Mystic Krewe of Nyx Parade
Whew, it has been weeks since I posted. First there was Mardi Gras, and then there was the Mardi Gras recovery.
This was my first year riding with Nyx, an all women’s krewe. We paraded February 26th. Bayou Creole has also posted some great pictures and stories about riding in the title float in the front of the parade. Consider this a view from the back of the pack since I rode on the second to last float, Float 26!
Each year a krewe picks a theme and organizes all of the floats around that theme. We throw beads and cups and other souvenirs that relate to the theme. Our theme this year was Cookin’ With The Krewe. Last year we published a cookbook with the same title. Each float adhered to that theme so the parade started with drink themed floats, then appetizer themed floats, entree themed floats and then finally the desserts. Nyx’s special throw is purses, which the ladies decorate all year. Each sister (as we call each other) was allowed to decorate up to 30 purses, which sounds like a lot, but I decorated 25 and pretty much only had enough to throw to people I knew until I got near the end of the parade route. For that reason it can be pretty tough to get a purse at Nyx, just like it can be tough to get a shoe the next night at Muses.
Tuesday night we loaded the float. If you purchased a bead package, the company preloaded everything you ordered in your spot, but even then it could be hard to tell what was yours. My friend Allison and I were standing next to each other and it was tight. Tuesday night Mo and I loaded my purses and the extra throws I brought from home.
I took Wednesday and Thursday off from school since we had to be at the pre party before 2:00 to get checked in. This year we had 900 riders in our parade, so Generations Hall was crowded.
After that we loaded our float and started to try and organize our beads. But there was really no rush because we got on the float at 4ish and drove to the parade start and then since we were in the back, it was past 8:00 when we started moving again.
I’ll admit, there were some dark thoughts as I sat on this float for four hours in the bitter Louisiana winter (It was windy and in the upper 30s, low 40s). Mostly about how cold I was and how much I wanted a coffee. But I was also worried about my mom who had driven in to see me parade and how she was sitting out in the cold. She said Mo and his friends took good care of her to make sure she was warm and entertained. And finally, we rolled.
And it was awesome.
I didn’t take pictures while we were rolling because I didn’t want to disappoint anybody by not throwing and I tried to pace my beads carefully down the route because, well, it was my first parade and I didn’t want to run out. I saw tons and tons of people I knew! I had pre packed bags for a few groups of people that I knew would be standing together to make sure they each got a purse and some of the nicer throws. And next year I’m going to have to be sure to make special throw bags for my students because I saw lots of them. I tried to make sure to give them each something nice or at least good beads. But it was also really exciting to give something nice to a stranger and see how excited they got to get one of the special throws (we had aprons and colanders to go along with the theme, but also blinky rings and pins, blinky beads, mini purses, goblets, umbrellas, and then the special beads I had packed and stuffed animals my mother in law collected for me). I had a blast!
The downtown crowds were sparser than normal, but being the second to last float, it was nearly midnight as we rolled through downtown and then down Canal Street and I had rationed my throws so I had some nice stuff to throw at the end too. We finished at around half past midnight. The good thing about being the back of pack was that there was no traffic getting home and the part of the parade route I needed to drive down to get home was re-opened by the time we got to our car!
All in all, so much fun. So next year, if you are planning a trip to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, include the Wednesday before Mardi Gras and come see me and Nyx roll!