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February 28, 2017

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2017 Mardi Gras Headlines and News

Mardi Gras season parade, Athena, seeks move from Metairie to Terrytown
The Krewe of Athena, a two-year-old Mardi Gras season organization, wants to move its parade from Metairie to Terrytown. In a letter to Jefferson Parish officials, Athena President Shonitra Vaughn said the parade's start time in Metairie, combined with cold weather, have left few spectators on its route. The Gretna route would begin at the old Kmart building on Belle Chasse Highway and end at Oakwood Shopping Center, Vaughn said in the letter. Athena wants to keep its Feb. 17 date for Carnival 2017. Moving Athena would be a blow to Metairie's Mardi Gras, which has struggled in the past 20 years. But it would boost Mardi Gras on the West Bank, which has struggled even more. Vaughn addressed her letter to Parish President Mike Yenni and Sheriff Newell Normand. Changing the route also would be subject to approval of Parish Councilman Ricky Templet, whose district includes Terrytown.. - NOLA.COM

Krewe Du Vieux 2017 crowns cartoonist Bunny Matthews king
A representative of Krewe Du Vieux, that most politically rude and sexually risqué of Mardi Gras parades, has confirmed that cartoonist Bunny Matthews will reign as king of this years' Feb. 11 procession. Mathews is much beloved by Big Easy baby boomers for his irreverently indigenous cartoons of 9th Ward barkeeps Vic and Nat'ly Broussard that appeared in The Times-Picayune, Offbeat and other publications from the 1970s into the 20-teens. Matthews' work is distinguished by his endearingly jittery drawing style, his acidic observations, his unaccountable affection for tiny Chihuahua dogs and enormous cockroaches, plus his devotion to old-time Crescent City culture and elocution.. - NOLA.COM

Zulu's 'Stop the Violence' theme for Mardi Gras 2017 parade tackles solemn civic issue, breaking from tradition
After three members lost their sons to violence in recent years, the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club has decided to do something very out of keeping for New Orleans Carnival: adopt a political message as its parade theme. Zulu will roll on Feb. 28 under the theme "Stop the Violence," marking what is thought to be the first time a major Carnival parade has tried to use its procession to address a civic or political issue solemnly as opposed to satirically, officials said Monday. Zulu President Naaman Craig Stewart said he anticipates more than 1 million people will view his krewe's parade on the route or watching on TV or online. The purpose of the theme is to challenge the audience to join the city's battle against perennially high rates in some crime categories, including homicides.. - THEADVOCATE.COM

Non-Flood Protection board approves Krewe of Nyx plaque at Mardi Gras Fountain
The board of the Non-Flood Protection Asset Management Authority (NFPAMA) approved a request by the Krewe of Nyx for a plaque at the Mardi Gras Fountain located on Lakeshore Drive. The Mardi Gras Fountain is an asset owned by the Orleans Levee District and is under the management of the Non-Flood Protection board. The Non-Flood Protection board unanimously approved the Krewe of Nyx plaque during the board’s last monthly public meeting on Sept. 22. According to an email from the NFPAMA, the Krewe of Nyx agreed to all the guidelines regarding tile placement and cost of the plaque. These guidelines are determined by the Orleans Levee District, and they dictate that the cost of a new plaque is $470, which covers the new stone base with color inlay. Decorative tiles are placed on a cast stone base about two feet high and two feet long and wide. The plaques are on a slope; their tile patterns can be a maximum of three colors, and the base of the tile can be a fourth. The Mardi Gras Fountain is located on the Lakefront, between General Haig and Amethyst Streets. - GENTILLYMESSENGER.COM

Chewbacchus parade 2017: Route to change as nerds expand sideways
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus parade, which takes place Feb. 18, 2017, will be eliminating some of the narrower streets along its route, according to krewe captain Ryan Ballard. Last years' walking parade was unexpectedly long, in part because the crowd-sandwiched streets of the Marigny and Bywater caused paraders to follow one another in what sometimes became a single file procession, Ballard said. A wider path will also allow more breathing room for the motorized art cars that became part of the spectacle last year. If all goes as planned, the 2017 parade will line up on Press Street and follow St. Peter Street to Frenchmen Street as usual. Last year, the already attenuated parade hung a right on narrow Dauphine Street. But in 2017, the parade will stay on Frenchmen Street all the way to spacious St. Claude Avenue, where it will turn downriver and proceed straight to the krewe den near Poland Avenue, sans bottlenecks. Adding breadth to the last major part of the route will presumably allow several paraders to walk abreast, thereby shortening the parade in the long run. Or, as Ballard put it, "the wider streets can accommodate the nerds expanding sidewise." - NOLA.COM

Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale announces royalty, theme for Carnival 2017
Krewe officials said Dawn R. Bentley-Johnson will reign as queen-select in 2017. Femme Fatale will parade under the theme "MKFF Hosts Game Day." "Once New Orleans was in the running for the 2017 NBA All-Star game, I never dreamed our theme would coincide with the event," said Femme Fatale president and founder Gwendolyn V. Rainey. "Knowing the game would be held the same day as our annual parade, it seemed only fitting and we are going to have an exciting fun-filled weekend." - WDSU.COM

NBA All-Star Game will not affect first weekend of Mardi Gras parades, city officials say.
Lost in the news that New Orleans has been awarded the 2017 NBA All-Star Game is the significance of the game's date, Sun. Feb. 19, 2017 — which also happens to be the first Sunday of major Mardi Gras parades on St. Charles Avenue, with the krewes of Femme Fatale, Carrollton, King Arthur and Alla rolling one after another. Those parades, of course, come within blocks of the Smoothie King Center, where the All-Star Game will be played. Unlike 2013, however, when the city of New Orleans moved the first weekend of parades up a week earlier to accommodate crowds for Super Bowl XLVII, the parade dates and route largely are set and will not be changed to any great degree, according to Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau. "It's going to be one of the most interesting and complicated weekends we've ever had," Perry said. "In addition to the All-Star Game, we have two citywide conventions that weekend, we have a lot of corporate meetings and associations in hotels, and, of course, Mardi Gras. We're going to have a sold-out city." Asked for comment, C. Hayne Rainey, a spokesman for Mayor Mitch Landrieu, told Gambit, "We anticipate the All-Star Game events having a minimal impact on Mardi Gras parades and all All-Star events will occur at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and Smoothie King Center." "We've got a lot of work to do," Perry said, adding that there is a possibility that krewes will roll earlier than usual that Sunday in order to keep downtown congestion to a minimum. - BESTOFNEWORLEANS.COM

New Orleans jazz clarinet legend Pete Fountain dies at 86; jazz funeral being planned
Pete Fountain, the iconic traditional jazz clarinetist whose sweet sound and merry spirit personified New Orleans for millions of fans, died early Saturday after a decade of declining health. He was 86. For more than half a century, Fountain loomed large over the city's cultural landscape, from music to Mardi Gras to Bourbon Street. His lush, swinging clarinet tone instantly evoked his hometown. His recordings of “Just a Closer Walk With Thee” and “Basin Street Blues” are widely considered to be among the quintessential versions. At least three of his dozens of albums sold more than a half-million copies apiece. He represented Dixieland jazz on an international stage, thanks in part to a high-profile role on “The Lawrence Welk Show” and 59 appearances on “The Tonight Show” during the Johnny Carson era. He performed for four presidents and a pope. Despite his fame, his fondness for fun never waned. An abundance of self-deprecating one-liners and wisecracks -- “My wife should have left me on the honeymoon” was a favorite, as was “I used to be taller” -- were part of his irrepressible character. Along the way, he hung out with everyone from Louis Armstrong to Dolly Parton to Hank Williams Jr. In general, he lived life large as Mr. New Orleans, the unofficial ambassador of good-time New Orleans jazz. "It snuck up on me," Fountain once said of fame. "I didn't look for it. I never did strive for anything. Through the years I just wanted to play. I enjoy playing. When you enjoy playing, and your clarinet is singing, it's stealing. You feel like, 'They give me money to do this?' "But some nights when it's not working, you say, 'Boy, I wish I had taken over my daddy's beer route.'" . - THEADVOCATE.COM

Krewe of Eve gets new leadership
Christi Fair has been chosen as captain of Mandeville’s Krewe of Eve, succeeding Joycelyn Nash, who led the krewe for 20 years. Nash and officers Glenda Dobson, Judy Frentz and Susan Grantham jointly decided to retire from the Krewe of Eve board. Fair was previously the krewe’s secretary and coordinator of krewe royalty. Serving with Fair are returning officers Valerie Dupont as president and Christine Tadlock as treasurer/secretary, as well as new board member Amanda Jones, who will serve as vice president in charge of membership and publicity. With a 2017 Theme of “Eve of Broadway,” membership is at 400 and continues to grow. “This is a very exciting time for us as we design costumes and select our throws that are sure to entertain parade-goers of all ages,” Fair said. Eve is set to roll through the streets of Mandeville on Friday, Feb. 17.. - THEADVOCATE.COM

Famed photographer’s archive is donated to the Historic New Orleans Collection
The photographic treasures of Harold Baquet, whose work spans three decades and captured the flavor and culture of Black New Orleans and chronicled important events in the history of Black America, were recently donated to The Historic New Orleans Collection. The colossal donation of the New Orleans native’s life’s work reportedly includes thousands of photographic images, contact sheets, slides, negatives and other items. Baquet died at the age of 56 on June 18, 2015 after a lengthy battle with colon cancer. The donation, which includes Baquet’s photos depicting Black life and culture in the Crescent City, represents a major acquisition for The Historic New Orleans Collection which announced the donation last week. The 7th Ward native’s work has appeared in The Louisiana Weekly and many other local publications as well as national publications like Ebony, Jet, Essence, Time and Rolling Stone magazines. Included in the photojournalist’s collection are seminal images of Black Mardi Gras Indians, jazz musicians, second lines, Mardi Gras traditions, social aid and pleasure clubs, jazz funeral processions, various activities in the French Quarter, local elected officials and community leaders. His photos also captured the heart and soul of daily Black life in the Big Easy, especially in the 7th Ward and the Faubourg Tremé. - LOUISIANAWEEKLY.COM

Dat Dog to dedicate courtyard to Krewe of Freret
Dat Dog is announcing the dedication of their Freret Street restaurant’s outdoor courtyard in honor of the Krewe of Freret parade, her members, and the incredible Freret community that have assisted the remarkable revitalization of the parading organization. The momentous dedication will be hosted by Jason Williams, New Orleans City Council President and past King of Freret, on June 16th from 6:00 until 8:00 PM at 5030 Freret Street. Members of the New Orleans community are invited to this free public ceremony, where they may also take advantage of discounted riding membership offers for the upcoming February 18th, 2017 parade. The dedication will consist of a proclamation and sign reveal at 7:00 PM, along with a raffle give-away at 7:45 PM and happy hour prices along with Freret freebies throughout the evening. Long-term, the venue will be utilized as the official Krewe meeting space in the heart of the Freret community, allowing a daily visible presence and playing host to a variety of events including new member meetings and throw-decoration parties. - UPTOWNMESSENGER.COM

Bacchus to salute the Saints' 50th season in 2017 parade
It looks like the Krewe of Bacchus is jumping on the Saints bandwagon. Next Mardi Gras, Bacchus will salute the Saints' 50th season for its 2017 parade theme, which the krewe unveiled Friday (June 3) on Facebook. The Saints officially turn 50 on Nov. 1, 2016. Fans of the black and gold will see 21 Saints-themed floats during Bacchus' parade, according to the post, including individual float themes like "Saints Fans, Saints Mascots, Da Zebras, 2009 World Champions, All Saints Day-Nov. 1, 1966, Dirty Bird Gumbo, Rebirth, When the Saints Go Marching In and others." The parade rolls on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2017. And -- because we know you're wondering -- Super Bowl Sunday will have already passed with its scheduled Feb. 5, 2017, date in Houston.. - NOLA.COM

Krewe of Nyx finances called into question
Rhesa Clay said growing up in New Orleans she always wanted to be part of a Mardi Gras Krewe."I had a fabulous time riding on my float and riding in Nyx," she said.She was excited to put on a costume and parade as a member of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx. That's until she got a letter back February informing her that she was no longer part of the organization. "I did not get an explanation. I was simply sent an email by the co-captain saying that my membership would not be renewed," Clay said. That's when she started to do some digging into how the Krewe is run and its captain Julie Lea. While Nyx is the goddess of night, Clay believes there should be some daylight shown on the group's finances. Especially when it comes to how member dues and other fees are being spent. "The fees were $650,” she said. With more than 2,200 members that amounts to more than $1.4 million. When we pulled the most recent tax records on file that covered April 2014 to March 2015 the documents showed the group had a $106,164 deficit. "That concerns me as a Mardi Gras krewe. As the first all-female super-krewe, that's the kind of thing you don't want," Clay said."Where is the money actually going? Just be transparent," she said.. - WDSU.COM

Founders of New Orleans gay Carnival krewes share memories of early, elaborate balls
When New Orleans’ gay Carnival krewes were first formed in the late 1950s, they operated in almost complete secrecy. Because of discriminatory laws, some of which banned people from cross-dressing, many of the krewes’ balls and members were being targeted by law enforcement and even by private Citizens. Still, the gay community persisted, and over the decades the popularity of the krewes and their extravagant, often outlandish balls ballooned, until there were as many as 13 organizations in the 1980s. By then, invitations were highly sought after by members of all factions of society, according to Bill Woolley, founder of the Mystic Krewe of Celestial Knights and a founding member of Petronius, the oldest surviving gay krewe. “I thought we were doing more than just having a Mardi Gras ball,” Woolley said Sunday. “I thought we were showing the world that the gay community was talented, and creative, and that we could do it.” Woolley was among a dozen speakers during a panel discussion on “Pioneers of Gay Carnival: A Conversation with the Legends,” presented by the Louisiana State Museum before a packed audience at the Old U.S. Mint on Esplanade Avenue. The event was moderated by Howard Smith, a writer, photographer and Fulbright scholar whose work has been featured in the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Contemporary Arts Center. Smith has spent 15 years on a research project that will culminate in a book, “Unveiling the Muse: Gay Carnival in New Orleans,” to be published in 2017 by the University Press of Mississippi.. - THEADVOCATE.COM

Producing carnival throws in New Orleans instead of China, could bring $500M to the Crescent City
Each year we send $500 million to China to manufacture the throws and products that enable us to put on the greatest free show: Mardi Gras. One New Orleans group begs the question, "what if we fed the goose that laid the golden egg?" New Orleanians create an intriguing culture that attracts tourists from around the world while our own artists, musicians, and lower/middle class continue to struggle."Estimates show that the bead manufacturing industry is about $500,000,000 world wide," said Jade Brown Russell, a member of the Welcome Table New Orleans, a group of business and civic leaders who are suggesting we could create the capacity to manufacture Mardi Gras beads in New Orleans and keep that money right here. The Welcome Table is a collaborative project between Mayor Mitch Landrieu's administration and the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation. It aims to address issues of race and social injustice, bringing a group of people together who might not have much in common. However in New Orleans, there is a common denominator everyone loves carnival no matter what your race or class may be. - WGNO.COM

Neighbors hear loud 'booms' before fire erupts at krewe's float den in Kenner
Residents in Kenner said they heard a loud "boom" noise before a building erupted in flames Tuesday morning. Billowing black smoke was seen near the area of Toledano and Oxley streets about 7 a.m. Tuesday. A woman and her husband who lived nearby told WDSU that they heard two loud booms between 5 - 5:30 a.m. The building that was on fire is used to house parade floats, residents and officials told WDSU reporter Kelsey Davis. Officials with the Krewe of Iris said the floats are used in an number of parades, including Iris.. - WDSU.COM

3-alarm fire at Kenner Mardi Gras float den under control
Fire crews battling a three-alarm fire at a Mardi Gras float den in Kenner have managed to get the blaze under control. As of 8:30 a.m., firefighters were still attempting to extinguish hot spots in the building, located at 711 Oxley St., Kenner Fire Chief John Hellmers said.A door on the metal warehouse bears the phrase, "Her majesty, Queen of Iris," indicating the float is part of the Krewe of Iris parade. But other floats outside the den say "Jefferson Parish Irish-Italian Parade." It wasn't immediately clear which krewes are storing floats at the den.The fire was first reported about 5:47 a.m.. - NOLA.COM

2017 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule 2017


NEWS ARCHIVE

2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007

2016 MARDI GRAS PARADE PICTURES

Mardi Gras Day, (around & about) , February 9, 2016

Rex, King of Carnival
2/9/2016

Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club
2/9/2016

Krewe of Orpheus
2/16/2016

Krewe of Proteus
2/8/2016

Krewe of Bacchus
2/7/2016

Box of Wine
2/7/2016

Krewe of Thoth
2/7/2016

Krewe of Mid City
2/7/2016

Krewe of Okeanos
2/7/2016

Krewe of Endymion
2/6/2016

Krewe of Tucks
2/6/2016

Krewe of Iris
2/6/2016

Krewe of Morpheus
2/5/2016

Le Krewe d'État
2/5/2016

Krewe of Hermes
2/5/2016

Krewe of Muses
2/4/2016

Knights of Chaos
2/4/2016

Knights of Babylon
2/4/2016

Mystic Krewe of Nyx
2/3/2016

Mystic Krewe of Druids
2/3/2016

Mystic Krewe of Barkus
1/31/2016

by Nick Christopher

Mystic Krewe of Barkus
1/31/2016

by Harriet Cross

Krewe of Alla
1/31/2016

Krewe of King Arthur
1/31/2016

Krewe of Carrollton
1/31/2016

Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale
1/31/2016

Intergalactic Krewe of
Chewbacchus 1/30/2016

Intergalactic Krewe of
Chewbacchus 1/30/2016

by Nick Christopher

Intergalactic Krewe of
Chewbacchus 1/30/2016

by Harriet Cross

Krewe of Pygmalion
1/30/2016

Knights of Sparta
1/30/2016

'titRəx Parade
1/30/2016

by Nick Christopher

Krewe of Freret
1/30/2016

Krewe of Choctaw
1/30/2016

Krewe of Pontchartrain
1/30/2016

Krewe of Cleopatra
1/29/2015

Krewe of Oshun
1/29/2015

Grits Bar
1/24/2016

krewedelusion
1/23/2016

Krewe du Vieux
1/23/2016

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