Posts Tagged ‘parades’

Samedi Gras and Ash Wednesday

by on Monday, February 26th, 2018

Determined to test the truth of William Blake’s proverb “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” a bacchanalian throng of New Toulouse citizens and visitors ate, drank, and reveled their way through the Carnival season, which culminated in the annual Samedi Gras Parade on Saturday, February 10. Masked men, flirtatiously fleshy women, and even a team of stately unicorns rolled through the streets, either leading or atop a series of intricately wrought floats, all of which stood out as pristine works of art. A further delight was the surprise appearance of Ms. Maggie Hawksby as Queen of Carnival, a revelation which warmed the memories of even the most inebriated Taloosters. Ms. Hawksby reigned with elegance over Carnival just a short two years ago, and her presence served as a poignant reminder of our fair city’s storied history and deep tradition.

Queen of Carnival Maggie Hawksby (photo by Andrea Jones)

Samedi Gras Parade (photo by Joss Floss)

Masked man (photo by Andrea Jones)

Masked dancers (photo by Andrea Jones)

While eager onlookers were treated to a multitude of different “throws” from the float riders, the prize catch of the season was the Krewe of Wulfenbach’s engraved silver beer stein. Though there were reports of at least two unaware onlookers requiring a set of stitches to repair gashes resulting from stray steins, those with quick reflexes and sticky mitts came away with a keepsake both lovely and useful.

Dancing fool (photo by Andrea Jones)

Reveler with Wulfenbach stein (photo by Andrea Jones)

Having arrived at the end of the road of excess, the more pious among us marked the beginning of the Lenten season by attending the Ash Wednesday liturgy at the recently renamed Our Lady of Wisdom chapel. Visiting archbishop Aloysius Nolasco presided over the solemn service, marking the foreheads of each penitent with ashes, a reminder that our lives, like our revels, are impermanent.

Our Lady of Wisdom (photo by Lepanto)

Ash Wednesday crowd (photo by Shannon Spoonhunter)

Ash Wednesday service (photo by Lepanto)

Performing the liturgy (photo by Lepanto)

With Carnival officially closed, one jelly-legged and red-eyed penitent paused while leaving the chapel and remarked, “Holy and profane, sordid and sacred … that’s New Toulouse. That’s the rhythm of our lives.” He then tipped his hat, bid me adieu, and shuffled off bayou way, singing out to the stars, “Dum vivimus vivamus” (“While we live, let us live”).

Diogenes Teufelsdröckh resides in New Toulouse Bayou, where he drinks bourbon, wrestles mudbugs, and ponders the Mysteries.

Samedi Gras ’17 movie

by on Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

Relive Saturday’s fun, thanks to Natascha Randt!

Samedi Gras ends, unhappy resident to depart

by on Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

[Here’s an anonymous letter along with some parade photographs taken by our own Miss Pie. Visit her gallery to see these pictures (and more) in their full glory.—Ed.]

Dear Sirs, or Madames, or Pirate Cats, or whatever you are—

I cannot express how angry I am at the recent displays of outrageous behavior in our City.

While the world is fighting the War to End all Wars, our city is playing in the streets.

Saturday, February 25, was the day of the Annual Samedi Gras Parade. People filled the streets of New Toulouse, carousing like wild beasts or hedonistic fools, and behaving in a generally unchristian fashion. Men were wearing masks, in direct contravention of the laws of this city, and women were wearing masks, and little else, while shaking their bodies in immodest ways.

There was the occasional well-dressed woman, it is true. Mrs. Rose Whitefalcon and Miss Francesca Alva were modestly dressed, but when the post-parade party started, Miss Alva was out there shaking like a wild woman just like everyone else. Miss Beedit was showing entirely too much shoulder. My husband and I grabbed our child, boarded the ferry, and took refuge in the Bayou, fully expecting divine retribution as in the biblical stories of old.

And to what do we owe these expressions of sinfulness? It is our own people’s fear of penance, people who cannot observe a few weeks of Lent without preparing for it by drinking, smoking, carousing, idolatry, the worship of pagan gods, and every other imaginable vice.

The displays of flesh were appalling. I estimate that the City should have earned several hundred in Parade Fees, and at least that much in nudity permits. I hereby call upon the administration of this den of iniquity to donate at least that much to the Gumbo Charity.

This type of behavior must not stand. We intend to leave this damp wicked place and live somewhere safe, clean, and dry, perhaps Las Vegas.

—Color Me Gone

Samedi Gras ’16 machinima

by on Monday, February 8th, 2016

Natascha Randt was in town Saturday, and here’s what she saw.

Lundi Gras lineup

by on Saturday, February 6th, 2016

krewecanard16The Blessing of the Waters and the Krewe du Canard boat parade will take place this Lundi Gras—Monday, February 8—at 5:50 PM. The Queen of the Carnival, Miss Maggie Hawksby, will perform the voodoo blessing at the fishing dock by Buford’s bait shop. This beautiful ceremony blesses the waters and community of New Toulouse and is a Carnival tradition that is not to be missed.

After the Blessing of the Waters, the boat parade will commence at the same location. The parade of fabulously decorated boats will wind its way through the waterways of New Toulouse. In the Lundi Gras boat parade, the parade floats actually do!

Following the boat parade, the krewe will make merry at the Toulouse Caboose, and the general public is invited.


by on Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

The Krewe Bayou parade coming down Pontalba, January 30 (Photo credit: Henri Godenot).

The Krewe Bayou parade coming down Pontalba, January 30 (Photo by Henri Godenot).

Revelers dance to Hogman, Krewe des Zombies ball, Kari's Bar and Dance, January 30 (Photo credit: Henri Godenot).

Revelers dance to Hogman, Krewe des Zombies ball, Kari’s Bar and Dance, January 30 (Photo by Henri Godenot).

Attendees enjoy the music of local pianist Zachh Cale, Krewe of Bast ball, Spiegel Hall,   January 31 (Photo credit: Liza Veliz).

Attendees enjoy the music of pianist Zachh Cale, Krewe of Bast ball, Spiegel Hall, January 31 (Photo by Liza Veliz).

A proclamation from Queen Maggie

by on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

maggie-queenLVMaggie, Queen of the Carnival, sends Fond Greetings to Her Loyal Subjects in the Beautiful and Historic City of New Toulouse.

Her Majesty invites all of Her Subjects in New Toulouse and Bayou, and all their Friends and all other Sojourners in and around our fair city, whosoever they may be, to gather, from Far and Near, from High and Low, from Hither and Yon, to join the Colorful Parades, Regal Processions and Riotous Celebrations which will shortly unfold under our Carnival Banner.

She promises that the Revelry and Pageantry arranged for this Mardi Gras Season will surpass in Beauty and exceed in Merriment the most Joyous and Enthralling Spectacles of time Past, culminating in Her Grand Procession on


It is further commanded and ordained:

…that the Joyous Music of Carnival shall fill the Streets of our Beloved New Toulouse, Multiplying all Merriment;

…that Colorful Costumes, Elaborate Masks, and Outrageous Adornments of all kinds be the order of the day;

…that Dancing in the Streets, on Sidewalks, Balconies, yea, even upon the Rooftops, shall be greatly Encouraged;

…that Fair Weather and Blue Skies shall prevail, that the Multitudes might gather and celebrate without hindrance;

…that the Royal Constabulary of New Toulouse shall marshal the Grand Celebration with their Customary Skill and an appropriate Degree of Forbearance toward the Inevitable Hijinks and Tomfoolery;

…that the Keepers of Bars, Inns, Taverns, Grocers, Cigar Emporiums, Stables, Chinese Laundries, Bakeries, Seafood Merchants, Barber Shops, Bookshops, Print Shops, Gambling Halls, Dance Halls, Hospitals, Brothels, and Eating and Drinking Establishments in Her beloved City shall throw open their Doors to receive all Carnival Celebrants, of whatsoever degree or kind with our customary Good Fellowship, Warmth, and true Southern hospitality.

By Order of Her Majesty,
Queen Maggie

(Photo credit: Liza Veliz)

Samedi Gras parade coming up

by on Monday, February 1st, 2016

The Samedi Gras Parade Association is proud to parade under the rule of this year’s Queen, Miss Maggie Hawksby!

The oldest and most traditional of the New Toulouse parades, the floats of the Samedi Gras Parade wind their way through the streets of New Toulouse this Saturday, the 6th of February. Carter Denja, our emcee and DJ, will start the show at Laveau Square (heard throughout the city streets) at 11:30 AM, and the parade itself kicks off at noon.

The Samedi Gras Parade has been a part of the New Toulouse Carnival season since the founding of New Toulouse. Wild costumes, bawdy shenanigans, and general misrule are the rule as the citizens of New Toulouse cut loose before the somber Lenten season.

Avoid that uncomfortable feeling of kneeling in the confessional with nothing to confess! Join your neighbors and friends in Laveau Square this Saturday, and try to come up with something that will make them blush!

Henri Godenot is the mayor of New Toulouse and the Capitan of Capitans of this year’s Samedi Gras parade.

Carnival frolics this weekend

by on Tuesday, January 26th, 2016


• Krewe Bayou Flavor Parade
• Saturday, January 30, 1:00 PM
• Starting point: Bayou Street and Shotgun Row

Featuring the Oh Lord What Is That marching band. This year’s theme is food, and all are invited to dress up in food-related costumes and join the parade. “Everyone’s in Krewe Bayou!”


• Zombies’ Surprise Ball
• Saturday, January 30, 2:00 PM
Kari’s Bar and Dance, #1 Bayou Street

Hosted by the Ancient and Secret and Arcane Krewe des Zombies. Expect zydeco tunes on the phonograph, followed by a live performance by guitarist and vocalist Hogman.

• Dans la Mer
• Sunday, January 31, 1:00 PM
Spiegel Hall ballroom (third floor)

The Krewe of Bast presents an undersea-themed masquerade ball featuring the piano stylings of New Toulouse’s own Zachh Cale. Revelers are encouraged to attend in “fishy fancy dress.”

Canard krewe floats flamboyantly

by on Thursday, February 19th, 2015


This old bird has seen a lot of odd things floating in the waters of New Toulouse, but on Lundi Gras there was a new addition to the flood of Carnival activity: the Krewe du Canard held a little bayou regatta. The vessels were varied, ranging from Blake Palmer’s fishing boat, to Henri Godenot’s float-styled pirogue, to whatever sort of Jules Verne-type craft the Whitefalcons were piloting. Admiral Callidus Waydelich showed up in an inner tube; one would suspect the Mondragons had more impressive naval technology than that, especially after seeing that flying elephant float they made for Samedi Gras.

The parade sailed along the river, amusing the spectators on the deck of the Mama Cree. Then the Duck Armada sailed back to its home pond, and the krewe members went to the Toulouse Caboose, where they proceeded to get polluted. DJ Q got them dancing, Doc Avalon got them drinking, and Lundi Gras may never be the same, especially if the boat parade becomes a regular Carnival event.

Maggie Hawksby swam with the ducks and snapped these photos: Flickr set.

Avis Picayune is a tough old bird.