Established in 1917, Krewe of Iris is the oldest all-female krewe and they truly set the standard. The queen wears a traditional beaded gown, jeweled crown a wide, ostrich-feather-trimmed, lace collar. But it’s the rest of the royal court that sets this krewe apart with their sequined gowns topped with giant, elaborately beaded collars depicting different themes. I especially like the Maid in the Saints collar and her Duke’s matching Pelicans cape.
Their floats are gorgeous. My favorite was back – the woman’s face with long hair flowing, purple irises nested in the locks. 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
There are New Orleans traditions that belong mostly to our visitors (Bourbon Street) and those that belong uniquely to locals, but there are a few traditions we all share. We all eat beignets, we all love Mardi Gras (though often for different reasons) and we all love the Tuesday night tradition of Rebirth Brass Band playing the Maple Leaf. Rebirth is the first brass band to ever win a Grammy. The world has heard them in many soundtracks dating back to Reginald Hudlin’s Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy in 1992. Last years’s hit Girls Trip included the band’s original, Do Watcha Wanna – practically a city anthem.
I’d been to the Maple Leaf in the 90’s during a location scout for a film and not much has changed. The service was fantastic – a winning balance of fast and friendly. Continue reading
Krewe of Proteus, the oldest night parade, was established in 1882 and features seahorse throws. I love the romantic nostalgia of seeing some version of earlier parades. Flambeau light the way as they did before the invention of streetlights. Last I heard, the mythologically inspired floats still sit atop the original wooden chassis.
The superkrewe Orpheus parade takes the spectacle to another level. The street fills with legions of flambeau leading star-studded royalty. First up was Keegan-Michael Key who I stopped photographing when I realized he was pointing at me to catch his beads. Co-founder Harry Connick Jr. rode as king in the same float we got to ride in with Quentin Tarantino in 2014. Continue reading