The unofficial start of the Carnival parade season used to be a week from now with Krewe Du Vieux, but the festivities began earlier for the second year with the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. Though it got rolling with a dancing army of Princess Leia’s, Chewbacchus has widened its focus from Star Wars to include subkrewes with themes like Wakanda, Pokémon and Sharknadeaux – with people wearing toy sharks emerging from lit cottony tornadoes. Continue reading
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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
It was a gorgeous 75 and sunny day for the 10th annual ‘tit Rex parade. The miniature parade is an adult, often satirical spectacle of big creativity in tiny form. There were even people sipping little Bloody Mary’s, passing out tiny throws and cocktail umbrellas. Barbie and her friends in Mardi Gras beads crowded with their arms outstretched, their kids sitting in ladder chairs. Like my parents, people here grew up making shoebox floats in grade school and parading them down the halls, so the creations are nostalgic for many.
The unofficial start of the Carnival parade season kicked off a week early this year as the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus parade moved to a week before Krewe du Vieux. Chewbacchus features Star Wars and other sci fi and spacey themes. I love the Elliots riding bikes with E.T.’s in their baskets. The Wonder Women were especially impressive this year and I loved the King Cake Babies who all fell into position with their arms and feet in the air. Continue reading
With the Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday parade just hours away, I have NO time to write so I borrowed from a past post. Pardon the plagiarism. The Irish Channel St. Patrick’s Day Club was established in 1947 and has held a mass and parade for over 60 years. I’ve been attending for 6 of those. Over 1400 (often drunk) walkers in black suits and green accessories (many in kilts) exchange silk flowers for kisses from the women and children on the route. Then floats pass tossing cabbage, carrots, Oodles of Noodles, pickles, Moon Pies, Lucky Charms and Irish Spring soap in addition to the traditional throws of beads, toys and cups. Continue reading