Posts tagged Mississippi River
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.
This was a Mardi Gras to remember. The police strike (NOPD) cancelled the parades in Orleans Parish, but Jefferson and St. Bernard Parishes held all their parades. Much of organized Carnival was canceled in New Orleans, but all of the less organized groups came out as usual.
On Fat Tuesday morning we went to the west bank for Grela and the trucks, then headed back over the Mississippi River bridge to find the Wild Tchoupitoulas Indians. We found them, with Chief Jolly, Charles Neville on sax, and Aaron Neville smoking a joint with our little group! We really enjoyed our time with 2nd Chief Norman Bell, Chief Jolly (George Landry), Aaron and Charles Neville, and other Indians and musicians.
We were living on Robert Street off of Danneel St, so we were very close to where the Nevilles all lived back then, on Valence Street. This was right before the Nevilles became major label fodder and began to travel the world in earnest as the pride of New Orleans, the Neville Brothers.
We hung out and followed the Wild Tchoupitoulas for a couple of hours before heading the the French Quarter and a party on Royal Street. These uptown Mardi Gras Indians were followed by a crowd of about 20 people. It was really an enjoyable aspect of Fat Tuesday that year.
Since that time, we’ve gotten into a bit of a fun rut on Fat Tuesday. We set up on St. Charles for Rex and the Trucks, and catch some of Zulu on Jackson Avenue before. There is so much to do and see at the New Orleans Carnival you can hardly go wrong, as long as you travel in a small group for safety reasons. We always bring a number of really excellent foods and drinks for Fat Tuesday. We BBQ, bring hot gumbos, sushi, traditional desserts like king cakes, mandel brot, decadent chocolate cakes, chocolate babka, etc. Not all of that each year, but I always make a half dozen Po-boys in advance for guests and friends who show up during the number of hours we’re on St. Charles enjoying the parades and trucks.
We always bring a king cake, that’s positively necessary.
I attended this ball last year at Kern’s Mardi Gras World on the West Bank and it was a very fun time! DJ Soul Sister was the musical highlight of the evening, her set truly kicked butt all the way across the Mighty Mississippi! The event setting, Mardi Gras World, was perfect for the event with all the surreal paper mache sculptures surrounding all event attendees. I attended with my good friend Jack, who also had a ball!
For 2011, the Pussyfooter’s Blush Ball will be held at the Howlin’ Wolf, 907 South Peters Street, New Orleans on January 29, 9 pm to 2 am. The party features Big Sam’s Funky Nation, DJ Brice Nice, the 610 Stompers, the Pussyfooters, plus a Firehouse Cook Off by the Firefighters of New Orleans.
2011 is the 10th Anniversary of the Pussyfooters, and their goal is to do something special: Party with a Purpose to raise $10,000 for the Metropolitan Center for Women & Children.
They hope to sell 800 tickets to the event. Party attendees will also have a chance to win one of 60 raffle prizes. They have Mignon Faget jewelry, a Picasso print, hotel and dinner prizes, and spa gift certificates.