The Krewe of Iris is the oldest and largest all-female krewe. Founded in 1917, they began parading in 1959. Though it’s usually ladies first on Mardi Gras Saturday, imminent stormy weather pushed the larger Tuck’s parade first and Iris, unfortunately, into the storm. What started as drizzles crept into weather-garbed marching bands and ended with thunder and scattering crowds. BUT, it was fun while it lasted.
The krewe is named for the Goddess of the Rainbow who was also the Messenger to the Gods. The over 900 ladies wear the same Carnival costumes their foremothers did – full length masks and white gloves.
The Mount Carmel Carmelettes led a string of great school bands including Greenville Weston and Bahalia, both from Mississippi, Fairley, Sullivan North and East Nashville – all from Tennessee, Hamilton from Alabama, Lake Providence, Lutcher, West Feliciana, Pierre A. Capdau and Xavier. My favorite moment was when the Kilts of Many Colours played When the Saints Go Marching In on bagpipes.
Rolling since 1959, the krewe has never cancelled a parade due to weather. We all hated to abandon ship but, as I’ve mentioned before, when it rains here, sometimes it’s like someone unzipped the sky. We arrived, a few blocks away, in clothes stuck to our skin, and hoping the weather would clear up for the festivities later that night.