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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Krewe of Druids paraded in Uptown

Posted By on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 10:10 AM

click to enlarge The Mystic Krewe of Druids paraded in Uptown.
  • The Mystic Krewe of Druids paraded in Uptown.

The Mystic Krewe of Druids doesn't announce its theme in advance of the parade, and typically it offers dry wit or wry commentary on theme floats, but the group also can't help but grind a few axes and it's always amusing to see what it'll do.

"Druids' Olympics" had some entertaining takes on local icons and recurring grievances. One of the early theme floats featured the "SWB Discus Throw" with a sculpture of the city's iconic water meter plates. There also was a "Crime Camera Dash," with a replica of one of the city's growing number of cameras on the front of the float. There also was a "Po-boy Eating Contest" float with a giant po-boy on front.

click to enlarge druds_purse.jpg
One subject the krewe can't resist is taking jabs at the parade that follows it, the all-women Mystic Krewe of Nyx. The "Marathon" float featured a Carnival figure holding a giant pink purse, one of the symbols and signature throws of Nyx. Nyx has grown quickly in recent years and listed 2,900 riders on 42 floats this year. And if anyone didn't get the purse reference, one of the final floats in Druids parade was titled, "Seriously ... The Parade Behind us is not Worth the Wait."

Druids sticks to many Carnival traditions, and while some krewes push to use bigger and longer floats with ever more riders, Druids keeps things in scale. Floats aren't overcrowded with riders, and spectators don't see massive amounts of throws hanging on hooks packed like prizes on the wall of a sideshow game.

There weren't a lot of throws, but one spectator near me received a medallion bead featuring a woman with the Olympic rings.
click to enlarge druids_medal.jpg
The parade featured a U.S. Marine Corps marching band and high school bands from Chalmette High School, Ehret High School, Cabrini High School and Sophie B. Wright High School.

Druids also reached beyond local references for float subjects, and the attempt at a Caitlyn Jenner joke was an over reach. A few krewes devoted floats to the subject last year and proved that transphobia must be hard to overcome. At least the subject of Jenner was timely last year, but Druids created a float titled "De-Caitlyn Thon," featuring a bent Christ-like figure with a white ribbon across his chest reading "Finish."

The krewe does seem to acknowledge its offbeat humor, One of the last units in the parade was its trailer featuring a school chalkboard with the repeated line "I will be a good Druid" and at the bottom right corner was scrawled "Druids rulz."

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