Fat Tuesday falls on March 4, 2014, but the Carnival season starts as always on Twelfth Night (Jan. 6). Several krewes have made announcements about 2014 parades and events. Bacchus will be ruled by Hugh Laurie, the star of House, who was in town recently to perform at a Tipitina's Foundation benefit to restore Professor Longhair's family home.
The Krewe of Orpheus announced the entertainment for the Orpheuscapade (lundi gras, March 3). Cheap Trick will headline the event and other performers include Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and The Party Crashers. The krewe will release the names of its celebrity monarchs Monday, Dec. 23. Cheap Trick fans may remember the band's much discussed 2011 Voodoo Music and Art Experience show.
The Krewe of Alla will ride on the Uptown route for the first time at 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 23. Its monarchs are Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts as Maharajah and Gabrielle Lynn Taylor as Maharanee.
A young Carnival club, the Krewe of Freret, is scheduled to debut on the Uptown route on Feb. 22. The group was formed by Loyola University alums. The krewe's royalty will be King Jason Williams and Queen Ary Dotiwala.
Mardi Gras comes late in 2014 (Fat Tuesday is March 4), which means Krewe du Vieux's raunchy and satirical parade also is late (Saturday, Feb. 15). One of the group's subkrewes is getting started early, however, with its Cirque d'So Lame fundraising circus in St. Patrick's Park (across from Mid-City Yacht Club) from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14.
The Mystic Krewe of Inane is putting a pop-cultural spin on carny sideshow games and attractions. Lil Wayne's Sizzurp Race is a twist on the classic of using a water gun to fill a plastic cup before other competitors. Meth Mouth is a carny beanbag toss into one of the "faces of meth," and participants must knock out three teeth to win. Chocolate pudding wrestling was popular last year, but it has been replaced with Here Comes Honey Boo Boo's "Sketti" (spaghetti) Wrestling. Fortune-telling Jesus was a hit last year, and this year, he's back with an expanded menu of services, including interventions, exorcisms and marriages (same-sex only). The crowning Freudian nightmare is the Birth Canal ride, a tactile funhouse filled with things spelunking adventurers may or may not enjoy or want identified. Shower facilities are not provided, but there's a kiddie pool in the VIP area. Suggested donation to enter the carnival is $10, and beer is included. Entrance to the VIP area is an additional $5. There also are food vendors and more carnival games. Costumes are encouraged.
(Routes and event info below the jump!)
video courtesy of LouisianaHumanities
(route details below the jump)
Robert Morris at Uptown Messenger has an update on District B City Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell's plans to seek tighter enforcement of safety laws along Mardi Gras parade routes, the subject of a January story in Gambit. Uptown Messenger with a story on a recent Cantrell-hosted meeting on the subject:
While walking the routes (or riding them, as she did in Zulu), Cantrell said her top concern was ladders too close to the street.
She observed other problems as well, she said in a short interview after the meeting — people “roping off areas and commandeering public property, and the altercations that occur from that,” the portable toilets that spring up, or the moving trucks that park near the route for instant keg parties.
Over the coming year, Cantrell said she intends to begin convening roundtable meetings with other city officials to discuss issues such as how to empower officers to cite lawbreakers in a way that will stop the problem, or how to target the owners and the renters of portable toilets that are illegally placed.
According to a press release from the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office, 1,681 people were arrested in New Orleans between Friday, Jan. 25 and the end of Tuesday, Feb. 12, including 289 arrests during Super Bowl weekend. The Advocate reports 879 Carnival season arrest actions — a number that includes suspects who received summonses rather than being taken into custody — in the New Orleans Police Department's Eighth District, which covers the French Quarter and the Central Business District. That compares to 1,056 Eighth District arrests last year.
According to Lindsay Meaux, a spokesperson for the Sheriff's Office, the numbers released today represent only people who were arrested and brought into custody.
Average daily arrests over the season (Jan. 25-Feb. 12), based on OPSO's numbers:
88.47 per day overall.
72.25 per day during Super Bowl festivities.
92.8 per day for the Carnival season not including Super Bowl days.
The Metropolitan Crime Commission reported in May that 33,117 people were arrested in all of 2011. That works out to an average of about 90.7 per day.
(Read the press release after the jump)
Mardi Gras Day I walked outside my house and was greeted with this:
It aint for everybody but for me, it gets no better than Mardi Gras day in Treme. We've got the Skeletons setting it off at the break of dawn, waking up the neighborhood with their howling and clacking. This gives me just enough time to get up, get myself together, make snacks for all my visitors (my house is Bathroom Break Central) and a cocktail for myself. By then its time to catch the Zulu parade passing by Orleans and Claiborne, the epicenter of Black Mardi Gras, on their way back home over on Broad Street. All the downtown Indians (and some Uptowns ones) make their way over here to holler about their prettiness and be admired. Baby dolls are prancing around, grills and stereo systems in front of every third house doing their thing. The Candlelight bar, official clubhouse of the neighborhood, is jammed packed feeding and boozing everyone. And of course, it wouldn’t be Treme without one or two second line parades rolling through, ensuring that we don’t end our day without a good ole shakedown in the street.
And now, the award for best throw of Mardi Gras 2013 - this one is NSFW kiddies!
(NSFW photo below the jump!)
There’s just a little more than one day to celebrate Carnival traditions. One more day to sample king cakes and decide which flavor is your favorite and who makes the best. And one day to deliver on the obligation that comes with getting the baby.
Speaking of the baby, the King Cake Baby has come of age, with a filmmaker using the Carnival icon to teach the world about Mardi Gras culinary traditions, specifically king cakes. Baby was interviewed by Megan Braden Perry in this space last year — perhaps about the same time this documentary/music video launched. You go Baby!
So what is your favorite king cake?
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