Oshun Rolls and Mardi Gras begins!

Parade season has officially begun in Uptown with the rolling of the Krewe of Oshun (founded in 1996). The weather has been glorious for a couple weeks. I donned a purple shirt and scarf (in my hair) and green shoes and headed up to St. Charles. We have a new toy this year, Mardi Gras Parade Tracker, a parade tracker using a GPS system and actual manpower to walk at the front of each parade. Now, you can stay in your house up until the last minute and plan bathroom breaks without fear of missing anything. With pinpoint accuracy (literally – it looks like a pin in a map), it works on iPad, iPhone and Android so you can track the parades on your phone.

The Krewe of Oshun is named for the Yoruba goddess of love and intimacy and the parade features lots of bands from local high schools including McDonogh #35 (who has an amazing band), O. Perry Walker (with their lightning fast twirling batons), Xavier University PreparatorySophie B. Wright, and West Jefferson. There are also plenty of dance teams like The Cultural Elite Academy of Dance, Tammy’s Star Steppers and the Superstar Steppers who were awesome, featuring New Orleans Bounce and hip hop moves. Hope my video comes out better than the blurred photos attempting to capture their moves did. For now, enjoy the videos on their site.

Louisiana Stars Express Cheerleaders was well represented and one of my favorite non-profits, The Roots of Music, sent their Marching Crusaders.

The parade got off to a slow start as the first Krewe to roll St. Charles is led by a truck with a cherry picker to cut down low-hanging branches. A large limb at the end of our block held things up for about 10 minutes. The good news? It gave people time to run into each other and visit for a moment and it gave us a fairly good view of the young ladies of the all-female St. Mary’s Academy. Their band was great and their dancers had time to perform 3 full routines.

Dedicated to bringing you to the parade with me, I had cameras in both hands and couldn’t catch beads and this parade isn’t known for fabulous beads (though they had a ton of great toys) but as the last of their movie-themed floats rested in front of us and my camera batteries died, I looked up to one smiling young man who threw me a wonderful set of beads with cowboy boots. Quality, not quantity, ruled the day.

With 3 parades rolling Saturday and Barkus, the all dog parade, on Sunday, who knows when I’ll have time to edit all my video footage, but here are some photos with a promise of video soon.

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Filed under decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2011, parade

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