Super Sunday is easily one of my favorite days of the year as many of the Mardi Gras Indian tribes step out to show off their stunning suits of beads and feathers. I’m always humbled by the craftsmanship and dedication that goes into the staggeringly beautiful suits our neighbors spend the year carefully designing and crafting with elaborately beaded panels often portraying tales of battle and loss. Weighing up to 150 pounds and costing $3000 or more, the suits portray wildlife or a 3-D version of the Taj Mahal or even a tribute to things that “Ain’t dere no more” like the Jax brewery and the Saints “Dome patrol.”
The big surprise this year was the women. Queen Tahj of the Golden Eagles tribe created a gown rather than a suit. She worked her grandmothers earrings and brooches into her sequin top and her long skirt was beaded with the figures of women and children encircling her to represent her community Continue reading
Lundi Gras is all about the floats. Krewe of Proteus, the oldest night parade, was established in 1882 and the last I heard, the majestic floats still sit atop the original wooden chassis. The Krewe of Orpheus floats include lighted favorites like the dragon whose head moves and blows smoke, the super-long locomotive Smokey Mary and the Trojan Horse carrying a live band. But the real showstoppers are the floats covered in vibrant and plentiful flowers flecked with gold.
Orpheus celebrates musicians and performers. This year’s star-studded royalty offered Mario Lopez and Trace Adkins. Krewe co-founder Harry Connick Jr. rode as king along with his wife, Jill Goodacre, in the same float we got to ride in with Quentin Tarantino in 2014. Continue reading
Focused around toilet humor, the Krewe of Tucks parade is irreverently fun and kids love it. Throws include hand-decorated plungers and scrub brushes and other potty-humored beads and toys. This year’s 50th anniversary theme was “Tucks Gets Sick” so there were also bandaid slap bracelets, stethoscopes and other medical goodies. Rolls of purple, green and gold toilet paper are always tossed over the arching live oak bows, leaving the route strewn with streamers. It’s actually kinda beautiful.
Tucks always puts on a great show with the animal-bikes of Kolossos, the beaded corsets of Dames de Perlage and the Laissez Boys reclining in their motorized loungers, cocktails in hand. Continue reading
Founded in 1917, Krewe of Iris is the oldest all-female krewe at 102. Their vibrant, beautiful floats began parading in 1959. Sunglasses are a signature throw with the hand-decorated ones being the most coveted. Saturday was warm so crowds were thick for the many marching bands and dancers. The Krewe of the Rolling Elvi also found a spot in the lively procession. Continue reading