This is my 7th full Mardi Gras/Carnival season and the evolution from parade-goer to parader continues. I’ve gone from attending dozens of parades alone to knowing people on the route to knowing people in the parade to riding in the Orpheus Monarch Float and becoming a Pussyfooter dancer in parades. Three years in, I’ve now helped a new batch of “Kittens” learn the dances and tricks for staying warm and comfortable while parading for miles and miles. I’ve gone from having every parade, Krewe, marching band, float, dance troupe and rolling krewe be new to me to knowing bands by their uniforms and floats by their designer and some by name. Even the parade schedule is familiar. Very little is new anymore, now it’s anticipated and beloved. Continue reading
Krewe of Proteus was the first parade to roll on Lundi Gras, the Monday before Fat Tuesday. Established in 1882, Proteus is the second oldest parade of the Carnival season (Rex is oldest) and is the oldest night parade. The “Hindu Heavens” theme played out beautifully on exotic floats by The Royal Artists sitting atop the original 1880’s wooden chassis. Named for the shepherd of the oceans as well as the son of Poseidon, the parade’s King remains a secret to all but the 230 male riders.
Founded in 1966, Krewe of Endymion is a Super Krewe featuring over 3,000 riders and a 9 car, 365 foot long megafloat. Many of the vibrant floats are covered in thousands of lights – it’s Vegas on wheels. Jerry Springer made a return visit as Grand Marshal. His first ride was in 1998. It was chilly and windy but was a grand show worth shivering for. The royalty are particularly beautiful, so covered in bling and plumes they have to be held up by a chain from above. Continue reading
Krewe of Tucks was named for a bar that doesn’t exist anymore and features a giant toilet float. Throws include rolls of toilet paper that stream through the live oaks lining the route as well a toilet plungers and specially decorated toilet brushes done by the special needs adults at Magnolia Community Services.
The vibrant parade features neon foam monsters, the beaded corsets of Dames du Perlage, the Star Wars-themed 501st Legion and Ducks of Dixieland. Kolossos (animal bikes) and the elephant-themed Great Tuskers rolled the route along with crowd-favorite lounge-chair-riding Laissez Boys. Continue reading