It’s been over a year and a half since New Orleans hosted a big parade with floats – since Carnival 2020 – so the crowds were out in droves for Brian Kern’s Krewe of Boo Halloween parade. Meters’ bassist George Porter, Jr. served as King, and the Grand Marshal was rapper, producer, DJ Mannie Fresh. I dance with The Pussyfooters, a non-profit body-positive group of over 100 women over-30 in pink corsets, so my only chance to see all the floats and attractions is during the lineup. Continue reading
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This year’s Carnival season was much quieter this year. No parades with their marching bands and screaming crowds. No music venues packed with dancing patrons. Bourbon Street was closed. In fact, the French Quarter shut down liquor sales in the French Quarter for the final weekend of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday. But New Orleans managed to make the best of a bad situation and came up with some fairly marvelous distractions. City Park created a drive-thru parade – Floats in the Oaks – as a safe way to see the floats, maybe catch a dance krewe, and relive some memories. I got to dance twice with my fellow Pussyfooters and it was pretty great being able to make people smile as they drove by.
But is was “Yardi Gras” that really gave the city something to smile about. Another socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, Yardi Gras turned thousands of houses and businesses throughout New Orleans (and as far away as Australia and Abu Dhabi) into parade floats. Continue reading →
“Yardi Gras” is the 2021 socially distanced version of Mardi Gras, where instead of crowding around floats throwing toys and beads, we’ve been wandering the city on foot and by car to see house floats – thousands of homes and businesses throughout the city decorated as parade floats. Krewe of House Floats promoted this safe parade concept, encouraging people to use local businesses and artists to help decorate their places, or go DIY, then register on their map. In the search for these fun and fabulous house floats, I’ve already covered St. Charles Ave., Magazine Street, the Irish Channel, Mid-City and the Garden District and Lower Garden District.
The historic French Quarter doesn’t have the luxury of large front lawns to take on their Yardi Gars displays, so lots of people chose to decorate their wrought iron balconies. My favorite is probably the Krewe of Sub-Krewe house with it’s life-sized paper mache 610 Stomper and Pussyfooters dancers. Continue reading →
After a weather rescheduling cancelled the bands and dancers from the Krewe of Muses parade, I couldn’t wait to dance with the Pussyfooters in the Krewe of Thoth parade. But Carnival had turned tragic again Saturday night with the second tandem-float-related death. To be honest, it was an odd day. I was grateful to be spending it with my pink-corseted sisters bringing smiles to thick crowds.
Founded in 1947, the Krewe of Thoth has a unique Uptown route designed to pass hospitals and other care facilities people have trouble leaving for a parade. Continue reading →
The Mystic Krewe of Hermes is the oldest of 3 parades that roll Friday night. Because of weather rescheduling, we’d already watched 2 parades – Muses and Babylon – without bands and dancing groups to keep things moving quickly. Though we have 5-parade days on weekends, we don’t normally start have to start them after school lets out. Hermes blanketed the crowd in blinkies, including their popular glowing wing headpieces. My favorite moment was when Saints legend Steve Gleason rolled past covered in glow tubes – but he was too quick for my camera.
Wednesday starts 7 straight days of parades ending with Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). Things used to get off to a quiet start with just the Krewe of Ancient Druids rolling, and mostly locals sparsely dotting St. Charles. Once the all-female Super Krewe of Nyx joined the lineup in 2012, the crowds have gotten thicker by the year. Whereas Druids is a smaller krewe with less than 200 members, the Krewe of Nyx boasts thousands of members in over 40 floats – all with treasured hand-made glittery purses to give to a lucky few along with the tons of beads and female-friendly throws. Continue reading →
Krewe of Carrollton is the 4th oldest Carnival parading organization after the Krewes of Rex, Proteus, and Zulu. This is my 8th year dancing with the Pussyfooters, but only my 2nd year parading with the festive men of Carrollton. Thanks to this blog, I always walk around as the floats line up. Bands, walking krewes and dancers wait to join the procession when the parade rolls, and I enjoy the behind-the-scenes glimpses into the different groups and their subcultures. Continue reading →
Krewe of Boo 2019 almost didn’t happen, cancelled midday because of the recent building collapse downtown and a planned demolition attempt. But “Chief Spookster” Brian Kern’s annual Halloween parade rolled as scheduled on a gorgeous 75 degree Saturday evening through thick crowds with many wearing costumes. Continue reading →
Mystic Krewe of Hermes is the first of 3 parades that roll Friday night – and the Krewe that’s been rolling longest that night. In 1937, nearly a decade into the Great Depression, some local businessmen thought the best antidote for the blues was to expand Mardi Gras to a 5 day party. Judging from the size of the crowds, we still agree.
The satirical Le Krewe d’Etat’s motto is “Vivite ut Vehatis. Vehite ut Vevatis,” which mostly means, “Live to Ride. Ride to Live.” Rolling since 1998, the beautiful and irreverent floats by The Royal Artists feature skeletons as do their beads and throws. This year’s floats put a spotlight on everything from Mueller to millennials. Continue reading →
Though this is my 7th year dancing with the Pussyfooters in parades, it’s my first time being a part of the Krewe of Carrollton’s festivities. The weather was perfect for my nearly 25,000 steps – 65, sunny and breezy. Parading is my favorite way to see the city. We take over a neighborhood to line up hours in advance. School bands fill side streets practicing songs, formations and showy moves. We hang out with Rolling Elvi, 610 Stompers, Disco Amigos and more – visiting and hydrating… Continue reading →