Saturday, February 07, 2015

Episode I: The Floats Awaken

It's the first weekend of big parade time season.  May the Force be with you. Failing that, at least have some money to spend on toys and such.

Lightsaber battle

When we got out to the parade route tonight, Menckles and I managed to convince ourselves that this was the first year in several that it didn't rain on Oshun.  It turns out this isn't true, though.  It's just that we missed much of the Friday parades last year because we went to a show instead. Anyway, this is the first time we've seen Oshun in decent weather in a while, so that's something.


Another thing about that nice weather. This was the largest crowd I can remember seeing on a first night in quite some time.  That might have something to do with the fact that there are two parades on the first Friday now, but still, it looks like it's going to be a big year.  Here is King Shango welcoming the crowd.


Also, Oshun looked terrific... for Oshun, anyway.  There have been years when this was barely a parade at all. Some Oshuns have been little more than a few maid/duke floats pulled by pickups.  This was not the case here. 


The floats looked great. They weren't huge or elaborate but they didn't have to be.  Just straightforward fun. 

New Orleans United States

On the other hand, they could have used a copy editor.  Oshun's theme this year was supposed to be "Carnivals Around The World." Simple enough concept.  Except they spelled it "Carivals Around The World" on the title float.. which wouldn't have been too much of a big deal if only there weren't several other misspellings in the procession.


Rio de Jeniero

But let's not be too critical. It's Friday night. It's parade time again.  Everyone had fun. It really was the best Oshun I've seen in.. maybe ever.


I haven't seen many Cleopatras.  They're a recent transplant from the West Bank so I don't have much to compare them with.  Here is this year's Queen Cleopatra.


One nice thing we can say for them is they bring a lot of bands. I didn't stop to photograph all of them but it was an impressive line up including.. but in no way limited to.. Carver, McMain, Karr, and many others.   They were led by St. Aug.

Marching 100

Cleopatra also had room for a few dance teams, marching clubs, and other random units like these stilt walkers.

Stilt walkers

So it was a good parade... especially for a first Friday.  Of course, this being a first Friday, it come as little surprise that Cleopatra's floats and theming would be pretty plain. Cleopatra's theme was "Nightmare on the Avenue."  They made a banner for it and everything.

Nightmare on the Avenue

I didn't get out to see Krewe of Boo this year, but I'm pretty sure these are those floats hastily repurposed. Something tells me we'll see these a few more times this year before it's all over with.

Halloween float


The "Killer Clown" here was particularly memorable. We'll be on the look out for that one again.

Killer clown

Beyond that, there isn't much else to report.  I already said the crowd was pretty nice.  There was one dog on our block.  It didn't seem like he wanted to be there very much. Technically you're not supposed to have your dogs out at the parades but I've noticed that rule isn't enforced too strictly on the first weekend.  But that's a good thing because a lot of dogs really love it out there.  This poor baby, though, looked a little nervous.

Sad dog

Anyway, it's nice to be easing back into parade season.  If you stayed in, though, you might have gotten to see Anthony Davis do this.. so really there was no way to lose tonight.

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