Krewes of Freret & Themis Parades 2023

Krewe of Freret is one of my favorites of the season. The original Krewe paraded for 40 years until the 90’s. In 2011, some children of the previous membership and others gave the parade a reboot. The addition of Grammy-winner Trombone Shorty’s float with the super-long trombone prop has given the ever-evolving parade new continuity. His cover of Ernie K-Doe’s Here Come the Girls was playing as he rode past, throwing goodies to the crowd.

I’m always thrilled to see Trombone Shorty’s cousin, Derrick Tabb, leading The Roots of Music, a non-profit music program serving at-risk youth from 8-14. Tabb is not only a founder of the Roots program (and a CNN Hero finalist), he’s is also the snare drummer of Rebirth Brass Band, the first brass band to win a Grammy. 

The recent Cotton Bowl-winning Tulane Green Wave football team rode in a tandem float throwing beads and collecting adoration. A group near us held signs celebrating the wins and mocking USC. After collecting throws, they handed many of the signs over to the jubilant players.

Crescent City Fae, Lucha Krewe, Femme Fatale dancers, and Dames de Perlage were some of the adult groups to join Freret and the Krewe of Themis, who tucked into the middle of Freret. The goddess, Themis, represents order and justice and fits nicely into the diversity-and-activism-driven Krewe of Freret. Krewe du Kanaval has also folded into Freret, tailing the parade with colorful dancers and a celebration of Haitian roots and influence in New Orleans. This year’s theme of Warrior Women featuring locals like Mahalia Jackson, Ruby Bridges and Marie Laveau. 

After the 4th parade, we took a short refueling break and enjoyed some yummy red beans and rice, made by my preteen niece, and King Cake from Manny Randazzo’s – one of the city’s very best. 

I failed to take many photos of Sparta and took none of Pygmalion. We left early so I could prepare to dance with my Pussyfooters sisters in the Krewe of Carrollton parade on Sunday!


Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, Mardi Gras 2023, parade

2 responses to “Krewes of Freret & Themis Parades 2023

  1. Patricia Ellen Deming

    I love reading your commentary and seeing your photos. Knowing who is in the parades and the pointing musicians is very rewarding info.
    I cannot imagine the energy to go from Christmas to Mardi Gras season but I see now it’s more a year round preparation and a terrific way to fend off the winter blues. I feel like the outpouring of community support as well as the industry itself is a beautiful thing both locals and those of us from away can appreciate.
    Thank you so much for sharing your NOLA.
    Patricia Deming, Danbury CT

    • One of the most remarkable things is that parade season is mostly a labor of local love. In addition to all the bands and dancers practicing and preparing, the riders plan and pay for their own parades. From floats, throws, and performers to police, barricades and trash collection – our parades are a gift to the world straight from our neighbors wallets.

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