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Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hermes, D'Etat and Morpheus paraded Friday in Uptown

Posted By on Sat, Feb 25, 2017 at 6:28 PM

click to enlarge Hermes' "Miscellany" parade featured its "Full fathoms five" float from last year's theme about Shakespeare's The  Tempest. - WILL COVIELLO
  • WILL COVIELLO
  • Hermes' "Miscellany" parade featured its "Full fathoms five" float from last year's theme about Shakespeare's The Tempest.

The Krewe of Hermes reprised pretty floats from past parades, Le Krewe D'Etat satirized President Donald Trump' and other politicians and current events, and the Krewe of Morpheus celebrated Las Vegas in their respective Friday night parades in Uptown.

click to enlarge Hermes' presented "The Tempest." - WILL COVIELLO
  • WILL COVIELLO
  • Hermes' presented "The Tempest."

Hermes' parade featured many floats from recent years, notably from its retelling of Shakespeare's The Tempest last year. Returning float figures included the wonderfully detailed, coral-covered skull on the "Full fathoms five" float and the battered ship on "The Tempest" float. Also impressive were floats titled "Paradise Lost," the "Salome" float with the head of John the Baptist on a platter and several animal figures representing ancient Egyptian gods.

The Hermes procession also had a solid lineup of marching bands, including Talladega College, St. Augustine's Marching 100, Warren Easton Charter High School, St, Paul's School, George Washington Carver Junior/Senior High School and St. Katharine Drexel Prep, and visiting bands such as Maplewood High School from Nashville, Tennessee.

Among the most popular throws were lighted Hermes wings on headbands, which many spectators wore throughout the evening.

click to enlarge D'Etat presented the "Yenni's Risky Business" dance group, - WILL COVIELLO
  • WILL COVIELLO
  • D'Etat presented the "Yenni's Risky Business" dance group,

Krewe D'Etat typically aims its satire at City Hall and top national figures, but among the most entertaining jabs in the parade was the Dictator's Dancing Dawlins marching as "Yenni's Risky Business," lampooning Jefferson Parish President Mike Yenni. A troupe of men wore white and pink boxers with tiny hearts on them as well as white button-down shirts, referencing the scene from Risky Business with Tom Cruise dancing in his living room. The dancing group was followed by a van with more Mike Yenni jokes, and a float dedicated to him. On the float, Yenni's head topped a praying mantis, which held up a pair of underwear in its forelegs.

click to enlarge trump.jpg

"D'Etat's Zoo" included many expected creatures and targets. President Donald Trump was characterized as an "800 lb. Orangutan." Trump's head topped an orange body climbing the Washington Monument ("Trump tower"),  and the figure said it all. The sculptural work on many figures, including Sidney Torres on the "101 Chalmations" float was excellent, and the float's were painted with vibrant, detailed figures.

In some cases, jokes seemed worn. There is no obligation to do a Hillary Clinton or Mitch Landrieu joke every year. But surprises can be rewarding. The "Tortoise and the Hare" float featuring Uber battling the city's taxi cabs was an original and funny take on the issue, and refreshing new material.. The "Bigfoot" float was a clever name and figure for the krewe's take on "fake news," and the parting shot, "Dumbasses," was an entertaining jab at a litany of public figures whose buffoonery overtook their celebrity, including Ryan Lochte and Johnny Manziel. It's surprising that the krewe went back as far as a Jessica Simpson reality TV episode. There have been abundant figures in just the last year, but the parade hit many deserving targets and provided welcome comic relief.

click to enlarge The "Tortoise and the Hare" parodied the battle between taxi cabs and ride sharing services. - WILL COVIELLO
  • WILL COVIELLO
  • The "Tortoise and the Hare" parodied the battle between taxi cabs and ride sharing services.

D'Etat throws all sorts of blinky medallions and added lighted femur bones this year. One of the most amusing throws, though I have to guess it was one rider freelancing, was a rider on the "Zookeeper" float handing out bananas. The float featured Mayor Landrieu as the zookeeper, and his figure had a banana peel stuck to his forehead.

click to enlarge The Captain of Morpheus distributes throws. - WILL COVIELLO
  • WILL COVIELLO
  • The Captain of Morpheus distributes throws.

Morpheus rolled third, and was on the route at a reasonable hour following two large parades. The krewe celebrated Las Vegas casinos in "Morpheus Takes a Gamble." Floats depicted casinos and attractions including Flamingo, Caesar's, The Mirage, Luxor, Hard Rock, The Ventian, New York, New York, Bally's, The Orleans and others.

The parade had a good lineup of local and visiting bands including St. Mary's Academy, Archbishop Shaw High School, Helen Cox High School, John Ehret High School, General Trass High School from Lake Providence, Louisiana, Fairly High School and Melrose High School from Memphis, Tennessee, McClellan Magnet High School from Little Rock, Arkansas and Pine Bluff High School from Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and others. The procession also featured the marching groups Oui Dats and Roux La La. It was a full parade worth the wait.
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