Krewe of Orpheus, which celebrates music, is another of the city’s favorite parades owing to its many bands and celebrity guests. Rolling on Lundi Gras night (Monday before Fat Tuesday), it would be my last parade of the season. As with last year, floats overflowed with celebs including Bret Michaels, Harry Connick Jr., Mariska Hargitay, Cyndi Lauper, Hilary Swank and Modern Family‘s Sarah Hyland.
Farhad Grotto Bug Patrol opened the show. The video below includes many of the high school bands including, but not limited to, Cabrini, St. Augustine, O.Perry Walker, Sarah L.Reed, Saint Mary’s, Greenville Westend (from Greenville, Ms), East St. John, Walter L. Cohen, Oak Park (Michigan), West Jefferson, Miller McCoy, Pierre Capdau, William J. Fischer, Kipp, Langston Hughes and Shack Brown Foundation Drill Team.
Also parading were Kolossus, Drumcart, gladiators, a calliope, tons of flambeau, the riders of Lady Godiva, Panorama Brass Band, Sirens (with their glowing blue balls), DancingMan504, Muff-A-Lottas, Highsteppers, the Marine Band on a boat float, Organ Grinders and the 610 Stompers. There was even a brand new JumboTron announcing the many celebrities.
My favorite moment was when the Smokey Mary Train float approached. I was transported back to the Saints Victory Parade or “Lombardi Gras” 2010. That night remains the most amazing experience I’ve had and a cherished memory, so when I saw the giant lit locomotive rolling toward me, I relived seeing our heroes return, trophy in hand, bringing the city together in a giant love-fest. Then I heard it, the opening drum roll of the Ying Yang Twins getting Crunk! I caught a moment of it for video, then turned off my camera to enjoy dancing and remembering. Who Dat!
After the parade, we walked St. Charles to the French Quarter. Tents and ladders lined the street, awaiting Fat Tuesday, Zulu and a day of parades. When we reached the overpass, we found the parade had broken down so we got to see many of the floats again – this time in great lighting. When we got to Canal Street, we couldn’t cross until the parade passed so we waited along with the thousands of patient parade goers, then watched the last half dozen or so floats pass again. (For those of you counting, that makes 3 times seeing the last floats). The barricades opened and we all flooded onto Royal Street, an ocean of beaded people lucky enough to have one last day of Mardi Gras ahead of us.