Friday, January 27, 2006

Dauphin Island Mardi Gras parade Saturday

Dauphin Island's Krewe de la Dauphine will present its Mardi Gras parade Saturday with the theme "What I Want to Be When I Grow Up."

The group has designed nine floats celebrating several admirable and not-so-admirable vocations -- beach bum, pirate, firefighter, flight attendant and shrimper, among others.

The krewe put the parade together despite the devastation of Hurricane Katrina on the island Aug. 29. Three families among the krewe lost their homes, said Jake Simms, one of the krewe's parade organizers.

Click the title link for the rest of the story from The Mobile Register.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Mobile Mardi Gras ads a rarity

A new $85,000 television and radio campaign touts Mobile's "family friendly" Mardi Gras in hopes of enticing visitors from regional cities such as Baton Rouge, La., Montgomery and Destin, Fla., according to the Mobile Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The campaign is the first of its kind for the bureau, which hopes to use the ads to fill hotel rooms along Beltline Highway, according to bureau President Leon Maisel.

"We rarely market Mardi Gras because we're booked," Maisel said. "It'd be like marketing the sun coming up."

Click the title link to read the rest of the article from the Mobile Register.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Look Out Mobile

This is an organization for new Mobilians. You can learn about the city and get to know other people who are new to the area. They have a great site. Click on the title link to go there and find out all the happenings.

They are having a Mardi Gras party soon. Here are some of the details. You can get all the information by visiting their site. You have to RSVP to attend so if you are interested go to their site and click on the RSVP link.

Mr. Jim's Cannon Brew Pub Presents Lookout Mobile's Mardi Gras Meet and Greet

You're invited to come celebrate Lookout Mobile's 3rd birthday and kick off the Mardi Gras season in downtown Mobile, AL. Join us on the 3rd floor of Mr. Jim's Cannon Brew Pub for this private party on Saturday, Feb. 4.

What to bring:

$5 per person for food (heavy hors d'oeuvres) and $2.50 per pint of beer.
Mardi Gras beads and costume.
a friend (optional)

Saturday, Feb. 4, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Mr. Jim's Cannon Brew Pub
225 Dauphin Street (LoDa)
Mobile, AL 36602
(251) 432-7556

**Door Prizes are back by popular demand!**

All black Mardi Gras krewe makes history in Mobile

For the first time ever, an all black Mardi Gras crew will parade through downtown Mobile on a Saturday night.

(Mobile, Ala.) January 17 - For the first time ever, an all black Mardi Gras Krew will parade through downtown Mobile on a Saturday night.

The Conde Explorers, which currently has more than 150 members, will roll on parade route "A" February 11th at 6:30p.m. WBLX radio personality "Ray-Ray" will serve as the parade's Grand Marshall. The theme will be "70's & 80's Greatest Hits."

In the past, the Conde Explorers nor the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association (MAMGA) has held a primetime parade schedule. Marching bands from LeFlore, Williamson, Vigor, and Davidson High Schools have already made commitments to participate in the parade. Many other local and regional groups plan to attend.

The Conde Explorers was established in May 2003. It started with 20 people.

Click the title link to watch the video from WPMI-TV.

Mammoth Parade moves back to The Avenue

The Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association's Mammoth Parade is returning to The Avenue on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 28.

The Mobile Police Department and Mayor Sam Jones approved the parade route expansion request that includes Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, where the parade traveled until about 12 years ago.

Also the parade will have a 2 p.m. start time this year instead of the usual 3 p.m. start, officials said.

Click the title link to read the rest of the story.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Krewe du Vieux says 'C'est Levee'

Krewe du Vieux says 'C'est Levee'
Krewe du Vieux, the first harbinger of the Mardi Gras parade season, will roll Feb. 11 on its annual satirical parade through the Marigny and French Quarter, the the theme 'C'est Levee.'

The bawdy krewe, composed of 17 subkrewes, will roll under the reign of King Walter 'Mr. Bill' Williams. KDV, which scoffs at political correctness, is infamous for its roasts of local VIPs, politics, traditions and just about any available target.

Audience warning: This parade, one of only two to march through the Quarter (the other is the dog parade Barkus), is not for those of tender years or the easily offended. With subkrewes like the Krewe of LEWD and the Mystic Krewe of Spermes . . . well, you get the picture.

And here's the official announcement, straight from the krewe's Poobah of Publicity:

New Orleans has learned a lot this past year. We’ve learned new meanings for “open house” and “waterfront property”. We’ve learned that there are nine different types of mold and they all smell worse than a Congressional appropriations committee. We’ve learned that sometimes you can’t help but sleep on the wet spot. We’ve learned that FEMA’s just another word for nothing left to lose. And all because the Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t know the London Avenue dike from a Bourbon Street dyke.
Now the highest spot in town is the Lakeview Alps. The Superdoom turns out to have a semi-retractable roof. MR GO is hopefully MR GONE for good; too bad he took Chalmette and the Ninth Ward with him. And if you’re looking for leadership in the middle of this mess, well, happy hunting – just remember to vote whenever we finally get around to having an election.

Faced with this rising tide of disaster, in true New Orleans fashion Krewe du Vieux says, “C’est Levee”. Life’s a breach, and sometimes you just gotta go with the contraflow. So pop a cold one (pop a looter too if you have to), torch the nearest mound of trash and roast some weenies, and pretend that convoy of National Guard hummers rolling by is just another parade.

Speaking of parades, Krewe du Vieux will storm the city on Saturday, February 11, at 7:00 PM, surging through Faubourg Marigny and the French Quarter with an unusual mix of floats, FEMA trailers, brass bands, army brass, brassy broads, and brass balls.

Leading the soggy celebration will be New Orleans environmentalist and comedian Walter Williams, creator of “Mr. Bill” of Saturday Night Live fame. As Mr. Bill knows much more about flood protection than Mr. Bush or Mr. Brown, the Krewe considers its 2006 king a true wet dream. King Walter, himself a man of many breaches, will help the Krewe keep its finger in a dyke.

The projected path of this year’s parade (see attached route map) will end up with landfall at the State Palace Theater, 1108 Canal Street for the annual Krewe du Vieux Do. Doors open at 8:00 PM, with the show starting at 9:00 PM. Providing the music this year will be Ivan Neville’s Dumpstaphunk, with The Claim Jumpers (featuring Mike Hood and Michael Sklar with special guest Coco Robichaux) opening and a late night set by Juice and special guests. Tickets are $20 per person, available at the Louisiana Music Factory, 210 Decatur Street; Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothes and Costume Shop, 4204 Magazine Street; and Up in Smoke, 4507 Magazine Street.

The Krewe du Vieux’s seventeen subkrewes will each present their own free-flowing, tree-floating, muckraking, trash-talking, trash-burning, Bush-burning, FEMA-gated 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 Discharges, Krewe of K.A.O.S. Knights of Mondu, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Krewe of PAN, Mystic Krewe of Spermes, Krewe of Comatose, Mystic Krewe of Inane, and Krewe du Mishigas.

Also marching will be many of the city’s top brass bands. Showcasing the local brass band talent is one of the few Krewe du Vieux traditions not currently waiting for a FEMA trailer or being rejected by insurance company maladjustors.

The Krewe du Vieux is a non-profit organization dedicated to the historical and traditional concept of a Mardi Gras parade as a venue for individual creative expression and satirical comment. It is unique among all Mardi Gras parades because it alone carries on the old Carnival traditions, by using decorated, hand or mule-drawn floats with satirical themes, accompanied by costumed revelers dancing to the sounds of jazzy street musicians. We believe in exposing the world to the true nature of Mardi Gras -- and in exposing ourselves to the world.

For more information about the Krewe du Vieux parade, or to schedule an interview with King Walter Williams, please contact Keith Twitchell, Poobah of Publicity, at (504) 943-7970.

Click the title link to go to

Mardi Gras and Cigars in Mobile, AL 2004

Mardi Gras and Cigars in Mobile, AL
March 13, 2004

Cigar Weekly member Todd Crandall (sevenmag) attended the lesser known Mardi Gras festivities in Mobile, AL, where Mardi Gras in America actually started. Here he presents us with a review of the parades and the cigars he enjoyed while attending.


I always take a cigar to the Mardi Gras Parades, usually not anything of any real dollar value, it's a hectic evening and sometimes you just have to toss the thing because there's just to much going on. But some nights when I know the crowd will be big and I need to get there early, I will grab a favorite.

This is Mobile's Mardi Gras, a family oriented version. The one I grew up with and love dearly. This is easily my favorite time of year.

Friday, February 7: Conde Cavaliers
Founded in 1977, the Conde Cavaliers is a young Crewe, but have quickly grown into one of the largest parading societies. Founded as a way for a workingman to join a Crewe that had no way to inherit a membership in any of the old groups. Now they have 13 themed floats and the three usual Emblem floats. This years theme was "Games People Play" with the Olympics, Casino gaming and Monopoly represented, just to name a few.

As usual the Cavaliers did a great job of starting things off. Sixteen big floats loaded with drunk maskers that were throwing plenty of goodies. The emblem floats never change; the Cavalier Express is a train, the float with the Conde Cavalier Emblem complete with a rearing horse who's testicles are gold leafed. And he's ridden by a Cavalier. Then there's the Joe Cain Coal Wagon. After that the theme floats come by. All were spectacular. Overall a great parade.

On the Mag scale of 5 thumbs up I give it 4

On the way out the door I grabbed a connie #9m out of a bundle I bought in early 2001.

Age had been a friend to this cigar. It was great, rich chocolate and toasty flavors along just a hint of black pepper. I hope most of this bundle are even close to what this smoke was. I'll be working them over pretty heavy over the next two weeks or so and I could be in for a real treat.

Friday, February 13: Order of Inca
Founded in 1956 the Incas have great looking emblem floats with the Inca Sun God and all the riders with large feathered headdresses. Callouts at the Ball are a real treat with Sun God all dressed in Gold and a headdress that rivals the trains on some of the Royal Family's wedding gowns. These are my favorite of them all.

Back to the parade. You would think that with all that dusty Old Mobile money these guys could spring for a few of the new larger floats. Even so the ones they had were done well and they took full advantage of their parade date falling on Friday the 13th. They themed the parade "Superstitions" and had floats with all things scary on them. Nine of them, and of course the three emblem floats bringing the total to 12. The only real knock on these guys is that they don't throw much. So I'm only giving them three thumbs up.

The cigar that night was an Alec Bradley HSG. Toro. I like these cigars. Well made and a good value. A solid medium/full cigar with a light brown Sun Grown wrapper. Good core of sweetness and some pepper to go along with it. It turned out to be a good choice, a nice strong cigar on a cold windy night.

Saturday, February 14: Maids of Mirth and Neptune Daughter's
The Parades that usually run at this point in the yearly schedule (the parades fall in the same order every year) were rained out and moved to Sunday. They are reviewed in the order that they ran.

Sunday, February 15: Order of the Pharoahs
The Pharaohs ran their 19th parade on Sunday afternoon. Another very young society, and they are still parading like it. Small floats with little coming off them. They need to take some lessons from some other Crewes that have been at it even less time. They get a whopping single thumb for this years efforts.

On Sunday night the rescheduled Maids of Mirth celebrated their 55th year with a theme I liked: "Celebrations South of the Salt line". The theme floats were built around all of our local festivals. A great idea being that Mardi Gras is Mobile's oldest festival. They have two emblem floats followed by 7 theme floats. This is one of three, of what I'd call the older all female societies, and they act like they know what they're doing. Even being re-scheduled they still did a good job of making sure we all went home with plenty of worthless junk. That's saying a lot, as usually they have all day to get wound up and whiskied up and then there's a ball to go to. But not on a rain out day. Just for that they get four big thumbs.

Immediately following them was another one of the all female groups" Neptune's Daughters". They've been around less than 10 years, they lease floats from the Conde Cavaliers but it's still fun to catch some more beads and other goodies. It helps make the parade longer. With only 9 floats in the first parade they add a few extra at the end. I'll give them four thumbs up, because it's been a while since I've seen that much stuff coming off floats.

I didn't take a cigar with me that night. It was wet and threatening rain. I probably could have gotten one in but it would have been a job just to keep it lit.

Monday, February 16: Crewe of Marry Mates and Mystical Ladies
The next night was another pair of short parades, hosted by young societies. Two groups of leased floats, some Inca and some Conde Cavalier. The Crewe of Marry Mates (a society of Married Couples) and The Mobile Mystical ladies. Each society has only been around for about 10 years, but they try hard to make sure we all have a good time. Putting the two parades together is a good idea for them. I'll give this pair a three.

It was just too friggin cold to smoke one and enjoy it that night. The season fell early this year so the cold has been a problem.

Tuesday, February 17: Order of La She and Order of Venus
Next up is another pair of babies in the Mardi Gras world: The "La She's" along with the "Order of Venus". More leased floats from the gals of Venus, but the La She's own their own. Two emblem floats and 13 theme floats, and the theme was "Somewhere In Time". Having 15 total floats have put them in the same size range as some of the old guard. They've also earned a reputation as good throwers. They get a good score of four.

The cigar of the night was a Torano Exodus gold perfecto. These guys know how handle the H2k wrapper. A great looking, oily leaf to be sure. Another solid performer from Torano. Loads of smoke, and a solid ash along with a perfect burn. Wonderful flavors in this cigar included cocoa, vanilla, a slight herbal flair and a nice amount of spice. I finally had to toss it when I couldn't hold it without burning myself. Remember, I'm at a Mardi Gras parade and I can't really watch what I'm doing with a really short nub. So they get tossed at about the 1 to 1.5 inch mark. This one was the best of the group up to that point.

Thursday, February 19: Mystic Stripers Society
Thursday night officially kicks off the parades that are generally referred to as the big ones. This one is the "Mystic Stripers Society", founded 65 years ago and trademarked with the striped emblem floats. The Tiger, the Zebra and The King Striper float which is followed by the Anniversary float that's full of convict attired maskers, and let's not forget the Title float with the theme "MSS Declares War". Eleven theme floats came by depicting scenes from battles like Waterloo and Midway. Another wonderful parade from the Mystic Striper's who also know how to fill the bags of children of all ages. The first perfect score.

The cigar for the this parade was an Oliva "O" Ole. The robusto of the line. I've had the box for about two years, and they've aged wonderfully. This cigar was wrapped in a beautiful dark brown Ecuadorian Sun Grown wrapper from Oliva Farms. One of the best wrappers around IMO. It produced loads of rich flavorful smoke. Strong, sweet and with a hint of citrus and herbs. A delight to my Lower Alabama redneck palette. Perfect burn even on a cool windy night. When it hit the street along with the other stuff nobody wanted to pick up it was completely spent. Not even a BigO toothpick could have salvaged anymore of it. It's no wonder these are some of my favorite cigars.

Friday, February 20: Crewe of Columbus
Friday night saw Mardi Gras get into full swing big time when the "Crewe of Columbus" took their 83rd trip through the streets of downtown Mobile. Founded in 1922 the COC has 6 trademark floats. Three depict the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria, then the Crew's emblem float with a big globe rotating in the center, and that's followed by the title float. The most spectacular of the 6 is Isabella the three headed 50 foot long sea monster. Right behind her are the theme floats. This year they represented "Friday Night at the Drive Inn." with movies like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Godzilla, Ben Hur and my favorite of the night "Creature from the Black Lagoon". Of course there were others, 13 total. Add the emblems and that made for ample chances to fill a big bag with trinkets and Moon Pies. And believe me, they threw plenty of them. The best parade of the year so far. This Crew gets an easy five.

My smoking experience didn't live up to the parade. I started out with a La Escepcion IV Tapa Negra 48. This cigar had little to no discernable flavors. I hung with it until I got past the little Maduro strip on the foot. I really didn't have much hope for it to start with, it just seemed gimicky to put those strips on what was a really good cigar in the first three series. I thought it might pick up once I got past the maduro foot but it didn't come around. So I pitched it. I think I'll just stick to the old ones.

Fortunately I took a backup with me. A Floridita from Costa Rica given to me by my buddy Stogie5150. A toro sized boxpressed cigar with a medium brown tissue thin wrapper. There's a story behind these but I can't remember it. I'm pretty sure it's a Don Douglas product that was originally blended to be a Bahia. I do know they were selling them in bundles for a bit, and now they're gone. That's a shame too, I really enjoyed this one. A straight forward medium bodied smoke with a good profile. It falls into that old catagory "One dimensional, but a good dimension". Sweet and rich and a good long finish. It took some touch ups and a couple of re-lights but overall an enjoyable cigar. I'd like to have more.

Saturday, February 21: Mystics of Time
Saturday was the big night for the "Mystics of Time". In just 56 years they've become easily the favorite parade of the year. Due in large part to Vernadean, Verna and Dean. Three long serpentine dragons that weave their way through the streets, coming right up to the crowd and blowing smoke on everyone. They also throw beads with dragons on them and those are probably the most popular throw of the year. This year's theme was "Lost Civilizations in Time". Easter Island, Nirvana, Atlantis and Knossos were just a few that were represented, with 13 in all. Combined with the three dragons and two emblem floats with Father Time in his usual position on top of the clock gave us 18 to enjoy and catch throws from. As usual though, either Vernadean, Verna or Dean broke down and stopped the parade for a while but this happens every year. Overall another great effort from boys of the MOT. Four thumbs.

The cigar for the parade was a CAO MX2. It was the first one I've had, my buddy spiridon brought it to me from the RTDA. I liked this one and it was a good choice for the night. The wrapper was closer to oscuro than maduro and not the prettiest leaf I've ever seen. But that wasn't a problem, it tasted and smoked great. A good medium bodied cigar with loads of flavor. Maybe not the most complex in the world but enough going on to keep my interest. My only complaint would be that it was just to sweet. But I'd smoke more of them. If you like sweeter cigars these are the ticket.

Sunday, February 22: Joe Cain Precession
This is the best story about a parade yet. Sunday was the "Joe Cain Precession" named after Joe Cain, the man that revived Mardi Gras in the Port City. It originated here in 1703 and went through many changes over the years leading up to the Civil War, which brought it to an end (at least temporarily). In 1866, Joe, who was unhappy with the Reconstruction occupation of Federal troops, dressed up as a Chickasaw war chief named Slacabamorinico. He rolled about town on a charcoal wagon, raising all sorts of Cain. (Yes, that's how the phrase originated) Him and his buddies tossed small trinkets at the feet of the Federal soldiers and Mardi Gras was reborn here in Mobile. The following year in 1867 a formal parade was organized for Shrove Tuesday and it's been going on ever since. The review of this year's edition of that parade is coming up.

Now the Joe Cain Parade is basically about 30 busses, semi's and large flatbeds loaded down with maskers. Each one is it's own so called mystic society with names like Order of Pie and Knights of Daze, all throwing all the usual goodies. It's a big day with a family fair, the parade, a race and several other events going on downtown. It's a fun parade but it's far removed from the usual ones. Given that I'm not going to rate it, but we had a great time as usual.

The crowd is so big and since we had to get there early, I knew I'd have time to enjoy a good cigar before the parade started. So I grabbed a San Cristobal La Fuerza. A good choice, everything you want out of a good Cuban cigar. Tons of flavor, complexity, and just the right amount of strength. At about the half way point the flavors seemed to explode. I didn't think it was possible but the flavors just suddenly became more intense. What a great cigar, it was a shame when that set of beads knocked the nub out of my mouth. Good thing it was all but done anyway.

Monday, February 23: Infant Mystics
Every once in a great while I get lucky. Tonight was one of those nights. We decided to take a chance and brave the rain for the Infant Mystics parade. They were founded in 1868 and are one of the oldest Mystic Societies. Well the rain held out just long enough to get them past us and there were so few people it was like our own private parade. It's a rare treat but if you want to take advantage of an opportunity like that you've got to take your chances with the weather. Tonight it paid off big time. The only problem is the bands pull out, so there's no break between floats, and that's when I check them out. So my review of this parade will be lacking. The theme was good: "The Wonders of Our Waterways", but them I'm always partial to any theme with a local flavor. Every float showed us something about our local bays and Gulf Coast. I'll have to hold off on any rating but it's not because they don't deserve one. I was so busy with Little Mag catching stuff that I just didn't give everything the attention it was due.

I started not to take a cigar at all tonight because of the weather and we waited until the last minute to leave so I didn't think I'd be able to get a smoke in. I changed my mind on the way out the door and grabbed a Romeo y Julieta TPC of unknown year. Not the prettiest wrapper I've ever seen, and it wasn't the best TPC I've ever smoke either. It wasn't bad but usually these are much better than this one. This example was just flat and didn't have the usual depth of flavors and strength that you can expect from this vitola. Could be from the 00 crop that just didn't produce many good cigars.

Tuesday, February 24: Order of Athena, Knights of Revelry, Comic Cowboys and Order of Myths
It finally came to an end today. The festivities started out with the "Order of Athena" just as they have for the last 50 years. We always get a little bonus from the Athenas, when they finish their brunch they do a procession on foot to the float loading. It's a nice touch and a good way to get things started. Luckily where I've been setting up camp for nearly 20 years is on the 5-block stretch they take. Once the parade got started, it was a perfect example of Mobile Mardi Gras at its finest. I love their emblem float with Athena in her chariot being pulled by two huge smoke breathing cobras. The theme was "I love a Parade" with all sorts of parades being represented. I gotta say, this is my favorite of the women's Crewes. I'm giving them a four.

Next up were the "Knights of Revelry". They ran today for the 130th time. Their emblem float is my all time favorite. A jester rides high atop the float in a champagne glass, and chases death by beating the float with inflated pig bladders. The jester's name is "Folly" and he chases death and all other evil spirits away with all the noise he makes with the bladders. One day I'm gonna catch a set of them. Their theme was a Salute to Dr. Seuss. All the kids favorites came by today and these guys were doing all they could to make sure we all had plenty of Moon Pies, beads and candy to bring home. One of their best efforts in years. An easy four thumbs up.

Right on their heels were the "Comic Cowboys". Founded in 1868 this group is completely different than any other Mystic Society. They don't build the big elaborate floats, they use old flatbeds with wooden signs and roast all the local and national celebrities. Stabs at all the usual suspects were there, Alabama, Auburn, Local politicians and a few at Michael and Janet Jackson. A few I caught myself laughing out loud at. They even took a couple of shots at the new California Governor. The members of the Comic Cowboys don't ride in their own parade. They hire others to do it. Anonymity is a big tradition with those guys.

Tonight, if the rain holds out, will the "Order of Myths". Founded in 1867 it's our oldest parading Crewe. I won't be able to give you a review since I'll be at home for that one. They run an old traditional route different from all the others. Their emblem float has a Jester and a Skeleton, Folly chasing Death. The Jester chases the Skeleton around a broken pillar. The Broken pillar of life. It's the Grand Finale of Carnival here. Overall another great season, but I'm glad it's over. I need some rest.

I got in two cigars today, both were stellar. I started off with a RyJ Ex. #4 from 00. A great start for the day. Full bodied and rich. Exactly what I expect from the Romeo y Julieta brand. After that was a PAM. Maybe the best cigar I smoked during the whole season. Perfect burn, great flavors and complexity. Could be as much to do with the fact that the weather had started to improve and I was really enjoying the day downtown with my family and friends.

I hope everyone enjoyed the reviews as much as I've enjoyed sharing the season. I smoked cigars that would fit anyone's tastes and enjoyed almost all of them. Just goes to show you there's a cigar for every mood, occasion and situation. I think I'll try doing this again next year.

This is from an interesting site called Cigar Weekly. You can click on the title link to go there.

The 2006 Rex Procession - New Orleans

The 2006 Rex Procession: “Beaux Arts and Letters”
Tuesday, February 28, 2005
New Orleans, Louisiana

1. Rex, King of Carnival, Monarch of Merriment Rex’s float carries the King of
Carnival and his pages through the streets of New Orleans on Mardi Gras day.

2. His Majesty’s Bandwagon A band rides on this permanent float to provide
music for Rex and for those who greet him on the parade route.

3. The King’s Jesters Even the Monarch of Merriment needs jesters in his court.
Rex’s jesters dress in Mardi Gras colors—purple, green, and gold.

4. The Boeuf Gras This is one of the oldest symbols of Mardi Gras, symbolizing
the great feast on the day before Lent begins.

5. Title Float: “Beaux Arts and Letters” While Rex Processions of past years
have presented the history and culture of far-flung civilizations, this year’s theme
explores the joys and beauties of Rex’s own empire and domain. New Orleans
has a long and rich artistic history and has produced a wealth of artists and
writers of national and international renown. Sculptors and painters, writers and
poets have called New Orleans home, and have found inspiration for their work
in her history, culture, and landscapes. Mardi Gras, the celebration unique to
this city, has influenced the work of many of our artists and writers.

6. John James Audubon (1785-1851) Audubon, the pre-eminent American
painter of birds and wildlife, was born in Haiti and came to America at age
eighteen, living in Pennsylvania and Kentucky before traveling south with little
more than his gun and his painting equipment. He arrived in New Orleans in
1821, living for a time at 701 Barracks St. where he painted and taught drawing.
He worked for several years in the Felicianas, especially at Oakley plantation. He
is best known for his great work, “Birds of America.”

7. Robert Tallant “Voodoo” (1909-1957) Born and educated in New Orleans,
Robert Tallant is best known for a series of books and articles describing the
history and culture of New Orleans. As an editor working with the Louisiana
Writers’ Project for the WPA he helped write “Gumbo Ya-Ya,” which described
the rich folklore of New Orleans. “Voodoo” was one of his later books, a detailed
(if somewhat sensational) exploration of this interesting part of New Orleans
culture. He also taught English at Newcomb College and wrote for the New
Orleans Item.

8. George Ohr (1857-1918) Sometimes called “the mad potter of Biloxi,” George
Edgar Ohr learned many of his potting skills in New Orleans before returning to
Biloxi to create the unique pots he called his “mud babies.” He claimed the
motto “no two alike,” and his style of pinched and twisted forms produced art
pottery which was not really valued during his lifetime. Thousands of his pots
were left in boxes to be discovered many years after his death. This unique artist
and his work are honored in the recently founded George Ohr Museum in Biloxi,

9. Perry Young “The Mistick Krewe” This float honors the Mistick Krewe of
Comus on its 150th anniversary, with float elements depicting the Comus cup and
the celebrations of the “Cowbellians,” from which the Mistick Krewe took
inspiration. Perry Young is best known for his 1931 history of Carnival in New
Orleans, “The Mistick Krewe: Chronicles of Comus and His Kin.” In his preface
Young describes Carnival as “a butterfly of winter, whose last mad flight of
Mardi Gras forever ends his glory.”

10. John Kennedy Toole “Confederacy of Dunces” (1937-1969) In his bestknown
work, Toole created a most colorful New Orleans character, Ignatius P.
Reilly. Toole’s description of Reilly begins: “A green hunting cap squeezed the
top of the fleshy balloon of a head….” Toole earned degrees from Tulane and
Columbia Universities and taught English at Dominican College. “A
Confederacy of Dunces” was published after his death through the persistence of
his mother, Thelma Toole, and with the help of Walker Percy. It won the Pulitzer
Prize for fiction in 1980.

11. Louis Andrews Fischer “Living Jewels” (1901-1974) Louis Fischer was given
her father’s name when she was born in Mobile in 1901. An imaginative child
who loved poetry and fanciful fiction (“Alice in Wonderland” was a favorite) she
studied art at Newcomb College. In her Pontalba apartment she designed many
beautiful Carnival parades, including the Rex parades from the 1920’s through
the early 1930’s. One of her most beautiful Rex parades was that of 1930, titled
“The Jewels of Rex,” which inspired this float.

12. Grace King “New Orleans, the Place and the People” (1852-1932) Grace
King was a life-long New Orleanian whose fiction and non-fiction writing helped
the nation and the world better understand post-Civil War New Orleans and the
South. She was well known and respected in national literary circles, and was
proud to call herself, in the title of her autobiography, “A Southern Woman of
Letters.” “New Orleans, the Place and the People,” published in 1895, is her bestknown
non-fiction work, an affectionate and beautifully illustrated history of our

13. Caroline Durieux “Mardi Gras Day” (1896-1989) Caroline Spellman Wogan
Durieux studied art with Ellsworth Woodward at Newcomb College, and later at
the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts. Prior to teaching art at LSU she was the
director of the Federal Art Project in Louisiana. She is best known for her
humorous and satiric lithographs, many drawing on the characters and culture
of New Orleans. “Mardi Gras Day” is a 1948 compilation of sketches and
drawings by Durieux, Ralph Wickiser, and John McCrady depicting images from
a “typical” Mardi Gras day.

14. The Streetcar Named Desire This permanent float honors the most famous
of all of New Orleans’ streetcar lines.
His Majesty’s Royal Calliope The Rex procession presents a musical interlude
provided by His Majesty’s traditional calliope.

15. Lyle Saxon “Father Mississippi” (1891-1946) Lyle Saxon began his writing
career as a reporter for several New Orleans papers, ending his newspaper career
as one of the Times-Picayune’s most renowned journalists. In 1926 he went to
New York City to write novels, one of which, “Father Mississippi” (1927)
inspired this float. During the WPA years he was Director of the Louisiana
Writer’s Project. A resident of the French Quarter, where his literary circle
included William Faulkner, Saxon also did some of his writing in a cabin at
Melrose Plantation.

16. Enrique Alferez (1901-1999) Enrique Alferez was born in northern Mexico
and divided his time between New Orleans and the land of his birth. A prolific
artist and sculptor, many of his works grace New Orleans’ favorite public spaces,
including the New Orleans Botanical Garden and City Park, and can be found in
many distant cities as well. Mr. Alferez was an energetic and enthusiastic man,
and is remembered as one of New Orleans’ most unique characters. The human
figure inspired many of his drawings and sculptures.

17. Ida Kohlmeyer (1912-1997) Ida Kohlmeyer did not take up painting until she
was in her thirties, but she developed a unique style which made her one of New
Orleans’ favorite and most renowned artists and sculptors. Her first degree from
Newcomb College was in English Literature, but she returned to its art school for
her Master’s Degree. Her work is found in major national museum collections
and graces many homes and public spaces in New Orleans, where she painted
and sculpted nearly every day until her death. New Orleans’ own Ogden
Museum of Southern Art is home to the Ida Kohlmeyer Study Center, which
preserves an extensive Kohlmeyer archive.

18. Bror Anders Wikstrom “Rex 1885-1910” (1854-1909) While Wikstrom is
honored here for his elegant designs for some of the most beautiful of all Rex
parades, he was also a versatile and accomplished painter. Born in Sweden, he
ran away to sea at the age of fourteen, but returned to study painting at the
Swedish Royal Academy. During his 25 years in New Orleans he helped found
the Artists’ Association of New Orleans, taught art and drawing, and was part of
a distinguished circle of artists which included the Woodward brothers.

19.Walker Percy “The Moviegoer” (1916-1990) Walker Percy trained to be a
physician, but contracted tuberculosis when he was twenty-six. Following his
extended confinement, he began to write, exploring the human condition in a
series of novels and non-fiction works. His literary characters were often
engaged in a search for greater meaning in their lives. This was certainly true of
Binx Bolling, an alienated stockbroker, and the moviegoer of this float’s title. Dr.
Percy lived and worked in Covington, Louisiana.

20. William Faulkner “Mosquitoes” (1897-1962) William Faulkner grew up in
Oxford, Mississippi, and lived and worked for many years in New Orleans.
“Mosquitoes” was his second novel, and is not widely read. It takes place on a
yacht in Lake Ponchartrain, and is loosely based on the characters in his literary
circle during his New Orleans years. He won the Nobel Prize for literature in
1949, cited for “his powerful and artistically unique contribution to the American

21. Newcomb Pottery Josephine Newcomb’s gift in 1886 encouraged a broad
vision of education “both practical and literary.” This surely was true in the Art
Department, where Ellsworth Woodward and others encouraged the study of art
both as a program of vocational training for young women and the creation of
fine works of art. The Newcomb Pottery, established by Woodward and Mary
Given Sheerer in 1894, exemplified this blend of beauty and function. Newcomb
Pottery became famous for graceful forms, exquisite glazes, and designs drawn
from Louisiana flora. The pottery closed in 1940.

22. Clementine Hunter (1886-1988) Clementine Hunter, one of the south’s most
famous and beloved self-taught artists, was born on a cotton plantation near
Cloutierville, LA. When she was a teenager she moved to the Melrose Plantation
in Cane River country. Melrose was a haven for artists and writers, and Mrs.
Hunter’s creativity with quilts and dolls was noticed and encouraged. She began
to make paintings with leftover materials or paints given to her by the “real”
artists. Her first painting was on a linen window shade. Over her long life she
created more than 4000 “memory paintings,” each telling a story in her clear and
straightforward way.

23. Tennessee Williams “The Glass Menagerie”(1911-1983) Born Thomas Lanier
Williams, III in Columbus, Mississippi, Tennessee Williams was one of America’s
greatest playwrights. He moved to New Orleans in 1939, and wrote “A Streetcar
Named Desire” while living on St. Peter Street. While he lived in New York and
other cities, he always called New Orleans his “spiritual home,” and New
Orleans celebrates his work with the annual Tennessee Williams Festival.
Williams grew up in a conflicted and dysfunctional family, and many of the
characters in his plays mirror the troubled and tumultuous world he knew well.
That is certainly true of the characters in “The Glass Menagerie.

24. Lafcadio Hearn “The Night of All Saints” (1850-1904) Born in Greece,
Lafcadio Hearn was a prolific and colorful writer in New Orleans in the 1880’s.
He wrote for several of the city’s papers, and his descriptions of New Orleans, its
culture and characters, endures for its vividness and wit. In 1889 he went to
Japan, learned Japanese, married a Japanese woman, and became a professor at
the Imperial University. While he is known around the world for his writings
about Japan, his New Orleans period is not as widely studied. “The Night of All
Saints” is one of Hearn’s sketches compiled after his death by Charles Hutson,
and published in 1919 as “Fantastics and other Fancies.”

25. Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-1965) Anderson was born and spent his early
years in New Orleans. He graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine
Arts, and studied abroad before returning to live and work in Ocean Springs.
During the WPA years he painted murals in public buildings, many of which
survive. He struggled with mental illness throughout his adult life, and lead an
increasingly isolated life. He spent many years going back and forth to Horn
Island, studying the natural world around him and trying to capture it in his
intense and lyric style. These years produced much of the art by which we
remember this remarkable artist.

26. Kate Chopin “Bayou Folk” (1851-1904) Kate O’Flaherty Chopin spent most
of her life in her native St. Louis, but her literary legacy drew on the fourteen
years she lived in Louisiana. At age nineteen she married Oscar Chopin, a cotton
broker, and they lived in New Orleans and Cloutierville, Red River country. She
returned to St. Louis in 1882, a widow with six children, and when she began to
write it was about the Acadians and Creoles with whom she had lived. “Bayou
Folk” was published in 1894, and describes, with colorful use of dialect, the
people and customs of Acadiana.

27. The Royal Barge The Royal Barge is a permanent float, complete with Royal
Gryphon, and brings the Rex Procession of 2005 to a close.

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe

Frugal Recipes

Michelle's Meals on a Budget

Mardi Gras King Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Filling
Copyright 2004 © by Michelle Jones, editor of

Having lived in Mobile, Alabama for two years, our family had a chance to experience many Mardi Gras parades with moon pies and purple green and gold colored beads (called throws), and the delicious King Cakes offered in all the local bakeries. It was a season of annual family fun we'll never forget.

Although I would not consider this recipe particularly frugal, it is certainly more frugal to make it at home than to order one online! ;o)

(For those of us living outside of Mardi Gras towns, that is. If purchasing a King Cake locally they usually only cost about $5-$6.)

* * *

Please note: King Cake is not like a birthday cake, it's more like a sweet breakfast bread.


1/2 c. warm water
2 packages active dry yeast
1/2 c. plus 1 tsp. sugar
About 4 cups of flour, more or less as needed
1 tsp. nutmeg
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/2 c. warm milk
5 large egg yolks
1 stick plus 2 T. butter, cut in slices and softened
1 egg slightly beaten with 1 T. of milk
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tiny plastic doll (about 1 inch in size)

Optional Cream Cheese Filling:

1 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 c. confectioner's sugar
2 T. flour
1 tsp. vanilla extract
a few drops of milk

(If filling the cake, cream all the above ingredients together with a mixer and spread onto the rolled-out dough before rolling it into a ring... yum!!)

Cake Directions:

Pour the warm water into a small shallow bowl and sprinkle yeast and 2 teaspoons of sugar into it. Allow the yeast and sugar to rest for several minutes, then mix thoroughly. Set yeast mixture in a warm place for 10 minutes. Combine 3 and 1/2 cups of flour, remaining sugar, nutmeg and salt, and sift into a large mixing bowl.

Stir in lemon zest. Separate center of mixture to form a hole and pour in yeast mixture and milk. Add egg yolks and using a wooden spoon, combine dry ingredients into the yeast and milk mixture. When mixture is smooth, beat in 8 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time and continue to beat 2 minutes or until dough can be formed into a medium soft ball.

Place ball of dough on floured surface and knead, gradually adding 1/2 to 1 cup more of flour. When dough is no longer sticky, knead 10 minutes more until shiny and elastic.

Using a pastry brush, coat the inside of a large bowl evenly with one tablespoon softened butter. Place dough ball in the bowl and rotate until the entire surface is buttered. Cover bowl with a heavier kitchen towel and allow dough to rise in a warm place for about 1 and 1/2 hours or until it doubles in volume.

Coat a large baking sheet with one tablespoon of butter and set aside. After the first rising, place the dough on a floured surface and punch it down with a heavy blow. Sprinkle cinnamon, then pat and shape the dough into a long 'snake' or 'cylinder'. Form a twist by folding the long cylinder in half, end to end, and pinching the ends together. Then twist the dough. Form a ring with the completed twist and pinch the ends together.

Place the completed ring on the buttered baking sheet, cover it with a towel and allow it to rise for 45 minutes or until it doubles in volume. After the second rising, brush the top and sides of the cake with the egg and milk wash. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and hide the plastic baby inside the cake (or just place on the top of cake to avoid someone biting into it).

Icing: (2 parts - you can use one or both if desired)

Colored sugar
Green, purple and yellow coloring paste (sold with cake decorating supplies)
12 T. sugar
Divide sugar into three portions (for green, yellow and purple)
Add a tiny amount of the coloring paste to each sugar portion. Try mixing the sugar and colored pasted between your palms for best results. Set aside.

Poured icing:

3/4 c. confectioners sugar
1/4 c. lemon juice
3 - 6 T. of water

Combine ingredients until smooth, adding more water if it's too thick. Spoon icing over top of cake. Immediately sprinkle on colored sugars, alternating between the three colors. Serve in 2"3" pieces.

I found this on another website. You can click the title link to check it out. The website is and they have lots of interesting money saving ideas.

Mobile expects larger Mardi Gras crowds because of Katrina

A scaled-down New Orleans Mardi Gras because of Hurricane Katrina's destruction could boost turnout for the rollicking festivities in Mobile, where local historians say carnival was first celebrated in the United States in the 1700s.
"It's going to be nuts. We're preparing for the insane, just in case," says bartender Danielle Hamilton at Hayley's on Dauphin Street, the city's downtown entertainment strip.
She says the bar will hire extra bouncers and bartenders to deal with the crowds.
Millions of tourist dollars are up for grabs in carnival cities along the Gulf of Mexico from Galveston, Texas, to Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
Leon Maisel, president and CEO of the Mobile Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau, said there are no historical benchmarks for this year's Mardi Gras because of Katrina.
"But in communicating with industry members," he said, "all indications show Mobile Mardi Gras attendance increasing due to this unique situation."
Mobile has advertised its "family-oriented" carnival in markets within a 150-to-200-mile radius, including Jackson, Miss., Hattiesburg, Miss., Baton Rouge, La., Birmingham and Montgomery, Maisel said.

Click the title link to read the rest of the story.

Little shop of Mardi Gras

A few years ago, Jeff Jordan looked around Mobile's lower Dauphin Street district and noticed something missing.

In the birthplace of America's Mardi Gras, there were no stores solely devoted to selling Carnival-inspired merchandise downtown. No bead outlets. No T-shirt shops. No markets hawking feathered masks.

So the local artist and entrepreneur transformed his father's antiques store into a gift shop and printing business speckled with all things purple, green and gold -- arguably anything anyone would ever want to properly celebrate the pre-Lenten season.

Click the title link to read the rest of the story.

Zulu scales hurdles to roll on Mardi Gras Day

NEW ORLEANS -- In the 700 block of North Broad Street, the main building that houses the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club stands as an example of recovery and promise in this tattered city.

The gold and black, two-story building, which took on about 4 feet of water after Hurricane Katrina, has been gutted and restored.

Members of Zulu, New Orleans' oldest and largest historically black Mardi Gras parading organization, pitched in to complete the project, much of it done using two generators because there was no electricity.

Click the title to read the rest of the story from the Mobile Register.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Celebrity Grand Marshals 2006

Celebrity grand marshals and riders, 2006
Below are the Celebrity Riders for Mardi Gras 2006

Bacchus - Michael Keaton
Keaton, who was filming a movie in New Orleans before hurricane Katrina, will reign as Bacchus XXXVIII. The krewe hopes to raise money for Katrina relief by marketing the lithograph of this year's king.
• Read more
Krewe du Vieux - Walter "Mr. Bill" Williams
Oh Noooooo!! The creator of Mr. Bill will lead the Krewe through the French Quarter under the theme "C'est Levee."
Knights of Jason - Bag of Donuts
Known for their outlandish costumes and covers of popular songs, Bag of Donuts are definately the 'Baddest Show on Earth.'

New Orleans 2006 Parade Calendar

Mardi Gras 2006 Parade Calendar
Greater New Orleans Area

Please note: Dates and times for Carnival 2006 are still being confirmed. For more information, click here.

• Krewe du Vieux - French Quarter

• Perseus - Slidell

• Little Rascals - Metairie 11:00 a.m.

• Pearl River Lions Club - Pearl River 1:15 p.m.

• Excalibur - Metairie 7:00 p.m.

• Eve - Mandeville 7:00 p.m.

• Pontchartrain - Uptown

• Shangri-La - Uptown

• Pygmalion - Uptown

• Sparta - Uptown

• Pegasus - Uptown

• Push Mow - Abita Springs 10:00 a.m.

• Aladdin - Westbank noon

• Caesar - Metairie 6:00 p.m.

• Olympia - Covington 6:00 p.m.

• Mona Lisa & Moon Pie - Slidell 7:00 p.m.

• Carrollton - Uptown

• King Arthur - Uptown

• Bards of Bohemia - Uptown

• Barkus - French Quarter

• Dionysus - Slidell

• Alla - Westbank noon

• Nemesis - St. Bernard 1:00 p.m.

• Rhea - Metairie 2:30 p.m.

• Centurions - Metairie 5:30 p.m.

• Thor - Metairie 7:00 p.m.

• Babylon - Uptown

• Chaos - Uptown

• Muses - Uptown
• Hermes - Uptown

• Krewe d'Etat - Uptown

• Morpheus - Uptown

• Selene - Slidell

• Orpheus - Mandeville 7:00 p.m.

• Aquila - Metairie 7:00 p.m.

• Knights of Jason - Metairie 7:30 p.m.

• Iris - Uptown

• Tucks - Uptown

• Endymion - Uptown

• Isis - Metairie 6:00 p.m.

• Okeanos - Uptown

• Thoth - Uptown

• Mid-City - Uptown

• Bacchus - Uptown

• Adonis - West Bank

• Corps de Napoleon - Metairie 5:30 p.m.

• Proteus - Uptown

• Orpheus - Uptown

• Zeus - Metairie 6:30 p.m.

• Zulu - Uptown

• Rex - Uptown

• Elks Orleans - Uptown after Rex

• Crescent City - Uptown after Elks

• Choctaw - West Bank

• Lions - Covington 10:00 a.m.

• KaaCee - Covington, after Lions

• Argus - Metairie 10:00 a.m.

• Elks Jefferson - Metairie after Argus

• Jefferson Trucks - Metairie after Elks

Mardi Gras Growth Continues

St. Bernard krewe plans unrivaled debut
Hurricane Katrina dealt St. Bernard Parish a devastating blow -- but it's not enough to stop the debut of the parish's newest Carnival krewe.

The Knights of Nemesis has received permission from parish authorities to hit the ravaged streets of the parish on Feb. 19. The parade, the lone krewe of the parish's four that will parade this year, plans 15 floats, some 200 members, three marching groups and at least one band.

Expecting BIG Crowds

Mardi Gras in Mobile could be huge. "Soon as you try to figure out what its gonna be it turns out not to be that." Life and business have taught Jeff Jordan not to let his hopes soar.

But now as his Mardi Gras shop heads into it's 3rd year, it's hard to keep the glimmer out of the entrepreneur's eyes. "If there's room here, I think they'll come. I'm just not sure if there's enough room to put them in hotel space."

"The central business district, downtown is pretty much booked." Leon Maisel with the Mobile Bay Visitors and Convention Bureau says hotel rooms downtown are almost all booked and the beltway is filling up.

If you want a room, act fast. You can do so at this website. .

Click the title link to read the rest of the story.

Navy destroyer to visit Mobile during Mardi Gras

The U.S.S. Nitze, a new guided-missile destroyer with a crew of 320 sailors, is slated to sail into Mobile on February 24th for a five-day Mardi Gras visit.

Commander Michael Hegarty, the ship's commanding officer, said he and crewmembers are looking forward to the festivities.

The naval vessel is based in Norfolk, Virginia.

Hegarty said this will be the ship's first official port liberty visit since its commissioning last March.

Click the title link to read the rest of the story from NBC 15 news.

Staying Safe During Mardi Gras

The Mobile Police Department wants to share some safety precautions and other good to know facts for those heading down to Mardi Gras this year.

Streets in and around the parade route will begin closing approximately one hour prior to the start of each parade. Drivers must adhere to all designated “No Parking” areas as well as other specially marked Mardi Gras “No Parking” zones marked with green and gold signs. All vehicles parked in these areas will be towed to Smith’s Towing, located at 2400 Michigan Avenue; (251)-662-8304. The fee for this towing will be $75.00 and must be paid to the wrecker company before any vehicle can be released to the owner.

R.V. parking on the medians along Claiborne and Canal Streets will still be prohibited this Mardi Gras. However, R.V. parking will be allowed beneath I-10 at Canal and Water Streets for a fee (approximately 150 spaces available). “No R.V. Parking” signs have already been posted in the downtown area and will be strictly enforced. Anyone with questions or concerns regarding R.V. parking can contact Ike Jimenez at (251) 476-7038 or 583-2350.

Following is a list of precautions that should be kept in mind while attending the parades downtown during Mardi Gras:

• Attend parades with family or friends
• A City Ordinance strictly forbids glass containers in public
• Do not follow floats. Violators may be arrested
• Do not throw any object in the direction of floats, band members, or parade participants. Violators may be arrested
• Materials known as “Silly String” and “Snap & Pops”, along with similar products are illegal. Possession of any these products may result in arrest
• If you need police assistance during a parade, go to the nearest intersection and advise a uniformed police officer
• Lost children will be taken to the Mobile Police Department Central Events Mini Precinct located at 320 Dauphin Street (208-6306). Place an index card in your childs pocket indicating their name, address, telephone number and a relatives name
• Please cooperate with all requests from police officers
• Choose a well-lit area for night parade viewing
• Establish a pre-designated meeting place for after the parade in case you get separated from friends or family
• Park vehicles in secure areas and do not leave valuables in plain sight. Utilize the trunk to store valuables
• The Mobile Police Department will enforce a “no weapons” policy. Persons found in possession of weapons will be arrested. Pistol permits do not allow possession of firearms at parades
• Uniformed and plainclothes officers will be patrolling behind the crowds to identify and arrest persons engaging in criminal activity
• Do not cross the barricades. Each officer will be carrying a ticket book and will be issuing citations to those people who disobey the law by crossing the barricades. The fine for crossing the barricades is $152.00
• Pets on leashes are prohibited during the parades downtown
• Skateboards and motorized scooters are prohibited.

African American Mardi Gras

There is not an abundance of photographs of black Mardi Gras past in Mobile, but enough exist to accurately tell the story. The story is told around the activities of the organization that would eventually become the Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association.

A 1946 photograph captures the spirit and excitement of a marching band as it charges toward the viewing stand. Awaiting them is the royal court of the association, but if you take a close look at these photographs, you'll discover the identity of the studio that captured these moments -- a photography studio that is, itself, a thing of the past.

Blue Light Studio number one opened on Royal Street in 1942. By 1944 a second blue light studio opened but later burned in 1958. But the photos survive.

Click the title link to read the rest of the story from NBC 15.

Makin Mardi Gras

Click on the title link to read all the articles from Darwin Singleton of NBC 15 news.

MAMGA seeks to bring Mammoth Parade back to "The Avenue"
When the MAMGA parade rolls on Fat Tuesday, Tammy Morgan of Prichard says keep your eye out for the ladies on float 13.

"Big Easy" float builders make Mardi Gras easier in Orange Beach
Joe Barth and Tim Kennedy are in a large metal garage, busy working on Mardi Gras floats. No surprise. It's what they do this time every year in New Orleans. But this isn't New Orleans. It isn't even in Louisiana. This is a secret float barn in Orange Beach. Alabama. So why are Joe and Tim here instead of there?

Dynasty Collection: Makin' Mardi Gras with carnival royalty!
Mary Margaret Monahan is a beautiful lady. But something special happens when you add a crown! A crown, a scepter and jewels!

Makin' Mardi Gras at Toomey's
You've seen the crazy hats, the one-of-a-kind beads, the wacky glasses (for your face or your table) and maybe even a Mardi Gras vest! That stuff is commonplace at Toomey's Mardi Gras! Watch this video
Watch this video

Moon Pie Recipe
It's that time of year again. NBC 15's own "Mr. Mardi Gras" starts dipping into the familiar purple, green and gold, and he's getting a new spin on the old Mardi Gras favorite -- the moon pie!

Mobile hosting Gulf Coast's oldest Mardi Gras
From decorated trees and outrageous costumes to colorful parades and quaint traditions, it's Mardi Gras time on the Gulf Coast. And while New Orleans' celebration may be better known, Mobile's is, in fact, known to be older — as well as more family-oriented.

Mardi Gras safety tips and need-to-know info
The Mobile Police Department wants to share some safety precautions and other good to know facts for those heading down to Mardi Gras this year.

Joe Cain
Mention his name anywhere else and it won't ring a bell, but say Joe Cain in Mobile, and, well, it's almost like saying George Washington.

African American Mardi Gras in Mobile
The Blue Light photographers did not limit their cameras to the streets of Mobile's black neighborhoods. They took them into the halls and homes here the shutter captured a carnival association party.

Everyone knows that Cinderella is a fairy tale, but come to Mobile during Mardi Gras, and you might have to reconsider.

Royalty must have a crown
How can you recognize a Mardi Gras king or queen? By the crown, of course! Something happens to a person when that sparkling headpiece is placed on their brow. So who is responsible for crowning our Mardi Gras royalty? Darwin knows!

Return to History?

Parade petitions for return to roots

The Mobile Area Mardi Gras Association has requested a route expansion of its Fat Tuesday Mammoth Parade to include Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, a move that would take the parade back to its historic roots.

MAMGA officials also want a 2 p.m. start, Ralph Altice, association president, said Wednesday. MAMGA officials held a news conference Wednesday evening at the association's float barn to discuss the reason for requesting the route change.

"We consider this more of an expansion and not so much as a change," Altice said earlier Wednesday.

Please click the title link to read the rest of the story from the Mobile Register.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Blast from the Past

Well Mobile Mardi Gras 2006 is upon us and as we wait and prepare for the season I wanted to share some old pictures from Mardi Gras gone by. If there was any doubt that I love and have always been a part of Mobile Mardi Gras here are some pictures to prove it.

I will be covering all things Mardi Gras in the weeks and months to come so check back often. Please leave comments or drop me a line and tell me what you think, ask questions and give me suggestions to improve the site.

Joe Cain was My Main Man when I was 1 in the Joe Cain Parade. I am holding onto my crown so I don’t lose it. This was my second Joe Cain Parade.
Here I am on the Mystic Stripers Queen's Float. I am ready at 2 to lead the parade. It would take many more years for me to get there.
I was 6 in this picture. In those days after a terrific Joe Cain Parade there was a ceremony and picnic at the Church Street Grave Yard where Joe Cain is buried.
This is my little sister, Timpy, and me. I guess I was about 8 in this picture on Mardi Gras Day downtown. My dad always tied a step stool to this pole so he could get up high to take pictures of the passing parades.
I guess this was when I was about 16. Funny story. My best friend Debbie called into work so she could parade in the Joe Cain Parade with me. Well, this picture appeared as almost half page on the front of the newspaper the next day. Needless to say my friend had to look for a new job but she said it was all worth it.
Finally made it!! I was 20 here when I lead the Mystic Striper’s Ball as their Queen.
This was the stage. My jester train and the stage that evening were a perfect accidental match. The stage builder and us were unaware what the other was doing. It worked out perfectly.
This was Joe Cain Day 2002. My hubby, Luke, decided to dress in traditional MOWA attire.


It took months of sometimes contentious negotiation between city and community leaders, but the 2006 Carnival season officially began Friday with the heart-jumping call of the Soul Rebels Brass Band and an announcement that Zulu will roll and walk on Mardi Gras.

During the Twelfth Night news conference at Gallier Hall, Zulu President Charles Hamilton said his organization agreed to change its traditional route on Fat Tuesday, which falls on Feb. 28.

Click on the title link to read the rest of the story.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Orleans Extends Mardi Gras to 8 Days

City Gears up for Mardi Gras 2006
(New Orleans, LA) The City of New Orleans today announced its official recommendation to the Mayor for the 2006 Mardi Gras celebration, marking 150 years of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

The NOPD, City officials and krewe captains came together to accommodate the krewes’ needs while working within the challenging financial environment the city faces.
The plan consists of the following:

Click on the title link to read the rest of the story.

Citing Safety, Atlanta Bans Bead Tossing at Parade

ATLANTA, Dec. 30 - Despite the thousands of Hurricane Katrina evacuees who have taken up residence here, life has not become noticeably more outré.

New Orleanians seem to understand that the rest of the world has different customs - people buy shrimp with the heads already removed, for example, and are not allowed to stroll down the street with their cocktails in hand.

Click on the title link to read the rest of the story.