New Orleans has been celebrating Carnival since January 6th. Even if you didn’t attend the Joan of Arc Parade or wait to see the Phunny Phorty Phellows streetcar pass on St. Charles, the 6th was the day we could all officially eat King Cake. Every day. The parades begin 2 weeks earlier now but the Uptown parades are the official kick-off of parade season with the Krewes of Oshun, Cleopatra and Alla rolling.
When I arrived in 2009, Oshun was the only parade of the night. Crowds were sparse and completely local. In 2013, Cleopatra came over from the West Bank and brought a whole new group of revelers to the route. The Krewe of Alla made the same move from the West Bank but this was their first year joining the Friday line-up – creating an evening worth driving from out of town town to attend.
Oshun has stepped up their game during the evolution and they’ve always had a great collection of school bands and youth dance troupes. Cleopatra leaves a trail of blinkies, lighting up the crowd with medallions, headpieces, bracelets, swords and more. I love seeing my Pussyfooters sisters dance past, but I look forward to joining them for the Krewes of Carrollton, Muses and Thoth.
I always enjoy seeing our fellow adult dance troupes like the Muff-A-Lottas, Sirens and the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi and we got some great throws. WGNO’s Kenny Lopez dropped by a caught a coveted glittered goblet! (photo below)
Happy Valentine’s Day. Saturday – 5 parades!