Happy Mardi Gras!
I’ll update this post with photos eventually
To my continued surprise, Shannon has been as enthusiastic about Mardi Gras in New Orleans as my father was. I believe we’ll be returning most years.
Our second one together was a big one. Having been coronated, I presided over the Krewe of Freret’s parade on February 15th. It was an important year for Freret. Despite only being their 7th year with a permit, they have been established as the lead parade in the first weekend, with custom floats and media mentions of “superkrewe” status. Adding to that they held the inaugural Shorty Gras event, ending the parade with a concert featuring important local musicians.
Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews was Grand Marshall, riding with Juvenile, Angela Bassett, and Mannie Fresh on a very grand custom float. The base floats were themed after musicians, and Boyfriend rode on her own, with a live painting. It must be great art since I appear as a minor background character.
I am excited that the Krewe du Kanaval joined us, adding Régine Chassagne (Arcade Fire), Spike Jonze, Jude Law, and Jimmy Buffet to the roster. More importantly, they bring a lot of style. Not that we lacked for this ourselves, with Lucha Krewe and many other fabulous participants.
On the King’s float, we had friends from St. Louis (Ryan and Kelly, Seattle (Dan and Aline), and Amsterdam (Abe and Campbell) join us. And my brother Kurt and Katie surprised us by returning from Denver.
Shannon costumed all of us with neck ruffs, bringing some Rembrandtian Dutch flair. We shared her amazing masks with the crowd, I made my toast with the mayor and received a key to the city.
The weather was perfect, turnout for the parade and parties far exceeded expectations, and in a year beset with troubles for the big krewes, Freret really established themselves as a key part of Mardi Gras. I am honored that Captain Bobby chose me as the ninth King.