Posts tagged Orpheus Parade

2013 Parade Season Split in Two by Super Bowl!!!

2012 Super Bowl Tickets

2012 Super Bowl Tickets, Indianapolis, IN

As was the case for Mardi Gras 2002 after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, the 2013 parade season will be cut in two, with the first week of Carnival beginning Jan. 25 instead of Feb. 1. That will be followed by a nine-day break in parading as football fans, city officials, the tourism industry and police turn their attention to Super Bowl XLVII (47)

The Super Bowl is Feb. 3, and Mardi Gras 2013 falls on Feb. 12.

The parade season will pick up again after the big game. Traditionally, the official Carnival season consists of 12 consecutive days that culminate on Fat Tuesday.

A handful of Krewes must change their parading days to suit the new schedule.

Parades rolling on Friday, February 1, Oshun and Cleopatra, move to January 25. Parades rolling on Saturday, February 2, Pontchartrain, Sparta and Pygmalion, move to January 26. Parades rolling on Sunday, February 2, Alla, King Arthur, and Carrollton, move to January 27.

As a result of the schedule changes in 2002, some krewes had to scale back in size. The 11 krewes forced to change their schedules received financial compensation from the NFL. The details of the settlement were confidential, but the krewes asked for $550,000, or $50,000 per krewe. The NFL also paid the National Automobile Dealers Association $7.5 million that year to move its meeting to the Super Bowl’s original slot.


Krewe of King Arthur

Krewe of King Arthur


Schedule courtesy

2013 Orleans Only Parade Schedule

Day Date Krewe Route
Friday January 6, 2013 Phunny Phorty Phellows Uptown Streetcar Route
Friday January 6, 2013 Krewe of Jeanne d’Arc French Quarter
Saturday January 19, 2013 Krewe du Vieux Marigny/French Quarter
Friday January 25, 2013 Krewe of Oshun Uptown
Friday January 25, 2013 Krewe of Cleopatra Uptown
Saturday January 26, 2013 Krewe of Pontchartrain Uptown – Napoleon
Saturday January 26, 2013 Krewe of Choctaw (1 year only) Uptown
Saturday January 26, 2013 Knights of Sparta Uptown – Napoleon
Saturday January 26, 2013 Krewe of Pygmalion Uptown – Napoleon
Sunday January 27, 2013 Krewe of Carrollton Uptown – Napoleon
Sunday January 27, 2013 Krewe of King Arthur Uptown – Napoleon
Friday February 1, 2013 Krewe of Cork French Quarter
Sunday February 3, 2013 Mystic Krewe of Barkus French Quarter
Wednesday February 6, 2013 Krewe of Ancient Druids Uptown – Jefferson
Wednesday February 6, 2013 Mystic Krewe of Nyx Uptown – Jefferson
Thursday February 7, 2013 Knights of Babylon Uptown – Napoleon
Thursday February 7, 2013 Knights of Chaos Uptown – Napoleon
Thursday February 7, 2013 Krewe of Muses Uptown – Jefferson
Friday February 8, 2013 Krewe of Hermes Uptown – Napoleon
Friday February 8, 2013 Le Krewe d’Etat Uptown – Jefferson
Friday February 8, 2013 Krewe of Morpheus Uptown – Jefferson
Saturday February 9, 2013 Krewe of Iris Uptown – Napoleon
Saturday February 9, 2013 Krewe of Tucks Uptown – Napoleon
Saturday February 9, 2013 Krewe of Endymion Mid-City
Sunday February 10, 2013 Krewe of Okeanos Uptown – Jefferson
Sunday February 10, 2013 Krewe of Mid-City Uptown – Jefferson
Sunday February 10, 2013 Krewe of Thoth Uptown – Henry Clay
Sunday February 10, 2013 Krewe of Bacchus Uptown – Napoleon
Monday February 11, 2013 Krewe of Proteus Uptown – Napoleon
Monday February 11, 2013 Krewe of Orpheus Uptown – Napoleon
Tuesday February 12, 2013 Krewe of Zulu Uptown – Jackson
Tuesday February 12, 2013 Rex, King of Carnival Uptown – Claiborne
Tuesday February 12, 2013 Elks Krewe of Orleanians Uptown – Claiborne
Tuesday February 12, 2013 Krewe of Crescent City Uptown – Claiborne

Now I’m a member of Krewe du Vieux, and it really is a blast to be in a krewe. I love Mardi Gras from the street perspective, but belonging to a Carnival Krewe, that’s a whole other level of fun. We get to march in the historic French Quarter and Faubourg Marigny. Our super satiric, ribald floats are adults only. Our floats are pulled by donkeys and each float has it’s own brass band! The Hot 8 Brass Band was in front of us in 2012 and they kicked butt and I mean they kicked butt. The entire miles long route was an excuse for these brass warriors to take our entire Krewe of Underwear to a new party parade level, which energized the crowd as they passed.

2012 New Orleans Mardi Gras Forecast!! Part 2


The past year has seen a few upheavals in the topsy turvy world of Carnival. Blaine Kern Sr was knocked out of action by his son in the Louisiana Court of Appeals, you can thank Sr’s new bride for much of Mr Mardi Gras’ problems.

It doesn’t appear that any of the Kern’s major Mardi Gras float building accounts have moved on. Rex, Bacchus, Orpheus, Muses, Alla, Endymion are all built by Kern enterprises for decades.

Traditional Jester Float of REX, the King of Carnival!

Traditional Jester Float of REX, the King of Carnival!

The traditional Boeuf Gras float of REX, the King of Carnival!

The traditional Boeuf Gras float of REX, the King of Carnival!


Jefferson Parish began the slow process of upgrading their parades. This is a very good idea, as their parades had slid considerably since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

For 2012, Gretna loses their most historic Mardi Gras Day parade, Grela, the West Bank’s only local celebration on Fat Tuesday.

Gretna stopped funding Mardi Gras in April when officials had to choose between paying for Mardi Gras activities and giving money to the Gretna Heritage Festival.

Yes, Gretna Fest has grown into a really nice festival, but Grela is Jefferson Parish’s oldest Carnival krewe. Gretna Fest has a huge budget with the dozens of bands that play the several day festival. They have corporate funding, charge a cover charge to enter the Festival, and sell a lot of food, drinks, and beer. They certainly could have covered the $30,000 much much easier than Grela could, and this is an obvious fact the Council should have seen a mile off.

Therefore, a Carnival Jeer goes out to the Gretna City Council for backing the total wrong horse with this poor decision in April 2011. The krewe was founded in 1947 as a men’s club, but it changed its name to Grela, an acronym for Gretna, La.

Earlier this year Rhea, another Jefferson Parish krewe, called it quits. Rhea was formed in 1969, making this parade over 40 years old! It began as an all woman parade, but became coed in later years. Rhea was the first Jefferson parade to roll down Veterans Boulevard, and the one of the few Jefferson parades to hold their ball in the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.

One relatively new, local, and all male marching group, the 610 Stompers, marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Wow! The Stompers’ over the top dance routines flabbergasted Matt Lauer and Al Roker, it was a real New Orleans moment in New York City on national TV. They also appeared on the Hoda & Kathie Lee Show. That’s a lot of national attention for our homegrown group, and it’s well deserved!


From’s article on the Stompers-

What makes these men so special is not only their uncanny ability to entertain crowds, but also the motivation behind the uniforms. What started as a plan to start an all male dance school to help pay for their Saints season tickets in their namesake section 610, has turned into an incredible medium to have fun while help others. Underneath those mustaches of manliness lie men with hearts larger than most. Since their formation in 2009, the 610 Stompers have raised and donated over $100,000 to charity. They were asked to be this year’s “Corporate Chair” of the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Louisiana and Mississippi, released a Stomp Out Breast Cancer video with Touro Infirmary, and have partnered with over 13 local and national foundations where their dance moves have helped those less fortunate. They have mastered having fun with making a difference. At this year’s 610 Ball they gave $610 to each of over 20 local charities, which at first glance doesn’t seem like a lot. However, these grants more often doubled the charities’ operating budgets making a profound impact on our citizens and local community.

610 Stompers on Mardi Gras parade route

610 Stompers on Mardi Gras parade route


The first new full-fledged Carnival parade in Orleans Parish since before Hurricane Katrina, Nyx won approval from the City Council on a 6-0 vote to amend the 2012 calendar and schedule Nyx after the Druids parade on the Uptown route the Wednesday before Mardi Gras.

The city’s last new parading krewe was Morpheus in 2002, a year after Muses and the Knights of Chaos made their debuts.

From their web site:

“Three native New Orleans women always loved the traditions, pageantry, and fun of Mardi Gras. For years they admired the floats and loved the bands. They enjoyed how much the kids’ faces would light up when they caught stuffed or beaded treasures. The women adored how the crowds screamed to the riders  “Throw me something!”

2012 forecast will continue with part 3 in the near future.










Blaine Kern Loses Challenge to Keep Mardi Gras Float Empire

Blaine Kern, Rickey Jackson, Holly Kern on Superdome Floor

Blaine Kern, Rickey Jackson, Holly Kern on Superdome Floor

Once again, suing your aged dad, granted he’s under the spell of his much younger wife, never is a good idea. It doesn’t matter if you win in the Appeals Court, which the son, Barry, did. Karma works against you when you sue your dad, especially if he’s over 83 years old!

The Kerns build REX, BACCHUS, ENDYMION, MUSES, ORPHEUS, ALLA, CAESAR, and many, many other parades around the metro area, region, and world. Therefore, lots of money and responsibility come with the territory, and the Mardi Gras crowds annually depend on the Kerns via REX, etc.

A state appeals panel has upheld the court-ordered transfer of control over Blaine Kern Artists Inc. to the Mardi Gras magnate’s son, Barry Kern.

The one-sentence ruling Tuesday denied the elder Kern’s challenge to an April ruling by Civil District Court Judge Kern Reese that enforced a father-son deal convected last year. That deal was intended to quell a family rift that threatened float production for a number of the largest Carnival parades.

The deal, brokered by three prominent Carnival captains, called for Blaine Kern Sr. to sell all of his shares to his son and for the board of directors to turn over management control of the 54-year-old Mardi Gras giant to Barry Kern, 48, at a shareholders meeting. But Blaine Kern stood pat, and no such meeting or vote took place.

At issue, Barry Kern argued, was the financial stability of the company. He twice filed suit against his father during the past year, saying the 83-year-old Kern Sr. had meddled with management and sapped its cash reserves.

Barry Kern cast blame on his father’s fourth wife, Holly Brown-Kern, claiming his father’s spending on houses, cars and other luxuries had ballooned since his marriage to Brown-Kern, while his debt had mounted and he began seeking cash advances from the company.

Blaine Kern’s attorney, William Wessel, could not be reached for comment late Wednesday on the 3-0 decision by a panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal, finding “no error” in Reese’s ruling.

In ruling for Barry Kern in April, Reese called the need to safeguard Mardi Gras “way bigger” to the world than a father-son rift.

Under his order, the company’s four shareholders — Blaine and Barry Kern and Barry’s siblings, Brian and Blainey — met April 25 at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World to elect three directors who, in turn, named Barry Kern president.

Blaine Kern, 2010 People's Health Champion

Blaine Kern, 2010 People's Health Champion

R.I.P. Jerelyn ‘Pixie’ Naquin


I always admired Pixie. I remember when I first met her when I was interviewing Blaine Kern in the early 1980s for a Mardi Gras story on float builders.  Pixie had been with Blaine for about 20 years by that time. When I interviewed Blaine, Pixie was present, and Blaine referred to her regularly to get me this material or that file. I worked with Blaine for about 3 years at this time, and Pixie was fantastic, a real hero of Mardi Gras, and truly Blaine’s right hand woman. As his business grew in an international direction later in the 1980s, Pixie was a whiz at keeping the lid on Kern Enterprises, pacing Blaine who really needed it as he was overdoing it badly at this time. Blaine’s kids were young  and weren’t part of the company yet. She kept Kern Enterprises on a steady keel as the company grew and grew.

Kern does the float building for all the Super Krewes- Bacchus, Rex, Endymion, Orpheus, Zulu. I learned from Pixie just how Blaine acquired all those top parades, and it’s a secret I’ll have to take to my grave, because Pixie only told me if I swore I would never tell a soul.  As the business grew overseas, Pixie ran that for Blaine also.

Whatever Blaine got into, Pixie was there, always graceful when others were losing their heads due to the pressures of adding the overseas division at the same time maintaining good will and contracts with all the reigning Super Krewes.

2009 New Orleans Mardi Gras Parade Rankings



1. Muses had the best throws by a mile. No other krewe is anywhere close to catching Muses. I’m recording short videos for the blog of two of the throws- the round mirrored medallion with the multi-colored light show and the ‘fan’ with the Muses light show. Here’s a listing from the New Orleans freecycle group that I received yesterday:
seek to borrow -Muses Light-up rings
Our dance group needs about 15 of the rings that were thrown at the Muses Parade for props. We will return them. We need them by Wednesday. Thanks.
. Muses throws have become part of a dance performance. The hand decorated shoe has moved up in stature as a throw and now rivals the Zulu coconut, although I haven’t heard about Obama receiving a Muses shoe like he received a coconut and met with the King and Queen of Zulu! Muses dancing groups are second to none, except for possibly the Krewe du Vieux, who parade outside the formal 10 day Parade Season recognized by these rankings. Muses is big on satire, and their bands, floats krewe member’s generosity are good enough to swing this all-female krewe, only 8 years old, to the NUMBER ONE RANKING!


2. D’Etat earns the number 2 ranking for several reasons, including their top throw- a 360 degree 3-D full color cup, using lenticular technology. I didn’t see anything like this anywhere else during the Carnival season during the parades. I know the Giacona Company in Jefferson sells a cup like this. D’Etat out-promoted other krewes, with two different fliers on the parade route. D’Etat was built by Royal Artists, the preferred historic paper mache experts. Royal’s floats wobble and shimmy, creating movement in the paper mache props. Their satire was effective, even if most of the satirical krewes poked fun at many of the same entities- the economy, city council, mayor, etc.
2009 d'Etat float


3. Endymion is the people’s choice for best parade every year, since they have the biggest crowd without fail. Endymion has more riders on the biggest floats and more throws (volume) with the biggest float props. Endymion has St. Augustine High School Band leading off, and that is surely the mark of band excellence. Endymion on an average year is still almost the best parade in Carnival. They use the propane flambeaux, which burn at a lower temperature than the kerosene models, and therefore don’t produce the same high intensity light that the historic models achieve. Historically, the flambeaux illuminate the night parade, and the smoke from the flambeaux adds to the parade’s mystique. The propane flambeaux burn cleanly, so the smoke was lacking.


4. Bacchus is the original Super Krewe, and they had all the pieces- the icon floats, the huge membership, lots of throws, and numerous notable bands. Throwing beads at the Kongs is the only time NOPD allows throwing at the floats. The Bacchasaurus, Bacchawhoppa, and Bacchagator never disappoint the crowd. St. Augustine led off Bacchus, that helps raise a rating. The Bacchus crowd along St. Charles Avenue a few blocks from Napoleon seemed very well behaved and not as big as I remembered, and Bacchus closes out a big second Sunday of parades. Okeanos, Mid-City and Thoth all preceded Bacchus on Sunday.


5. Rex is the King of Carnival, and they are a perennial top 5 parade. But rarely are they as low as 5, and there is a reason the School of Design (Rex’s organization) in 2009 gets that rating. They ran out of bands! The entire second half of the parade didn’t have the requisite one float/one band ratio, but 2-3 floats/band! To huge Rex fans like myself, this is embarrassing. I never imagined Rex with so few bands.
Rex is a Blaine Kern production, and the floats looked divine as they should in the sun. Rex is the only Super Krewe to use wooden wagon chassis and wheels. This limits the size of their floats to historic dimensions. Rex didn’t disappoint with the heavier 50th Anniversary doubloon. Thoth also threw a heavier weight doubloon. Rex was the first krewe to throw doubloons 50 years ago after Alvin Sharpe approached the krewe.
They were very selective with the large plush boeuf gras, and a little less so with the smaller boeuf gras. They had a host of different medallion beads, all of them purple, green and gold. Rex stayed with their old medallion longer than any other krewe. Rex didn’t have a light up medallion bead, as Proteus had. In the recent past I caught a plush green crown from Rex, but that throw wasn’t evident this year.

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