Last night was the first and best parade of the Carnival season: Krewe du Vieux. Even though I’ve been pretty down lately and not feeling celebratory, I would never miss this parade.
It seemed to me like there were more people turned out to see KdV than I remember in years past. We couldn’t find parking anywhere near Frenchmen (where we’d hoped to hook up with some friends) and so ended up in the Bywater, much closer to the beginning of the parade route than I’ve ever been. The Friendly Bar was way too crowded to get a drink, and things didn’t feel quite so festive.
Still, a great parade which maintained Krewe du Vieux’s status as the most satirical and obscene of all parades. I didn’t take a camera but through the miracle of the internet I can still show a picture of my favorite float:
In case you can’t tell, this papier mâché masterpiece depicts a woman, representing New Orleans, being violated by the famous Louisiana State Capitol building. Yes, there were many other floats that were more clever and more subtle, but there’s always one that makes an indelible impression. The symbolism of this float is crude, rude, bitter and painful and hilarious all at the same time. Kudos.
The parade went by far too quickly. A whirlwind of raunchy political satire and great brass bands, and then it was gone. Afterward, as we made our way back to our car, we passed through the staging area where the parade had begun. Man, what a mess. Empty plastic bags all over the street. I wonder if anyone goes back to clean up the next day?
We hurried back home so Xy could work on her lesson plans. Yes, she usually works on Saturday nights, and pretty much every night. Such is the life of a teacher.
Note to self: Next year, go earlier and take some wine in a plastic bottle.
I think I can answer these:
1) 20 brass bands this year, a new record. 18 from NOLA, and 2 from ou of state.
2) Supposedly, our fee for the parade permit covers cleanup. This is what I was told when I axed the same question.
3) I’ve been KdV parading since 96, and I think this was the biggest crowd ever.
The parade was great, and there were sooooo many folks there!
B.? Use a water bottle to carry your cheer… that’s what I do.
glad you made it. i found my self wondering about yall last night .
wondering if you would go to the parade.
i know in times past when i was in a funk i never felt like being around large celebrations.
hope this spring is good to yall.
I saw you at the Friendly Bar trying to get a drink. I was on the other side of the room doing the same. You didn’t see me waving at you, and then I couldn’t find you outside later.
Damn, I wish I’d seen all this sooner. Somewhere today I came across you wanting to be near the Spotted Cat. You could have parked in my driveway, I’m only about 6 blocks away. Remember that for next year.
[…] Secondly, I appreciate satire and art. A great example is an image of a Krewe du Vieux float described at B’s blog that depicts a woman representing New Orleans being violated by the State Capital building. That’s graphic, but it makes an important statement that illumines the frustration felt by New Orleanians. To me, the float is an important commentary that is both funny and allows those who see it to feel in some way that we all share in the anger and pain that our Governor has contributed to. BUT, the guy that was walking around shaking a four foot paper-mache penis with a liquid coming out of it was just an immature jerk who wanted to act like a fourth-grader. […]