘Crimes Against Nature’.
What is Krewe du Vieux? Thanks to Krewe du Vieux for some of the content below.
The Krewe du Vieux is a New Orleans Mardi Gras or Carnival krewe, originally and more fully known as the Krewe du Vieux Carre (“Vieux Carre” being another term for the city’s French Quarter). It is one of the earliest parades of the New Orleans Carnival calendar, and is noted for wild satirical and adult themes, as well as for showcasing some of the best Brass and Jazz Bands in New Orleans. Originally, KdV was the Krewe of Clones, and was sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Center. It was very wild, as the person in charge of letting the floats out of the CAC den and onto Camp Street would get plastered. After one year as a member, we figured out that we could dress up our old VW van as an elephant or giraffe and just join the krewe as part of the procession. This was a really fun event for the few years it lasted.
Deon Haywood named Queen of Krewe du Vieux 2012
It takes a special kind of person to be the Queen of Krewe du Vieux. It also takes a special kind of person to devote herself to fighting for the rights of some of our society’s most neglected members: women, primarily of color, poor, often not well educated, sometimes addicted to drugs, many of them sex workers, no small number the victims of abuse.
This kind of work requires vision – which happens to be a specialty of Deon Haywood, Executive Director of Women With A Vision and the Queen of Krewe du Vieux 2012.
“I’m truly honored and excited to be the Queen,” quoth she. “What better Krewe to roll with? Krewe du Vieux is the only group of people that can truly make fun of the screwed-up kinds of laws we have in this state.” (Not to mention violate large numbers of those laws at the same time.)
Here’s my Krewe of Underwear float from 2010-
It’s still possible to reinvent the wheel when it comes to Mardi Gras parades. It’s not easy, but it can be done. When parading down St. Charles avenue, convention rules, since the New Orleans City Council creates the rules for major parades. If you want to parade and do your own thing, that’s more than possible though it’s a ton of work; hence Krewe du Vieux, ‘tit REX, Krewe of St. Anne, Krewe of Chewbaccus, etc. Most of these are in the Bywater, 7th ward, or Marigny. Most roll of Fat Tuesday, and most are really fabulous. Kolossos is headquartered in and will march in Marigny and Bywater.
The spanking new Krewe of Kolossos is seeking to “create a new breed of parade,” utilizing tradition while drawing on ideas of environmental sustainability and reuse, art director Steven Donnelly said.
The idea for the krewe came from a partnership with grand marshal-elect Karina Nathan, the artist a.k.a. Katrina Brees. Donnelly’s drum cart creation, a mobile performance art drum show and Nathan’s Bearded Oysters, an all female marching and social group. Both share a love of a good party, and Kolossos was formed with this in mind.
The krewe has around 200 members. While the membership is open, the majority of members are artists, including sculptors, costumiers, performance artists, etc.
Tricycle-powered floats using recycled materials, mostly, will change into paper-mache animals, incorporating a large variety of previously used float props, including paper-mache eyeballs, 8-foot spiders, and pieces of castles from past parades.
Their throws will also be very different than beads and doubloons. Krewe du Vieux throws some beads, but all krewe throws are original. The world famous all natural Zulu Coconut, except for paint, and decorations, are the locally handcrafted model for their throws. To this end, Kolossos is seeking new alternatives to ship containers full of Mardi Gras beads from China.
Since no date for the parade has been mentioned, it’s obvious there is no date for their inaugural parade. Initially, the krewe planned to parade on New Year’s Eve, but NOPD denied the permit application, stating their resources would be spread too thin.
Co Founder Donnelly understood the objections, there are bills to pay to obtain a permit. “Apocalypse Ball,” on the other hand, is on. It will start at 10 p.m. at Siberia on New Year’s Eve. The Bearded Oysters Parade Club, krewe members and the Drumcart will be part of the festivities, all for $25 per ticket. For tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 504-905-2830.
There are still krewe memberships available, check out kolossos.org
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.