Feb 272020
 

Coronavirus (via www.cdc.gov)

By Danae Columbus, opinion columnist

I am not a naysaying fatalist or someone who rushes to conclusions early. But last night I went to my neighborhood grocery store and picked up 10 cases of bottled water and placed it next to the five cases I bought the other day. I intend to get another 10 cases this weekend and begin stocking up on canned fruits and vegetables too.  And antiseptic cleaning supplies and cough medicine. Am I opening a bodega? No, I am preparing for what could be life-as-unusual if the coronavirus really hits New Orleans. Continue reading »

Feb 262020
 

Beads, a symbol of Carnival in New Orleans, have become emblematic of its environmental hazards. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

If you went to even one parade this past Carnival season, you probably have a pile of beads in your house right now. Even if you didn’t, a bag of beads may be lurking in a closet or in the attic.

That means you’ve done your part to keep beads off the streets and out of the drainage system during the parades. Now is the time — unless you haven’t had enough of the glue gun and are planning an art project — to recycle the colorful strands that were so much fun to catch. Continue reading »

Feb 262020
 

Zulu rolls on St. Charles Avenue on Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club kicked off Mardi Gras Day with a theme of “Zulu’s Book of Love,” showering the Uptown parade route with affection, exuberance and hand-painted coconuts on Tuesday morning. Continue reading »

Feb 252020
 

The Southern University band performs with Zulu on St. Charles Avenue in 2019. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The key to a good Mardi Gras Day is getting up early. There is so much fun to be had — don’t miss  a minute.
The National Weather Service predicts areas of dense fog before 9 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 66. Winds will be calm. Sounds nice. Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!

Continue reading »

Feb 242020
 

One of the super krewe’s four tandem floats, the signature eight-unit Smokey Mary, rolled uncoupled with each unit pulled by a tractor when the Krewe of Orpheus parade rolled Monday (Feb. 24) on Napoleon Avenue. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

The Krewe of Orpheus rolled in Uptown on Lundi Gras with the theme “Beastly Kingdoms of Orpheus.” The krewe of 1,500 male and female members, whose first parade rolled in 1994, rode on 38 floats with titles such as “The Cockatrice,” “The Tree Wyrm” and The Bridge Troll.” Several celebrities reigned as Orpheus 2020 monarchs, including Bryan Cranston, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Lauren Alaina. Popular throws included Orpheus collapsible water bottles, LED ram horns, plush gardenias, glitter Orpheus masks and lighted beads.

Orpheus uncoupled its four tandem floats in response to the city’s announcement that tandem floats, multiple floats connected together and pulled by one tractor, will not be allowed for the remainder of this year’s Carnival season. The super krewe’s four tandem floats, including the signature eight-unit Smoky Mary, were uncoupled and each segment was pulled by its own tractor. Continue reading »

Feb 242020
 

A Proteus float rider shrugs when his target misses the throw. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

The Krewe of Proteus’ 230 male members presented a traditional parade Monday (Feb. 24) with 20 floats, 34 lieutenants on horseback and 48 flambeaux rolling through Uptown. The parade them was “Feasts and Libations” with floats titles such as “Absinthe,” “Feasts of Fools” and “Delicacies of the Deep.” Founded in 1881, Proteus is Carnival’s second-oldest parading organization. The krewe’s most sought after throws included LED flambeaux and plush trident crowns along with lighted beads. Continue reading »

Feb 242020
 

Floats are parked with riders still on them on Magazine Street where a woman was killed after being struck by a float during the Mystic Krewe of Nyx parade. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Fergusen said the NOPD will meet with the mayor’s Mardi Gras advisory committee, krewe captains and others to review Carnival safety.

“We lost two lives this Carnival season,” he said during a press conference on Monday. “It’s very disheartening.” Continue reading »

Feb 242020
 

Bacchus riders toss beads, trinkets and toys on Napoleon Avenue. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

“Bacchus’ Wild, Wild West” was the parade theme Sunday (Feb. 23) as the Krewe of Bacchus rolled through Uptown with floats titled “Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley,” “Sheriffs and Outlaws” and “Lewis and Clark.” The superkrewe’s famed multi-chassis floats had to be separated, but that didn’t lessen the spectacle. Bacchus LII and 30 lieutenants on horseback led the club’s 1,600 members riding 32 floats. Marching bands included several from out-of-state colleges, part of the 100-plus-unit parade. Continue reading »

Feb 242020
 

The Knights of Chaos “Im-peach-ment” float rolls on Napoleon Avenue on Sunday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Chaos, rescheduled from its normal Thursday night slot to Sunday morning, sprinted up the Uptown parade route with its satirical entourage after the Krewe of Thoth. Continue reading »