It’s Carnival time!!! Kids on Christmas Eve have got nothing on New Orleanians anticipating Mardi Gras so when I heard a brass band passing through the French Quarter Saturday afternoon, I ran to find The Roots of Music marching through the the streets, rehearsing for their 6 upcoming parades, and squealed with delight. Enjoy the short video of the casually dressed but very skilled kids who’ve dedicated themselves to training after school with this wonderful non-profit group. They certainly got me in the mood for Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion’s parades later that evening.
Krewe du Vieux is a politically confrontational, silly-sexy parade best known now for being John Goodman’s character’s favorite parade in HBO’s Treme. And maybe it’s because of the show that both the parade and it’s crowd seem to have grown exponentially just in the few years I’ve lived here. Krewe du Vieux is a horse/mule drawn walking parade featuring all adult bands (no high school marching bands) and lots of images of nudity and sex (teddy bears in compromising positions, papier maché boobs, etc.) exploring this year’s theme “Crimes Against Nature.” The Queen, Deon Haywood, serves as executive director of Women with a Vision.
This year’s Subkrewes included the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe of Underwear, Seeds of Decline, Krewe of Mama Roux, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Krewe of Drips and Dis- charges, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Mystic Krewe of Comatose, Mystic Krewe of Inane, and Krewe du Mishigas.
Brass bands included Lagniappe, Pinettes (world’s only female brass band), Kinfolk, TBC, New Birth, Jazzmen, Bone Tone, Young Fellaz, Paulin Brothers, Baby Boyz, Stooges, One Mind, Panorama, The Tornados, Free Agents, Treme, Egg Yolk Jubilee, Hot 8, and Down and Dirty.
Though many people thought the festivities were over, Krewedelusion, a satirical parade, mostly comprised of people who moved here after Katrina, was ready to roll for their 3rd year. Again, the group seems to have grown significantly since last year.
The fascinating Randy Fertel served as King Guerrilla Gorilla (named for his father’s run for mayor based on the promise of buying a gorilla for the zoo) lording over Subkrewes: Krewe of Goddesses, AlKreweists, Amigos de los Amigos, Camel Toe Lady Steppers, Krewe of Bananas, F.U.M.A., Krewe du Jieux, Chicken Flockers, Voodoo Ballerina, Krewe of Zoo, Bottom Feeders, Skinz & Bonez, Krewe du Muu-Muu and The Pony Girls and bands including DRUMCART, The Noisician Coalition, and the Free Spirit, Panorama, Pinstripe Jr. and Jean Hardy Brass Bands.
Though this is only my 3rd full Mardi Gras season, I was delighted to find that I knew quite a few of the paraders. It was a wonderful treat to hug DancingMan504, Muu-Muu’s Bec Hunter and Arc‘s Nicole Blair. A week ago, I was in a scene shot at Cafe du Monde. I thought it was a real kick to film a movie in such an iconic NOLA institution. Standing across the street from the cafe for the parades, I couldn’t help but think that the “reality” of New Orleans is at least as magical as movie magic. Enjoy the videos and photos of both parades.