Posts tagged Metairie
When I was younger and my wife was by my side, I took my family during Carnival season to a lot of parades annually. We are talking around 40 parades per season, and we saw many twice. We were as wild a bunch of parade goers as ever was, and we loved every moment of that lifestyle. We gathered up our kids and the neighborhood kids and off we went, to the Orleans parish parades first, and in those days, we went to Hayne Boulevard, Freret Street, Claiborne Avenue, Downtown, Uptown, Mid City, Metairie, the West Bank, Slidell, the North Shore, and anywhere else a Mardi Gras rolled in the Metro area.
Now to talk about Metairie parades, they kind of suck these days, but Alla and Caesar will never suck; they remain really good parades in all aspects. What has happened is sad, but Metairie parades have been fading in quality for a while now. Not enough bands, not enough masking and costuming by float riders. That is now, but back then, when Metairie had very good parades, they were lots of fun and very worthwhile to attend. I remember how large Thor and Mardi Gras (now gone) was, they were captained by a father-son team, who also were float builders.
I had a resume company in Metairie, my only Jefferson job. This was when the Louisiana oil patch was doing poorly, and I learned a little about a lot of jobs. My office was right on Veterans near Bonnabel, and we would go out their to hang out during parades, have our own bathroom, and brought all sorts of delectable foods to snack on. I remember catching like a zillion cups during a Thor parade years ago.
Jefferson Parish officials fined a number of Metairie krewes because of lack of bands and not masking or costuming. $6,000 worth of fines have been assessed, more than four times the 2012 amount. The Jefferson Truck parade was charged $2,500 and the other truck parade, Elks Jeffersonians, was charged $1,800. Thor was hit with a $900 fine, Atlas $500, and Adonis $200. 2013 was the first year the Jefferson truck parades were subject to the costuming/masking requirements. They didn’t do well, did they?
Jefferson Parish officials are thinking about adding a second route. The only route for many years was down Veterans to Bonnabel Avenue, turnaround on Bonnabel, back to Veterans Boulevard to Severn Avenue, down Severn, then turn around on Severn to Veterans, then down Veterans to the end. We used to see the parade twice as it turned around on Bonnabel, running back and forth across the neutral ground to catch each float twice!
So what will happen to the Metairie Mardi Gras parades? That chapter hasn’t been fully written yet. Several krewes aren’t happy with the Veterans route, and are thinking of Metairie Road. The problem with Metairie Road is it is narrow with no neutral grounds and few sidewalks. Still, it’s a beautiful area with a good bit of shade trees (many nice oaks) despite all the shopping that has been built over the last few decades. Like Veterans, behind the stores are homes, homes, and more homes.
Politics has reared its ugly head upon the pristine party pastures of the New Orleans Mardi Gras.
I’m trying to figure out who is the bad guy in this story, and I’m fairly sure, though not 100% positive, that Arthur Hardy is the bad guy. It’s a confusing set of facts, however, so I’m going to try to sort things out.
A rumor was started that the Krewe of Zeus had canceled their Metairie parade. WWL and WDSU TV both reported that Zeus canceled. Once an innuendo gets launched, it helps to have two major networks carry your fake story. This makes the false tale seem real, since your trusted newscaster told you. WDSU revised their story and stated that Hardy gave them this information.
According to the Krewe of Zeus, they haven’t canceled, and plan to parade on Lundi Gras right after the brand new Hera, the newest parade, and one that is affiliated with Zeus.
Next, Zeus’ logistics officer, Brian Landry, denied the cancellation reports and blamed Hardy on his Facebook page. Landry wrote, Latest reports name the unnamed source on the false reports as none other than…Arthur Hardy!! I knew there would be a backlash when we opted out of an ad in his magazine.
Here’s where politics intrudes itself into the Jefferson Parish Carnival scene. Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts blamed his own Carnival coordinator, Scott Burke, for the discredited report of the Zeus parade cancelling.
In faulting Burke, Roberts refocused attention on the degrading relationship between council members and Parish President John Young’s administration. Roberts and Young don’t see eye to eye on this or many other issues.
Hardy has responded, claiming he did not say Zeus was cancelling.
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: 2/13, Excalibur; 2/14, Ceasar; 2/15, Nemesis; 2/17-19, stable viewing; 2/20, D’Etat; 2/21, Endymion; 2/22, Bacchus; 2/24, 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. When I went to my local Rouses Grocery on Tchoupitoulas Street around noon today (February 17, 2009), there was a Bud Clydesdale horse doing public relations with one of the huge buses they travel around in. I didn’t have my camera with me, and my phone camera sucks.