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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Nyx, Druids parade in soggy Uptown

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 12:39 AM

click to enlarge The title float for Nyx's "NOLA's Triple Crown" parade.
  • The title float for Nyx's "NOLA's Triple Crown" parade.

The krewes of Druids and Nyx paraded down a chilly, drippy St. Charles Avenue Feb. 7 to kick off the biggest and final weekend of Carnival.

Crowds were slightly thinner than usual on the route, as the temperature dropped into the 40s and hesitant rain became, at times, a full-on downpour. Most marching groups were ponchoed against the rain, but a few dance troupes braved the weather in their typical corsets and hosiery.

Krewe of Druids celebrated its 20th anniversary with a parade that showed off the krewe's curious sense of humor. The theme, "Druid's Closet," was expressed through floats featuring things one might find in a closet ("Moths," "Shoes," "Skeletons"). Other floats were more obscure, including one featuring South Park's Eric Cartman with the legend "Seriously, no loop on Canal," referring to parade route changes implemented this year. A float saluting New Orleans' Tricentennial suggested new, not especially witty names for Lee Circle, such as "Mardi Gras Circle."

click to enlarge dsc_0644.jpg

Popular throws were medallion beads of the Druids' sorcerer-like hat and flags with the krewe's acorn symbol. Numerous bands and marching groups, including Cabrini High School and mamboing, shirtless members of Lucha Krewe, joined the parade.

After a delay that chatter on the route attributed to a downed power line further uptown, the all-female Krewe of Nyx began to roll. Sirens of New Orleans, Southern University Marching Band and the krewe's tailcoat-wearing Nyxettes dance troupe led off the parade, which zipped by as rain intensified.

click to enlarge Bands throughout the night were dressed for the weather.
  • Bands throughout the night were dressed for the weather.

This year's theme was "NOLA's Triple Crown," and what looked like it might be an equestrian theme shaped up to be plays on the number three which sometimes, but not always, featured New Orleans tie-ins. Some were quite clever (a "June, July and August in New Orleans" float depicting a snowball; a float honoring Chris Owens labeled "Triple Ds"), while others ("Third Rock from the Sun") seemed less thoughtfully executed.

In fairness, in a parade with more than 40 floats there are bound to be some duds and misses, and riders made up for a few lackluster concepts with elaborate headdresses. For example, women on the "3 Leagues Below Sea Level" float sported headwear attached to faux aquariums.

click to enlarge Riders on this Nyx "3rd Time's a Charm" float wore headdresses fashioned to look like wedding cakes.
  • Riders on this Nyx "3rd Time's a Charm" float wore headdresses fashioned to look like wedding cakes.

Crowd favorite dance troupe the 610 Stompers also appeared, shaking it to Whitney Houston's immortal "I Wanna Dance With Somebody."

The Stompers' enthusiasm matched the crowd's, who — despite their smaller numbers, and much stamping of feet and blowing on fingers — seemed more or less undaunted by the cold and rain.
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