Ok so first off I want to say sorry about the abrupt stop to Fashion Week, I will write about a culmination of shows by the end of this week. The sudden need to stop was brought on by something much more important to New Orleanians and well let’s face it, myself: Mardi Gras parades. Last year I wrote a guide to carnival and it still holds true with a few ammendments.
1. There ain’t no place to pee on Mardi Gras Day. Well this phrase is definitely true on Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras translation) it is also true during the big week of parades. So please find a friend with port-a-lets, make friends, go to that long lost relative’s house when you have to use the restroom. Just for goodness sake don’t do it in public because you’ll be in jail until Ash Wednesday. So, not only will you miss parades but you’ll have to use the restroom in a dirty OPP (Orleans Parish Prison) and you don’t want that, do you?
2. Let’s say we have a hypothetical (but not really because this happens literally every year) scenario where you have been camped out since Thursday morning. You’ve got three tents (that you share with friends), a whole mess of chairs for both of your groups, a tarp for the rain and ladders for kids to stand on. There is a space, just enough room for someone to stick their ladder, right in front of the tents. It’s Bacchus Sunday and someone does that exact thing. Now, you’ve been out here since Thursday morning and this dude thinks he can just set up? I don’t think so. Lesson one of Carnival and the turf rules of St. Charles Avenue: don’t be a jerk and set up twenty minutes before a parade if you see other people have been set up for a while. Be considerate, this is New Orleans; don’t make the locals mad because most likely someone in the group has made friends with the NOPD officer who will, not kindly, tell you to move.
3. Harking on that point, don’t stand on a ladder if it’s not yours, or an ice chest for that matter. It’s not my fault your child can’t see, don’t be disrespectful.
Those are my tips follow them and people will like you.
Now for a recap.
Muses Thursday: great as usual. Joan Jett played the Amusement and rocked the crowd.
Hermes Friday: I learned the important lesson of why you shouldn’t mix beer with vodka and half the group woke up with a killer hangover the next day. Hermes was amazing as usual (probably more so because of the intoxication level but who cares).
Endymion Saturday: Ok, for some reason it always rains on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. When it rains in New Orleans, it pours. I spent the entire day waiting for the rain to stop. It finally did around 6:40 an entire hour after the parade was supposed to begin. Our group caught some nice generic beads and a few theme beads. Endymion was my second favorite theme (other than Muses of course) it was Fairytales.
Bacchus Sunday: Oh my. It was even crazier than last year. Due to the inclement weather, there were 6 parades that day. NOMTOC, a Westbank parade (short, ok, I prefer the uptown ones) rolled at 9 am. I woke myself up by learning how to do the Bus Stop. We also had Mid-City (yummy chips and pretty foil floats), Okeanos, Toth (lots of cool stuff, including Toth sunglasses) and finally Bacchus. I didn’t get to see Will Ferrel who was Bacchus, but I heard he only threw to one side. Lame.
Orpheus Monday (Lundi Gras): Well, Tucks was moved to 3 pm because of Saturday’s rain and I caught a cool Funky Tucks bead (it’s my favorite float). Next around 5, Proteus rolled. They are famous for their seahorses. This year I caught a trident (light up) but it broke. And of course, Orpheus. This parade is well-known for its cornucopia of celebrity riders. We had Brett Michales, Harry Conick Jr., Hilary Swank, Marsika Hargitay (SVU) (caught a bead from her, so exciting and by the way she’s gorgeous in person), Sarah Hyland (Modern Family) (!) and Cindi Lauper! Orpheus always has the prettiest floats and this year they had the Laviah (dragon) and a baby one! I also caught a light up Orpheus ball.
And finally the King of Carnival himself, Rex. Zulu, a predominately African-American krewe rolls before Rex on Mardi Gras day and is famous for their hand-decorated coconuts. Rex rides shortly after. Rex lutienets give out thick gold King doubloons. The riders throw plush such as the Beouf Gras (the fatted cow), a Rex crown, a lutienet, and a new king’s float plush. This year they also threw Rex reusable bags and handed out butterfly pins to go with the brand new (Rex hasn’t changed a float in a long time) Butterfly King float.
And lastly, Carnival season ended bittersweetly with the Meeting of the Courts of Rex and the Mystic Krewe of Comus. The grand ball ends Carnival with both kings and queens wave their scepters (the King of Comus waves a cup) to end the season.
As another season ends and I head back to the real world, until next year.