Krewes of Hermes, d’Etat & Morpheus Parades

Vendredi Gras AKA “Friday Gras” started early in the French Quarter with events like the Royal Sonesta’s annual Greasing of the Poles, but Uptown festivities began after the sun set.  Mystic Krewe of Hermes kicked off the 3 parade evening. Founded in 1937, the Krewe has  been parading longer than any other krewe that parades at night. In the wake of the Great Depression, some businessmen decided the best remedy for the blues was to expand Mardi Gras to a 5 day party. Celebration is often the solution to local woes.  Continue reading

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Krewe of Muses – Behind the Scenes

I love attending parades and the Krewe of Muses all-female Super Krewe of 1000 riders is a crowd favorite. When you participate in a parade, the one downside is that you don’t actually get to attend the parade. With the addition of the new train of duck floats being pulled by the traditional giant bubble bath and the opportunity to catch one of their coveted hand-decorated shoes, it was a lot to give up. That said, I love dancing with the Pussyfooters in Muses. A group of over 120 women-over-30, the Pussyfooters raise tens of thousands annually for domestic violence victims, provide entertainment and assistance at non-profit events and, of course, perform in parades year-round. The Pussyfooters debuted in the 2001 Krewe of Muses parade so I consider it an honor to join them rather than hope for a (super-awesome) glittery shoe.  Continue reading

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Krewes of Druids and Nyx Parades

Everywhere else, it was just Wednesday but here in New Orleans, Krewe of Druids kicked off a 2 parade night that rolled its way toward midnight. Founded in 1998, the “Merlin”-hat-wearing Druids honor the Celtic priests who acted as mediators between the people and their gods and nature. Their krewe never has more than 200 members and secrecy shrouds their membership. In near direct opposition, the Krewe of Nyx is a diverse all-female Super Krewe of more than 2,200 riders. The last float in Druids was South-Park-inspired with a sign picking on Nyx, “Seriously… The parade behind us is not worth the wait!” Except, of course, it totally was. Though by 10:30pm there was some nostalgia for the Wednesdays of yore when people could get home to watch a favorite show or finish homework before turning in, Nyx puts on a heck of a parade. Continue reading

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Krewes of King Arthur and Alla Parades

Krewe of King Arthur celebrated their 40th anniversary with colorful floats and costumes commemorating the event. The third of 4 parades Sunday, it seemed like they had every dance krewe and marching band that hadn’t already rolled. Adult parading krewes included NOLA Cherry Bombs, NOLA Nyxettes, Amelia Earhawts, the new Alter Egos, Roux La La in a Rio theme, the fabulously beaded corsets of Dames de Perlage and the Red Hot Dancing Queens of Cincinnati, Ohio making their debut. (PHOTOS) Continue reading

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Krewes of Femme Fatale & Carrolton

It was sunny and in the upper 70’s for Sundays parades. Another perfect day for parades – 4 of them! Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale debuted in 2015. Founded entirely by African-American women, membership is open to women of all colors and creeds and the signature throw, a mirrored compact, symbolizes both inward and outward reflection. My fellow Pussyfooters were included in the lineup so I wore my Pussyfooters t-shirt in celebration. Other adult parade groups were the Original Treme Baby Dolls, Skinz N Bonez, fabulous divas on Batman-like motorcycles, goddess warriors called The Amazons and the Black Storyville Baby Dolls. Though the Pussyfooters were the first adult dance krewe of the modern era, they drew their inspiration from the original Baby Dolls who paraded at the turn of the century so it was wonderful to see 2 Baby Doll krewes in the mix. Continue reading

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Krewes of Sparta and Pygmalion 2017

Krewes of Sparta and Pygmalion finished a long Saturday of 5 parades. With beautiful floats, traditional costumes and flambeau, Sparta got the night off on a note of nostalgia then added fun surprises like dancing Chinese dragons. Pygmalion‘s floats featured exotic animals and many dancers and bands had interesting uses of light including the brightly lighted instruments of Holy Cross Tiger Band the lighted shoes of one of the dance troupes and the glowing tent of walkers in Krewe of Lune with the Star-Steppin Cosmonaughties. Though I wasn’t able to take many photos, I enjoyed dancing in the streets and catching beads. Having danced in Friday’s Krewe of Cleopatra parade and attended 5 parades Saturday, I felt exhausted but exhilarated to have already celebrated Carnival on both sides of the curb. Continue reading

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Krewe of Freret Parade 2017

The Krewe of Freret paraded for 40 years until the 1990’s then was rebirthed on the parade route 4 years ago. Many members of the new Krewe are the children of the previous membership. I loved that they opened with traditional Baby Dolls, the inspiration for the adult dance troupes you see in parades today. In Saturday’s parade, those troupes included The Chorus Girl Project, Nyxettes and my vote so far for best new dance krewe of the year – Alter Egos. Between their purple afros and their fun, funky moves, they were an instant crowd favorite. The Dames de Perlage put on a great show with their intricately beaded corsets honoring local “saints” like the fictitious Ignatius Reilly, the very real culinary legend Leah Chase and the surreal Big Freedia. Bearded Oysters’s diaphanous wing-capes and Lucha Krewe’s fight-dance moves filled out the entertainment.  Continue reading

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