The Krewes of Sparta and Pygmalion end the 5-parade Saturday on St. Charles. Sparta is a fairly traditional parade with masked riders – both on the floats and on the horses that lead the way. I was excited to see the flambeaux lighting the Avenue as they have since before the invention of electricity. It’d been 2 years since we’d been entertained by the guys twirling their flames for tips in any parades.
The floats featured phoenix’s and fairy queens. Crowds especially reacted to the dragons – one carried Continue reading
Krewe of Proteus was the first parade to roll on Lundi Gras, the Monday before Fat Tuesday. Established in 1882, Proteus is the second oldest parade of the Carnival season (Rex is oldest) and is the oldest night parade. The “Hindu Heavens” theme played out beautifully on exotic floats by The Royal Artists sitting atop the original 1880’s wooden chassis. Named for the shepherd of the oceans as well as the son of Poseidon, the parade’s King remains a secret to all but the 230 male riders.
The Mystic Krewe of Hermes kicked off the Friday before Fat Tuesday. Founded in 1937, the Krewe has been parading longer than any other krewe that parades at night. Some businessmen decided the best remedy for dealing with post – Great Depression woe was to expand Mardi Gras to a 5 day party. Their logic seems sound to me. Named for the messenger god, Hermes, the parade features colorful floats and some of the best school marching bands including St. Augustine, Warren Easton, Sophie B. Wright, Saint Paul’s School and Central Union High School from El Centro, CA. The Candy Girls and parade-favorites 610 Stompers provided dancing and smiles. Continue reading
Endymion is what’s known as a “Super Krewe,” with celebrity guests, mountains of throws and tandem floats as long as a train. Normally, the Saturday parade rolls and finishes its route with a loop around the venue of its Extravaganza. This year, however, the parade was rescheduled for rain. But, that didn’t stop the Ball from going on as planned, parade and all. Continue reading
Le Krewe d’Etat was the second of the 3 parades on Carnival Friday, or “Vendredi Gras.” Another of the city’s politically satirical parades, the floats are irreverently funny and skeletons abound. The krewe’s motto is “Vivite ut Vehatis. Vehite ut Vevatis,” which mostly means, “Live to Ride. Ride to Live.” Continue reading
The Mystic Krewe of Hermes was the first of 3 parades to roll Uptown on the Friday before Fat Tuesday. They have been parading longer than any other krewe that parades at night. Founded in 1937 by some businessmen who decided the best remedy for dealing with the post- Great Depression woe was to expand Mardi Gras to a 5 day party, the krewe now has almost 650 members. Continue reading
The Knights of Chaos is one of the city’s newer krewes. Founded in 2000, their satirical floats are fashioned by fantastic float makers – Royal Artists. Their name comes from the Greek word meaning, “A great confusion out of which a supreme being created all life.” This year’s theme was, “Chaos Eats Out, No Reservations” and though much of the humor is bawdy, the krewe is very family-centered. Continue reading
The Knights of Babylon are a traditional Carnival Krewe founded in 1939 as the “Jesters Club.” Most floats during Mardi Gras are designed and built by either Blaine Kern or the Jahncke family’s Royal Artists, but Babylon uses the same designs they have for over 70 years. In an era where people lease cars, the krewe still owns and houses their floats. Continue reading
Saturday night, the elaborately costumed Knights of Sparta krewe, founded in 1951, paraded down St. Charles. The king’s fancy float is still drawn by mules and is preceded by the traditional flambeaux, people carrying torches to light the way. The tradition of handing the flambeaux pocket change is also still alive. The krewe officers also carry tradition, still riding horses in masks and stunning long capes. Continue reading