EXXXciting Start to Parade Season
Good times and satire roll with Krewe du Vieux.
Every weekend in New Orleans offers singular entertainment and life experiences. Actually, every weekday does as well. But there is really only one thing you have to do this weekend, and that is to watch the Krewe du Vieux parade.
Unlike Zulu, Rex and Muses with their modern floats, Krewe du Vieux (KdV) uses mule-drawn floats on carts like the Mardi Gras parades of the past. Their themes, however, are always contemporary and use political satire and ostentatious interpretations of current events.
Their modus operandi tends toward the sexually explicit, and this year’s theme of “Krewe du Vieux Rated XXX” will surely bring out the blatant and leave the double entendre at home.
For a sample of the KdV’s irreverence, one need only read their take on the election cycle: “Donald Trump received the ISIS “Recruiter of the Year” award. Ben Carson proved you don’t have to be a politician to be a brain surgeon… On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders distinguished himself as the only gun-rights-apologist flaming liberal in history. And Hillary Clinton forced so many smiles that she had to rub her sore jaw muscles with Ben-Gayzhi.”
Mardi Gras Krewes traditionally appoint royalty each year, and KdV interprets this tradition in their own way. The 2016 KdV Queen is Big Freedia. World-renowned hip-hop and bounce artist, reality television star, author and transgender rights advocate, Big Freedia Queen Diva will represent her hometown with pride and style unrivaled by mere mortals. You Besta Believa!
The Krewe du Vieux’s 17 subkrewes will each present their own interpretations of the theme. Subkrewes include the Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe of Underwear, Seeds of Decline, Krewe of Mama Roux, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Krewe of Drips and Dis-charges, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Mystic Krewe of Comatose, Mystic Krewe of Inane, and Krewe du Mishigas. Additionally, some of Nola’s best brass bands will march between the subkrewes.
The parade route begins in the Marigny and continues through the French Quarter to the Central Business District. Prime spots along Royal will have you up close and personal with the revelers, while Julia Street is usually less crowed. A good strategy is to position yourself near a bar or coffee shop where you can buy beverages and become a customer to earn the right to use the facilities if needed.
As to whether this is a kid-friendly parade is a matter of debate. Some locals bring their children and consider it just another New Orleans parade. This particular local errs on the side of not wanting to explain why there is a papier mache phallus on a float. For visitors, inquire with your hotel about possible babysitting services.
Krewe du Vieux rolls on Saturday, January 23 at 6:00 p.m. from the Marigny and will make its way Uptown.