After a fabulous supper at Susan Spicer’s Bayona, we headed down to Royal Street in the French Quarter to catch the 29th Krewe du Vieux and 6th Krewedelusion parades. Paradetracker.com let us know when to finish up desert but the crowds were so thick, we ended up missing the first couple of floats just trying to find a place where we could see. Krewe du Vieux and Krewedelusion are the city’s unofficially-official start to Carnival’s parade season. (Carnival doesn’t “officially” start until 12 days before Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras in French)).
Krewe du Vieux’s theme this year was “Krewe du Vieux Begs for Change.” The satirical R-rated parade lampooned local and national politics with DIY floats satirizing everything from brain-eating amoebas in the water system, some local overly-libidinous teachers and, of course, Mayor Mitch Landrieu, former-Senator Mary Landrieu and Governor Bobby Jindal.
My favorite was probably “American Whore Story: Freak Show” which featured an elaborate merry-go-round of papier maché people handing out tax credits alongside legendary burlesque dancer Chris Owens, etc. Dr. Jim Aiken, head of emergency services at the LSU Interim Hospital and founder of the subkrewe, Drips and Discharges, served as King. And for the first time, the parade crossed Canal Street – a testament to its continued growth in popularity and stature.
The 17 subkrewes included: 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 Discharges, 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, Krewe du Mishigas, Krewe of SPANK and a guy holding a sign reading, “Hipsters Go Home.”
Though I was able to see the clever floats, it was nearly impossible to see the elaborate costumes of the walking Krewes. But nothing could stop me dancing to the many brass bands. It was obvious how much of the crowd wasn’t local when they all cleared out (to Bourbon Street) after the last Krewe du Vieux float passed… leaving us with some breathing room for Krewedelusion.
Krewedelusion is a chaotic, less well-lit melange of micro-krewes – like Krewe du Vieux used to be. This year’s theme was “Metamorphacity” and the “Empress of the Insane and Captain of New Orleans” was burlesque star Trixie Minx who I met when I was judging the Queen of Burlesque contest last year. The parade is “mule-free, fuel-free” with hand-pulled floats and most throws are made of abundant or recycled materials. I got a green eggs and ham pin from my favorite subkrewe, Krewe de Seuss.
I was thrilled to find our friend, DancingMan504, heading up Krewe Dat 504 in a fun, funky house with a boat stuck in the roof. But the most fun was probably Krewe of King James: The Super Bad Sex Machine Strollers who had us all dancing to James Brown. Other subkrewes include: Krewe of Bananas, Krewe of Goddesses, Guise of Fawkes Krewe, Film Krewe, Krewe du Krakatoa, Krewe du Jieux, Crustaceous Desire, Chicken Flockers, Bottom Feeders, Alkreweists, What Thou Wilt, Krewe du Chieux, and Krewe of Won.