Mardi Gras Wrap-Up 2016

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

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Mardi Gras Day – Photos!!!

Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras, means many things to many people but it generally splits 4 ways in town. There are the crowds attending the parades, the families and friends gathering at parties, the tourists overindulging and flashing each other on Bourbon Street and the locals who costume in the French Quarter as has been the tradition since the beginning. They’re all some version of fun, but for me – it’s all about the costumes. People spend up to a year coming up with and creating their costumes. I don’t. I just put on purple, green and gold so I don’t spend my day posing for pictures when I could be taking them. (Though, this is subject to evolution if I come up with a great idea). Continue reading

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Krewe of Orpheus Parade

The Krewe of Orpheus parade is one of my favorites. The first all-inclusive Krewe (male, female, all races, etc.), Orpheus celebrates performing artists with glorious Kern Studios floral floats dripping with giant pearls. A Super Krewe of 1,300 riders, everything about the parade is grand. The parade opened with the Marines playing a sexy, bluesy version of House of the Rising Sun as waves of gas-lamp twirling flambeaux lit the way for giant school bands. The Simpson’s, Harry Shearer and Mayor Mitch Landrieu rode the first float followed by Castle‘s Nathan Fillion on the Monarch Float we rode in with Quentin Tarantino in 2014. Local-born parade co-founder Harry Connick Jr. waved from the next float. Continue reading

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Krewe of Proteus Parade

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.

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Pussyfooting in Krewe of Thoth

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, by now you know that I proudly dance with the Pussyfooters in parades throughout the year. Krewe of Thoth may be the longest route, but between the usually fabulous weather and the many delightful children that attend, it’s one of my favorite to parade in. I gave some behind-the-scenes information in my post on Pussyfooting in Krewe of Muses but here’s some answers to some frequently asked questions about parading. Continue reading

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Krewe of Endymion

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

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Krewe of Tucks Parade

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

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