Pin It

Happy Mirth Day 

Carnival delights and details

Greetings, spirited subjects! As we embark upon the second week of all the magnificence, extravagance and decadence that is Carnival 2004, I, Rex DukeTM, your master of Mardi Gras merriment, am privileged to again convey to you all the luster, liveliness and lampoonery we can anticipate from upcoming parades. The slew of processions that proudly paraded last week only whetted Rex's appetite for the even more grand affairs to come. So that you will miss nary a bead nor a doubloon, here are the essential elements of the latter Carnival parades in all their posh possibilities. Onward, costumed cognoscenti, as we hie toward the zenith of Fat Tuesday!


TUESDAY, FEB. 17

6 p.m.

Ancient Druids

Location: Uptown
Theme: Secret
Floats: 15
Arch Druid: Secret
Queen: None
Throws: Three types of doubloons, Druids cups, light-up Druids beads, bobble-head figures, giant acorns

The Krewe of Ancient Druids will once again bring its own brand of political satire with more than 250 riders in the classic Druid garb, accompanied by dancing flambeaux. This old-school Carnival parade will also feature 10 marching bands, 25 flag carriers and numerous horse groups.


6:45 p.m.

Morpheus

Location: Uptown
Theme: "Royal Dreams"
Floats: 15
King: Antoni Willcox
Queen: Karin Toribio
Throws: Morpheus medallion beads, stuffed crescent moons engraved with Morpheus, twist beads, aluminum doubloons, special 2004 captain's doubloons

This year's theme centers around classical notions of grandeur such as Caesar's dreams of conquest and Montezuma's dreams of revenge. With double the membership of last year, the Krewe of Morpheus aims to please, featuring only classic single-deck, old-style floats and a dozen local bands such as George Washington Carver High School. The Marine Corps Band will lead the parade.



WEDNESDAY, FEB. 18


6 p.m.

Saturn

Location: Uptown
Theme: Secret
Floats: 18
King: Gregory A. Thurhner
Queen: Julie Dale Haydel Throws: Frisbees, two kinds of cups featuring Saturn and 21st anniversary crests, Saturn light-up beads, Saturn "Fat Lady" beads, planet beads, nine kinds of doubloons, cup holders, mini bobble-head dolls

Saturn plans to make up for last year's unfortunate rain-out with a big, bold parade. Special units include a New Orleans Police Chief float for grand marshal Eddie Compass, and one honoring South Louisiana military members who served or are serving in Iraq. That float, which includes a replica of George W. Bush, will carry soldiers' family members, all unmasked (Saturn plans to videotape the parade and send it to the soldiers overseas.) There's also the signature "Fat Lady" float and a new king's float, both hand-built with papier mache. The parade includes 16 marching bands, flambeaux and "Walking Heads."


6:45 p.m.

Muses

Location: Uptown
Theme: Secret
Floats: 25
King: None
Queen: None
Throws: Teddy-bear beads, high-heeled shoe beads, beaded can holders, frisbees, can huggies, light-up shoe beads, light-up hair dryers, kiss-shaped magnetic blinking strobe earrings and rings, Muses shoe soap, Muses toothbrushes, Muses beauty packs, mesh purses, feathered shoe key rings, shoe bracelets, shoe squeaky toys

This year, the 660-woman-strong Krewe of Muses will honor Thalia, the muse of comedy (represented in the parade by local actress/comedienne Becky Allen) and introduce two new floats. The "Shoe Float" will feature a 20-foot-long high-heeled pump covered in fiber-optic lighting and carrying surprise special guests. The "Bathtub Float" will feature Muses enjoying a bubble bath.


7 p.m.

Thor

Location: Metairie
Theme: "Lifestyles of the Rich" Floats: 20 King: Dan Civello Queen: Melanie Trager Throws: King and queen 30th-anniversary doubloons, Captain doubloons with 30th-anniversary crest, beads
This year marks the Krewe of Thor's 30th anniversary and they're out to show it with 544 riders and seven marching bands, including West Jefferson High School. The parade features a new captain's float and a new king and queen's float commemorating the event. Look for such other new floats as "Owning a Horse in the Kentucky Derby" and "Champagne Flight to Europe," featuring a giant champagne bottle in front and an airplane in back. Other float highlights include "Owning a NASCAR" and "Going to the Bullfights in Spain."



THURSDAY, FEB. 19



5:45 p.m.

Knights of Babylon

Location: Uptown
Theme: Secret
Floats: 20
King Sargon LX: Secret
Queen: Secret
Throws: Cups, footballs, jester beads, 3-D fiber-optic medallion lighted beads, silver aluminum doubloons

This Uptown favorite will feature 210 members and a fleet of old-line, traditional floats. St. Augustine High School's marching band will lead with the Marine Band in tow. Look for such signature floats as "The Hanging Gardens of Babylon," "The Creole Cottage," "The Streetcar," "The Tower of Babel" and "Jester's Jazz." The rest of the floats will be unveiled that night and follow a secret theme based on literary or musical classics.


6:30 p.m.

Chaos

Location: Uptown
Theme: Secret
Floats: 15
King: Secret
Queen: None
Throws: Cups, medallions, beads, doubloons

The Krewe of Chaos again intends to dazzle onlookers with a satirically themed parade featuring 200 riders, 20 horse-mounted lieutenants and flambeaux. The floats are built from 125-year-old wooden-wheel cotton wagons with 11 bands in between.


7 p.m.

Excalibur

Location: Metairie Theme: "A Knight's Tale" Floats: 19
King Arthur: Pendelton "Penny" Larsen
Queen Guenevere: Debbie Ann Robert
Throws: Stuffed vinyl swords, plastic light-up swords, baseball hats, coloring books, cups, frisbees, stuffed animals

The Krewe of Excalibur adds a new neon motorcycle troupe to its 10-band, six-dance-team lineup. The parade will feature knights on horseback with real chain mail and maids in plumed collars. Look for ornate floats such as "Dink," representing King Arthur pulling the sword Excalibur from the stone. All children riding in the parade will wear medieval costumes such as knight and prince garb.



FRIDAY, FEB. 20



6 p.m.

Hermes

Location: Uptown
Theme: "Pandora: The All Gifted One"
Floats: 27
King: Secret
Queen: Christine Baudier
Throws: Long white pearl beads, medallion beads, cups with parade theme, flying discs and plush dolls with Hermes crest

Hermes honors that great boxer Pandora by telling her tale with such floats as "Aphrodite Blesses Pandora With Beauty," "Hermes Endows Pandora With Curiosity" and "Hera Grants Pandora Cunning and Guile." Marching between the floats will be 25 bands from as far away as Illinois. Watch for the King's float, the first new one in 50 years, crafted by Royal Artists and hearkening back to the style of the mid-1920s. It features two 15-foot-long, 6-foot-high Venetian-winged lions.


6:30 p.m.

Le Krewe D'Etat

Location: Uptown
Theme: Secret
Floats: 21
Dictator: Secret
Queen: None
Throws: Gargoyle medallion beads, gargoyle stuffed animals (two sizes), blinking-eye skeleton-head beads, cups, doubloons of purple, green and gold

The Duke has always appreciated Le Krewe d'Etat's mischievous ways, and hence will respect its privacy and let you find out the parade's theme Friday like everyone else. But two things are certain: Le Krewe's theme will no doubt capture the spirit of topical humor (last year's: "Tales Told By Idiots"), and no one is safe from its razor-sharp wit. The parade will feature 16 marching bands, including old favorite St. Augustine, as well as the U.S. Marine Corps marching band.


7 p.m.

Aquila

Location: Metairie
Theme: "Broadway/Show Stoppers"
Number of Floats: 18
King: James C. Oncale
Queen: Brenda K. Chetta
Throws: Doubloons, cups, lighted beads, medallion beads, cozies, stuffed vinyl eagle crest, vinyl footballs

This 280-member krewe will roll for its 28th year sporting its traditionally custom-made outfits tailored by the krewe members themselves -- no outsourcing here! Aquila will pay tribute to scads of Broadway show tunes, with floats honoring The King and I, Chicago, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Cats, Beauty and the Beast, and more. Maids and dukes will ride with their enormous, detailed, three-dimensional collars as well as their traditional head pieces. Joining in the celebration with be as many as 14 marching bands from New Orleans and the surrounding area.


7:45 p.m.

Knights of Jason

Location: Metairie
Theme: "Walkin' Through New Orleans"
Floats: 13
King: Jules Crovetto Jr.
Queen: Juli Jelenko
Throws: King and queen medallion beads, light-up beads, cups, yard dogs, and the krewe mascot KOJI (for "Knights of Jason Inc."), a plush, 20-inch dragon

The Duke well remembers when this krewe rolled in Harahan back in the day and welcomes the return (this time in Metairie) of the Knights of Jason after a 30-year hiatus, thanks to the Kirkwood family. Melody Kirkwood rode with her father Bert Cook as a child and together with husband Turner Kirkwood Jr. and son Turner Kirkwood III will ride again with Cook on Friday. (All are officers.) This 200-member krewe will honor New Orleans streets, with pirates riding on "Pirate's Alley," the Superdome profiled on "Poydras Street," and good old Mr. Bingle represented on "Canal Street." (We'll let you see for yourself what's on "Bourbon Street.") The grand marshal is Jesuit grad and former Major Leaguer Will Clark.



SATURDAY, FEB. 21



11:30 a.m.

Iris

Location: Uptown
Theme: "A Touch of Class"
Floats: 28
King: John Hutton "Chappie" Chapman
Queen: Star Renee Chapman
Throws: Mini bobble-head dolls, footballs, cups, Iris theme beads, champagne flutes, magnetic animals, stuffed animals, 3-D medallion beads, Iris stuffed bears

Grand marshals John Oswald and Chip Kelmell are among the handful of men allowed to parade with the more than 900 women of Iris, formed in 1917 and now the oldest and largest ladies' organization of Carnival. All costumes are specially tailored to individual floats that reflect the krewe's classy theme, including "The Grand Prix" "The Zoo to Do" and the "Nutcracker Ballet." Most of the 20 bands hail from out of state.


N.O.M.T.O.C.
Location: West Bank
Theme: "N.O.M.T.O.C.'s Book of Fairy Tales"
Floats: 18
King: Roy L. McCorkle
Queen: LaToya Renee Harvey
Throws: Signature "Jug Man" dolls, footballs, earrings, keychains, bottle openers, ceramic banks

Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan, the 2004 grand marshal, will ride the captain's float for "New Orleans' Most Talked Of Club." The 35th annual parade includes eight bands, 10 horse posses, and 15 dance groups. Theme floats include "The Ginger Bread Man," Old King Cole," "Puss 'n Boots," and "Heidi."


1 p.m.

Tucks

Location: Uptown
Theme: "New Orleans Politics: A Mardi Gras Fairy Tale"
Floats: 29
King: Rudy Ormond
Queen: Lelia S. Peyronnin
Throws: Panties, bras, toy toilets, stuffed dolls, lighted and non-lighted medallion beads, wooden and metal doubloons, footballs, flying discs, bean bags, megaphones

The only parade led by a float with an open-air toilet seat, the Tucks procession has grown to 101 units since Loyola University business student Robert Reichert, then 18, started the krewe in 1969. Marching bands, motorcycle clubs, and horse posses fill out the parade's ranks. This year's theme pokes fun at City Hall with such title floats as "Funky Tucks Runs for Mayor" and "Nagin's Reagan."


4:30 p.m.

Endymion

Location: Mid-City
Theme: "Saturday Night at the Movies, The Sequel"
Floats: 28
King: David Lee Goodson
Queen: Megan Elise Giardina
Throws: Medallion beads with streetcar, light-up beads, three-tone beads, inflatable doll and squeaky toy characters, footballs, flying discs

Endymion commemorates its return to its modified Mid-City route with special medallion beads and a Samedi (Saturday) Gras celebration starting at noon at Orleans Avenue and Olympia Street. Country-western singer Leann Rimes, the featured performer and grand marshal, leads the 2,150-member krewe and 130 unit-parade, founded in 1966. Float titles reflect the overall theme and include "The Matrix Trilogy," "Moulin Rouge," "Lord of the Rings" and "Spiderman."


6 p.m.

Isis

Location: Metairie
Theme: "Sweet Stuff"
Floats: 20
King: Dr. Lance Webb
Queen: Carolyn Hadsall
Throws: Stuffed animals, beads, candy

This all-female krewe named after the Egyptian goddess celebrates its 32nd year with 250 members. Local high school marching bands and dance teams will accompany floats decorated in a sugar-sweet theme. Some of the succulent floats scheduled to appear are "Cotton Candy," "Teddy Grahams," "Peppermint Sticks," "Licorice Whips" and "Lucky Charms."



SUNDAY, FEB. 22

11 a.m.

Okeanos

Location: Uptown
Theme: "Heroes and Villains"
Floats: 17
King: John Lee Jr.
Queen: Stephanie Meyers

Throws: Purple, green and gold Okeanos medallions, beads, cups

The Krewe of Okeanos celebrates its 55th year with a first -- 2004's parade will be the first time it will roll with women members. Okeanos' theme features heroes and villains from film and literature, as well as some cheeky references to heroes and villains of the everyday variety. The 250-member krewe will ride on floats honoring such heroes as "Wonder Woman," "Popeye," "Superman" and "Firemen." If villains are more your speed, there's always "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" or "Jesse James."


11:30 a.m.

Thoth

Location: Uptown
Theme: "Animators and Illustrators"
Floats: 39
King: Paul Trapani
Queen: Ashley Doyle
Throws: Mini bobble-head Thoth dolls, feather boas, squeeze bottles, cups, five types of medallion beads with Thoth's Egyptian insignia

This popular Uptown parade will feature the history of comics dating back to 1918, with New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass riding as a featured celebrity. Local marching bands, dance troupes, and musicians will strut alongside floats titled "Look Up in the Sky" (Superman), "Here He Comes to Save the Day" (Mighty Mouse), and other floats depicting such characters as Felix the Cat and SpongeBob SquarePants.


Noon

Mystic Knights of Adonis

Location: Gretna
Theme: "Adonis' Childhood Memories"
Floats: 16
King: Al Dugas Jr.
Queen: Gayle Ponthier
Throws: Adonis logo beads, Adonis cups, plush animals, toys

This krewe is celebrating its sixth birthday with a kid-friendly theme and fun floats representing nursery rhymes from Mother Goose, including "Lots of Jacks" (as in, Jack and the Beanstalk, Jack and Jill ... you get the picture); "Fuzzy Friends," and "Pie A La Mode." Clarence "Frogman" Henry rides as grand marshal accompanied by marching bands, horse groups and motorcycle clubs.


2 p.m.

Mid-City

Location: Uptown
Theme: "The Things We Do For Love"
Floats: 19
King: Stephen E. Farkas
Queen: Natalie Newton
Throws: Logo medallion beads, 3-D beads, logo potato chips, cups, beanie toys including the heart-shaped "Mid-City Man," flying discs

This staple krewe of 71 years will again roll Uptown instead of in the neighborhood for which it's named, due to ongoing construction in Mid-City. But the parade promises all New Orleans residents a worthy trip with a fun spin on an old theme. The 200-member krewe will feature floats depicting themes of "Dear John," "Love Cruise," "I Ching, You Chang," "Showered With Gifts," "Make A Wish," "I Went to A Fortune Teller" and "Whodoo Voodoo."


5:15 p.m.

Bacchus

Location: Uptown
Theme: "Bacchus' Magical Mystical Tour"
Floats: 29
King: Elijah Wood
Queen: None
Throws: Plush animals of purple, green and gold with Bacchus sash, Bacchus medallion beads, individual float theme beads, light-up beads with clusters of grapes and bottles of Bacchus wine

The Bacchus krewe attempts to outdo itself in its 36th year with 30 bands (one for each float) and a Mardi Gras first: all 1,250 members will wear lighted costumes, with officers in lighted capes. Alongside the beloved faces of Bacchagator and Bacchasaurus, Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood reigns as celebrity king. Floats are depicted with a classic theme, one befittingly entitled "Hobbits of the Shire." Other floats are "Gnomes of the Forests," "Call of the Siren" and "Medusa." There could be more celebrity sightings, as a number of Wood's co-stars from the LOTR trilogy have been invited to ride along with the king.


5:30 p.m.

Napoleon

Location: Metairie
Theme: "Legends and Lore"
Floats: 23
King: Kurt Joseph
Queen: Tanya Phillips
Throws: Footballs, medallions, beads, cups

Napoleon's 300 krewe members will bring parade-goers into a realm of fantasy and urban myths, riding on floats depicting fantastic creatures such as "Vampires," "Ghosts," and "Genies of the Lamp." Five jazz bands, six ladies' groups, and 11 marching units from local high schools will help carry the 24-year-old krewe down the Metairie route.



MONDAY, FEB. 23


5:15 p.m.

Proteus

Location: Uptown
Theme: Secret
Floats: 20
King: Secret
Queen: Secret
Throws: Handmade, hand-strung glass beads in the style of traditional original Mardi Gras beads

The title float will have a new, detailed depiction of the first tableau of Proteus, based on a mythological 25-foot fish that the first Proteus king rode in 1882. In a nod to the krewe's long and storied history, riders will throw retro Mardi Gras beads that are akin to the baubles tossed in early Proteus parades.


5:45 p.m.

Orpheus

Location: Uptown
Theme: "Serenade of the Seasons"
Floats: 27
King: None
Queen: None
Throws: Signature beads, light-up Orpheus medallion beads, cups, doubloons

Orpheus' musical theme reflects its namesake and honors many of its special guests. The krewe's 1,200 members will roll with local marching groups, dance teams, and this year's celebrity monarchs: country star Brad Paisley and local rockers Better Than Ezra (who will perform with krewe founder Harry Connick Jr. at the Orpheus ball). Also look for actor Dominic Monaghan, who played the hobbit Merry in Lord of the Rings. A first for a Mardi Gras parade is a guest from the world of fashion-- designer Nicole Miller will appear as a celebrity rider.


6:30 p.m.

Zeus

Location: Metairie
Theme: "Animation in the Cinema"
Floats: 25
King: Louis Carl Gaudet
Queen: Kristin Mary Oddo
Throws: Bobble-head Zeus dolls, lighted beads, logo beads, flying discs, cups, gold, silver and pink doubloons

For its 47th year of parading, the tradition-bound Zeus, which has captains appointed for life and queens selected at birth, this year pays homage to another grand legacy: animated films, especially Disney movies. Floats will represent such classics as Superman, Fantasia and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The family-friendly krewe also boasts 12 marching bands imported from other states, ROTC units and dance teams from such local schools as Mt. Carmel, Ursuline Academy and St. Mary's Dominican.



TUESDAY, FEB. 24


8:30 a.m.

Zulu

Location: Uptown
Theme: "Zulu and All the Characters We Know"
Floats: 50
King: Gerard Johnson
Queen: Lisa Crinel
Throws: Zulu coconuts, beads representing the Zulu Providence Prince, clappers, shakers, handkerchiefs, pimp hats, umbrellas, spears, tambourines, footballs, cups, big medallion beads, bikini panties

While Zulu's cherished coconuts would make anyone's Mardi Gras day, there was also heated competition for Zulu bikini panties last year; those return in 2004 by popular demand. Adding to this revered krewe's revelry are floats embodying such characters as Winnie the Pooh and The Cat in the Hat. The Budweiser Clydesdale horses are featured, along with seven other horse units, 21 marching bands, the Original Pinstripe and Coolbone brass bands, eight dance troupes and six drill teams.


10 a.m.

Argus

Location: Metairie
Theme: "Sinatra and His Music"
Floats: 28
King: Scott Sewell
Queen: Shana Ann Stumpf
Throws: Blue Dog doubloons, long krewe emblem beads, Frank Sinatra cups, moon pies, peanuts, stuffed toys

With 500 members consisting of men, women and children, Argus this year puts its considerable manpower behind a tribute to Ol' Blue Eyes, with floats representing Frank Sinatra's timeless songs. As is tradition, famed artist George Rodrigue and Sheriff Harry Lee will occupy their own floats. Members of the Louisiana State University national champion football team will be honored, along with grand marshals Sammy Kershaw and Roy Morgan. Twenty marching bands provide music along with acts such as the crowd-pleasing Benny Grunch & the Bunch.


Rex
Location: Uptown
Theme: "The Winged World"
Floats: 27
King: Secret
Queen: Secret
Throws: Rex pearl beads, tri-color beads, doubloons, stuffed jester doll, emblem cups

Rex's theme of "The Winged World" will bring, behind the King of Carnival's float, a dazzling procession of winged creatures from mythology. Floats will depict "Gryphon," "Quetzalcoatl," "Sea Sirens," "Halcyone" and "The Phoenix." The marching band of Louisiana State University, the Golden Band from Tigerland, will lead the parade, with nearly 20 other bands following in Rex's 123rd procession. The popular stuffed jester doll returns for the second year and is sure to be a much-demanded throw.


11 a.m.

Choctaw

Location: Gretna
Theme: "Choctaw Salutes Southern Indians"
Floats: 16
Chief: Scott M. Holt
Princess: Shannon Marie Holt
Throws: Logo beads, logo frisbees, spears, logo bags

Still going strong in its 69th year, Choctaw will pay homage to local Native American tribes with floats honoring "Opelousa Indians," "Caddo Indians," "Tunica Indians" and more. The krewe's 200 members will be accompanied by such marching units as the George Washington Carver band.


Noon

Grela

Location: Gretna
Theme: "Choose Your Fantasy"
Floats: 26
King: Kim Fernandez
Queen: Tiffany Fernandez
Throws: Collector's-edition "Spot Dogs" (dalmatians with Grela logo), krewe cups, king and queen cups

Grela promises to wow the West Bank with a 150-unit parade that will include stilt walkers, dune buggy and motorcycle crews, "Walking Heads," horse groups, and floats invoking such fantasies as "Rags to Riches," "Triple Crown Winner," "Fantasia" and "Winston Cup Winner." The B-97 morning crew from WEZB-FM serve as grand marshals, and members of the VooDoo Dolls dance team will ride on the captain's float. Twelve bands -- some from as far away as Chicago and New York -- will keep Grela rolling along.
click to enlarge LOUISIANA OFFICE OF TOURISM
click to enlarge PHILIP GOULD
click to enlarge PHILIP GOULD
click to enlarge PHILIP GOULD
click to enlarge JEFF STROUT
  • Jeff Strout
Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in News

© 2015 Gambit
Powered by Foundation