SEVEN MONTHS UNTIL FAT TUESDAY
Posted: July 17, 2014
* The official JEFFERSON PARISH MARDI GAS PARADE SCHEDULE released yesterday contains three changes of interest. The KREWE OF ZEUS is suspended for 2015, but presumably can apply for a parade permit in 2016. As part of FAMILY GRAS, the KREWE OF ATLAS, which did not parade this year, moves into the first Sunday afternoon spot formerly reserved for the KREWE OF THOR, which folded this year. On June 11, the new female, African American KREWE OF ATHENA (www.kreweofathena.org) was granted a parade permit to follow EXCALIBUR on the opening night of the parade season. Hopefully this new club will be more successful than the two organizations most recently to be granted parade permits-HERA (2013) and ATLANTIS (2014)-neither of which made it to the streets.
* The Mardi Gras community lost two retired captains this week-BRETT LOWE, former captain of the ORIGINAL KREWE OF ORPHEUS in Mandeville, and MAURICE OLIVIER, captain emeritus of the KREWE OF CENTURIONS in Metairie. They both will be missed.
* Two new African-American clubs are interested in parading in Orleans Parish. The MYSTIC KREWE OF FEMME FATALE (www.mkfemmefatale.org) has the best shot of getting a parade permit to follow the KREWE OF ALLA uptown on the first Sunday afternoon of the parade season. The KREWE OF CAYA (www.kreweofcaya.org) also seeks a parade permit. The matter will likely be on the agenda for the July 24 meeting of the MAYOR’S MARDI GRAS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.
* With repairs continuing on the MUNICIPAL AUDITORIUM, Carnival insiders wonder how many clubs will be interested in staging their balls at the facility which was once the home of almost every Carnival ball.
* CLARK BRENNAN, son of BACCHUS founder and captain OWEN "PIP" BRENNAN, was recently elected the new captain of the krewe. Pip will continue to contribute his talents to the organization in the role of Captain Emeritus.
* The Third Annual KREWES FOR KOPS, a fund raiser for the NOPD sponsored by the parading krewes, is set for September 18, at Fulton Alley, 600 Fulton Street, 7 p.m. -10 p.m. For more information contact Kellie Barnes, email@example.com.
* Clubs are reporting record membership for 2015, including IRIS with 1,308 members, THOTH with 1,600 and ENDYMION with 2,950.
* On June 6, the NOPD announced "although NAPOLEON AVENUE will still be under construction for Mardi Gras 2015 THE CONSTRUCTION WILL NOT AFFECT ANY OF THE PARADES. It will be a similar situation as this year's Mardi Gras whereas they will stop their digging and move approximately two (2) to three (3) weeks prior to the first parade. As they did for Mardi Gras 2014, they will clean up the area, and use the orange mesh and wire fencing to block off the restricted areas from parade goers. The routes will be the same and the staging areas will be the same. Also, the footprint on Claiborne Avenue will not be as large as it was for the past two years so the TRUCK PARADES will actually have more room to properly stage and load their floats on Carnival Day."
* According to the city's official website, on April 24, the New Orleans City Council "passed Ordinance Calendar No. 30,081, coauthored by Council members Clarkson and Cantrell, to amend the City Code to provide for the function of the Mayor's Mardi Gras Advisory Council and requirements related to parade permits and protocols, float numbering and inspection, and other parade-related issues."
Among the changes enacted are a maximum of 30 parade permits that may be issued for any carnival parade season.
Arthur Hardy Publishing has just released a new title, Krewe of Hermes-In The Tradition, a coffee table book that chronicles the organization's colorful 75-year history. The book is available to members only. Arthur Hardy Publishing has produced history books for the Krewes of Endymion and Rex, and has agreements to publish books for Bacchus and d’Etat.
The fifth edition of Mardi Gras In New Orleans, An Illustrated History, by Arthur Hardy, goes to press August 1 for a Fall release. This updated edition includes the 2014 parade season and is available on a pre-order basis from this website.
ARTHUR HARDY'S 2014 MARDI GRAS REVIEW
Posted: March 10, 2014
The horrible weather on Fat Tuesday ruined Mardi Gras for many people. Any attempt to rate this Carnival season's success or to assess the comparative quality of the parades was made impossible by the rain that fell Fat Tuesday and on the first Sunday of the season. All told, more than 25% of the season's major parades were adversely affected.
I requested and received input about this season from many parade captains and from a handful of my 5,000 FaceBook "friends." An even smaller group of trusted parade watchers also weighed in. The results were that most thought this was a pretty good Carnival season with near record crowds on some parade days/nights and a healthy hotel occupancy rate. Nothing spectacular marked this season-except the miserably cold and wet Fat Tuesday.
Here is a collection of observations in no particular order:
* This LATE MARDI GRAS had the crowds ripe with anticipation, yet mellow in mood.
* The new ordinance placing LADDERS BACK SIX FEET in Orleans Parish worked well for most parades. It seemed more like voluntary compliance than strict enforcement.
* THROW-BACKS are still a serious issue for some krewes.
* The NOPD did a good job navigating around construction uptown.
* When two riders fell from floats in the ALLA parade, it served as a reminder that each float rider must wear a harness.
* Most krewe members in New Orleans KEPT THEIR MASKS ON throughout the parade-a Carnival tradition and a law.
* The PACE OF NEW ORLEANS PARADES was uneven and depended upon which command unit was leading the procession.
* If PICK-UP TRUCKS pulling floats is not against the law, it should be.
* The CELEBRITY PARADE LINEUP this year was solid, if not grand.
* ALLA's historic move from the West Bank was helped by the addition of members from the new LEGION OF MARS and hurt by the rain.
* The NO-PARKING rules for St. Charles and Napoleon Avenues frustrated residents and businesses.
* FRERET's first parade delivered less than what they promoted and was hurt by signage on the king's float that looked more like a political billboard than a royalty nameplate.
* ZEUS returned to the Metairie parade calendar but will likely be fined for too few riders and marching bands.
* The law in New Orleans FORBIDDING FLOATS FROM BEING USED MORE THAN TWICE is not being enforced.
* The habit of CELL PHONE usage and picture taking on floats is annoying.
* The growth in membership in female krewes in New Orleans is astonishing and totals more than 4,000 riders in NYX, MUSES, IRIS, and CLEOPATRA.
* ENDYMION's new lighting system was impressive.
* INJURIES to parade goers hit by floats and generator trucks in the BACCHUS and ZULU parades could have been more serious and should help remind people of the inherent danger in parades.
* The RHYTHM ON THE ROUTE BAND CONTEST in Metairie was generally considered a success, with even better participation predicted for next year.
* MUSES' new "GLAMBEAUX" group of female flambeaux carriers was well received.
* Metairie's loss of the THOR and ATLAS parades wiped away more than 80 years of combined parading history.
* Record attendance was reported at the ENDYMION EXTRAVAGANZA, the ZULU BALL, the BACCHUS RENDEZVOUS and the ORPHEUSCAPADE.
* The WEST BANK'S PARADE CALENDAR continues to shrink with only three parades, down from 14 parades in 1994.
* The addition of members of the PHUNNY PHORTY PHELLOWS and ST. JOAN OF ARC in front of the DRUIDS parade was a nice touch.
* The NEW ORLEANS ADVOCATE made history this year by producing old style "Carnival Bulletins" which depicted each float in the parades of ENDYMION, BACCHUS, PROTEUS, ORPHEUS, ZULU, and REX.
FAT TUESDAY FALLS ON FEBRUARY 17 IN 2015.
With the shrinking Metairie parade calendar, will Jefferson Parish officials revisit their proposal to stack all parades expect Argus on the first weekend to better compete with New Orleans? Will the West Bank lose another krewe? Will the New Orleans City Council enact their proposed limit (by attrition) of 30 parade permits in the city? And how will the NOPD reroute parades around the construction on Napoleon Avenue?
COMMENTARY ABOUT NEW PARADES
Twenty-three parades have folded the past 16 years. Can a newcomer krewe actually add something unique to enrich the 150+ year-old celebration? It takes a lot of courage to start a new parade when several established ones are going to extraordinary lengths simply to stay solvent. Prospective members of new clubs have to be convinced that the fledgling group will get on the street with a good product; otherwise, why not join a parade with an established history? Openings in many clubs abound. And with shrinking budgets, the city/parish must be assured that the coveted parade permit is being awarded to a group with a good chance of success. The quality of each parade is more important than total quantity of parades.
2014 Rhythm on the Route Band Contest Results
Posted: March 09, 2014
1st Place Bonnabel High School Band
2nd Place East St. John High School Band
3rd Place Tara High School Band
1st Place Brother Martin High School Band
2nd Place Northshore High School Band
3rd Place Archbishop Rummel High School Band
1st Place Archbishop Rummel High School Band
2nd Place Central Lafourche High School Band
3rd Place Lutcher High School Band
1st Place Hammond High Magnet School Band
2nd Place Ponchatoula High School Band
3rd Place Belle Chasse Academy Band
1st Place Bay High Band
2nd Place Lutcher High School Band
3rd Place Baker High School Band