Let the good times roll
On Saturday, February 15, the good times rolled, they pranced, they hopped, and they danced at the very first Krewe Bayou parade. Wild and wonderful creatures took to the streets of New Toulouse in a Mardi Gras mood; colorful, noisy, weaving, and sometimes colliding, the parade snaked through the streets, bringing joy and beads to those spectators who cheered from the sidelines.
Captain Francesca Alva was the small but mighty leader of the party-pack, gracefully keeping everyone in line (sort of), from the very tall Trombone Creature, who set the pace, to the Toad King bringing up the rear. Paraders included tinies, chariot drivers, a kraken on horseback, equestrian butterflies, a tiny Mayor Godenot, a deep-sea diver in an aquarium, a bird-headed man, and Superman; umbrella dancers added to the magic and the color of the event.
As February 15 was also Hippo Day gridwide, hippopotamus-shaped balloons abounded in the crowd, and King Hippo could be seen holding court in the little yard behind Lafitte’s.
As the parade approached Gloryville, the marching band at the front disappeared, along with the captain and many paraders, but all returned quickly, some wiping foam from their mouths. We can only speculate that it was a planned rehydration break, as the parade continued on as if nothing had happened, finally ending up circling Laveau Square before dissolving into a dance party in the park.
When it was all over, everyone agreed that it was the very best parade that New Toulouse has ever seen. Here is the list of official Krewe Bayou parade participants, as far as we can tell: Captain Fran, the Oh Lord What Is That marching band (Q, Henri, and Liza), Queen Alycia, King Aodhan (aka King Walksintowalls), Queen Guenevere, King Blake, Queen Galatea, Queen Jane, the Toad King (Karima), Queen Kes, King Lawrence, Queen Maggie, King Marcel, and King Pazzo. Countless additional people turned out to join the second line.
Award-winning filmmaker Natascha Randt shot a great movie of the parade. Thanks to Miss Randt, we can keep these memories forever.
After the parade, the Bayou Belle, decked out as an imitation kraken with streamer-tentacles, lifted off from the town square and was seen flying around the city and bayou, its passengers flinging beads and what appeared to be small octopuses onto balconies.
At nightfall, Taloosters who were not yet too drunk assembled at the city docks to ooh and aah at a spectacular fireworks display shot off from the top tier of the steamboat. There were cheers, funny comments, and admiration for the awesome display. Spectators were witness to a twenty-minute finale, something that is rarely seen outside China.
Everyone went home to change out of their dusty costumes and take showers before the big celebratory dance at Kari’s Bar and Dance later that night. Bluesman Jimmyt Dukes entertained an enthusiastic and appreciative audience of over fifty revelers. Balloons and confetti rained down on the club, the liquor flowed, and a few opium pipes could be seen turning the air a cloudy, dreamy blue.
The after-party at Kari’s went on a few hours more, until finally a naked neighbor (not mentioning any names) rode in on a horse (possibly another neighbor), ran over a few customers, and went out the dock door. The party wound down at the end of, as Mayor Godenot commented, “the best day we have ever had in New Toulouse.”
Jack Mondieu, Ace Reporter, would like to thank all those who contributed to this story; also he is seeking a good headache cure.