Tag Archives: 610 stompers

Gleason Gras, Downriver Festival & Burger Fest

My family is safe after Hurricane Irma but it was a long, scary weekend. Luckily, New Orleans always has plenty of distractions. Friday, I performed with the Pussyfooters at 7th annual Gleason Gras. Presented by former Saint, Steve Gleason, and What You Give Will Grow in the Superdome’s Champions Square, the event raises awareness and money for ALS and the Gleason Family Trust. The show included Jon Cleary, Colin Lake and Rebirth Brass Band as well as performances by the 610 Stompers and the Pussyfooters! We danced, ate, took photos with the Lombardi trophy and had a great time for a great cause.

Saturday was a 2 Fest day. First was Downriver Festival, celebrating the cultural and environmental impact of the Mississippi River region. Soul Brass Band played as DancingMan504 and Spidey504 put on a show under a shady tent next to the U.S. Mint. Continue reading

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Mardi Gras 2017 Wrap-Up

We’ve heard it a lot in the last few days – this was the best Carnival (Mardi Gras season) in years. In fairness, a lot of it had to do with the extraordinarily wonderful weather. After the 50 degree rain-soaked Krewe of Cleopatra parade,  most days were 70-80 and sunny with breezes. This year, I danced in 3 parades with the Pussyfooters. We were excited to debut our super-hero-inspired capes and signature pink corsets at the Cleopatra parade but mostly ended up covered in dripping-wet plastic sacks. That said, the crowds kept us inspired. Carnival parades are like a perpetual motion machine. The paraders bring energy to the crowds and the crowds bring energy to the paraders.

Though routines are set, each year I get to do new things at Mardi Gras and have new experiences. Continue reading

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Krewe of Thoth Parade with the Pussyfooters

Sunday was the Pussyfooters last parade of the season, Known as the “children’s parade,” the Krewe of Thoth parade has the longest route of Carnival in order to pass in front of Children’s Hospital. My phone counted 29,000 steps (14 miles). We lined up at 11am and spent our down time visiting with the 610 Stompers, the “Ordinary Men with Extraodinary Moves.” Roux La La rested nearby as the marching bands of De La Salle and John L. McClellan High Schools practiced.

This was my third time parading in 10 days. In between, I’ve been attending parades – and that does require an endurance of it’s own. But whether you’re dancing, twirling a baton, blowing on a giant tuba, walking on stilts or throwing beads from a float, parading is a labor of love that tests commitment and physical limits. Continue reading

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Krewes of Hermes, d’Etat & Morpheus Parades

Vendredi Gras AKA “Friday Gras” started early in the French Quarter with events like the Royal Sonesta’s annual Greasing of the Poles, but Uptown festivities began after the sun set.  Mystic Krewe of Hermes kicked off the 3 parade evening. Founded in 1937, the Krewe has  been parading longer than any other krewe that parades at night. In the wake of the Great Depression, some businessmen decided the best remedy for the blues was to expand Mardi Gras to a 5 day party. Celebration is often the solution to local woes.  Continue reading

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Filed under Carnival, Culture, decorations and costumes, free events and lagniappe, history, Mardi Gras 2017, parade, Pelicans, walking

Krewes of Druids and Nyx Parades

Everywhere else, it was just Wednesday but here in New Orleans, Krewe of Druids kicked off a 2 parade night that rolled its way toward midnight. Founded in 1998, the “Merlin”-hat-wearing Druids honor the Celtic priests who acted as mediators between the people and their gods and nature. Their krewe never has more than 200 members and secrecy shrouds their membership. In near direct opposition, the Krewe of Nyx is a diverse all-female Super Krewe of more than 2,200 riders. The last float in Druids was South-Park-inspired with a sign picking on Nyx, “Seriously… The parade behind us is not worth the wait!” Except, of course, it totally was. Though by 10:30pm there was some nostalgia for the Wednesdays of yore when people could get home to watch a favorite show or finish homework before turning in, Nyx puts on a heck of a parade. Continue reading

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Krewes of Femme Fatale & Carrolton

It was sunny and in the upper 70’s for Sundays parades. Another perfect day for parades – 4 of them! Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale debuted in 2015. Founded entirely by African-American women, membership is open to women of all colors and creeds and the signature throw, a mirrored compact, symbolizes both inward and outward reflection. My fellow Pussyfooters were included in the lineup so I wore my Pussyfooters t-shirt in celebration. Other adult parade groups were the Original Treme Baby Dolls, Skinz N Bonez, fabulous divas on Batman-like motorcycles, goddess warriors called The Amazons and the Black Storyville Baby Dolls. Though the Pussyfooters were the first adult dance krewe of the modern era, they drew their inspiration from the original Baby Dolls who paraded at the turn of the century so it was wonderful to see 2 Baby Doll krewes in the mix. Continue reading

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Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture

I was delighted to attend the opening of Carl Mack’s Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes & Culture this weekend. It was the perfect way to kick off the first day of Carnival, especially since they had plenty of King Cake on hand. The walls displayed vibrant photos, mostly by Carlos Gonzalez, celebrating the year-round costuming culture of New Orleans. There were even a couple of photos from our wedding in a display book. I especially enjoyed when the photos were placed next to the actual costumes they captured.

The fancifully displayed costumes are the real stars of the show. The majority come from the personal collection of Carl Mack Continue reading

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