Back to Main Site
 Welcome Guest ( Log In | Register )

Help | Search | Members | Calendar

 
The 411 on Orpheuscapade, you have Questions? Here are answers!
« Next Oldest | Next Newest » Track this topic | Email this topic | Print this topic
Tracyjj50
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 07:26 AM


Super Freak


Group: Members
Posts: 11716
Member No.: 85
Joined: 11-October 01



Thanks Chris! I didn't even have to ask! laugh.gif Of course, I would waited a decent amount of time....like a week. wink.gif

ABOUT THE PARADE

The Krewe of Orpheus is the newest and most exciting krewe to join the New Orleans revelry in recent years. Founded in 1993 by jazz musician and entertainer Harry Connick Jr., the Krewe of Orpheus has become renowned for its musical themes, innovative and beautiful floats, and its refreshing openness to revelers from all walks of life.

The parade culminates in the New Orleans Convention Center for the unparalled ORPHEUSCAPADE, an incredible celebration that draws a crowd of over 5000 people each year. Orpheuscapade begins at 7:00pm and lasts until early morning. In addition to Harry Connick Jr., at Orpheuscapade 2001 performers included Rock'in Doopsie and The Top Cats. Glenn Close even joined Harry Connick Jr. in a fantastic duet. Past performers have included Stevie Wonder, Branford Marsalis, The Tokens, Vince Vance the the Valients, the Dixie Cups, James Brown, & the Shirelles.

Here's the link to check out the Krewe of Orpheus website: http://www.kreweoforpheus.net

Next year the Ball occurs on Monday, February 19, 2007!

NOTE: THERE IS NO GUARANTEE HARRY WILL ATTEND THE PARADE AND BALL. WE TYPICALLY WILL NOT FIND OUT FOR SURE UNTIL THE WEEK BEFORE. SO IF YOU ARE GOING BECAUSE YOU WANT TO SEE HARRY, THEN KNOW YOU MIGHT BE DISAPPOINTED. HE'S MISSED THE PAST 2 YEARS IN A ROW. WE HOPE YOU COME MAINLY TO MEET NEW FRIENDS, EXPERIENCE A FABULOUS CITY, AND SEE THE REVELRY OF THE MARDI GRAS SEASON!

WHERE TO STAY

Many of us have gone and stayed at different places. Just put out a post if you have questions. The French Quarter will be very expensive, but you'll be in the thick of it all. Over by the convention center can be cheaper, and you'll have easier access when the ball happens on Monday. Make your hotel reservations no later than the Fall of this year, hotels start filling up quickly then. You'll probably have to pay an initial deposit, with the balance due in December sometime.

ABOUT THE BALL TICKETS

The actual ball costs $130 per ticket. If I'm going, I can make an initial reservation to establish our group name, probably in May or so. Then you can call in and place your own order and ask to be put with our group. Tickets for the ball are available until the day of the ball, but if you don't call by the end of December, you risk being put at another table because they will have begun assigning seats. The phone number for the Krewe is 504-822-7211.

This is a BLACK TIE affair! Tuxes and floor or tea length dresses only!

This post has been edited by Tracyjj50 on Mar 3 2006, 09:15 AM

--------------------
user posted image Released on March 28, 2011!
 
     Top
Lisa
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 09:12 AM


Super Freak


Group: Members
Posts: 25971
Member No.: 16
Joined: 24-August 01



Isnt MG next year the 20th? So that would make the ball the 19th?

Also, Harry really has very little (if anything at all) to do with Orpheus anymore. It's VERY UNLIKLEY he will be riding any given year.
 
        Top
WendyD
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 09:13 AM


Super Freak


Group: Members
Posts: 12678
Member No.: 115
Joined: 31-October 01



FYI: The ball tickets were $130 for 2006.

--------------------
i know i've got someone out there who really digs what i'm doing...
please know that i'll always be singing and playing for you...
as long as you're listening, i'll be there...
-hcjr
 
       Top
Tracyjj50
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 09:14 AM


Super Freak


Group: Members
Posts: 11716
Member No.: 85
Joined: 11-October 01



Ah, a price raise. Not a biggie.

--------------------
user posted image Released on March 28, 2011!
 
     Top
loislane78
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 12:50 PM


Groupie


Group: Members
Posts: 1029
Member No.: 1258
Joined: 17-February 05



I was wondering if one of you MG experts could post some general info about MG, like what a newcomer should expect when they go, maybe what some of the myths are, etc...?

--------------------
I am a work in progress.
 
        Top
Lisa
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 01:07 PM


Super Freak


Group: Members
Posts: 25971
Member No.: 16
Joined: 24-August 01



Mardi Gras always falls on the Tuesday that is 46 days before Easter. It is always the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the start of Lent.



Carnival refers to the season of revelry before Mardi Gras. It begins officially on Jan. 6, which is known as Twelfth Night or Kings' Day, so named because it falls 12 days after Christmas on the day the Wise Men are said to have reached Bethlehem.



Carnival celebrations fall into two categories: public and private. The private celebrations are balls, held by clubs called krewes. Some krewes let anyone join, while others are exclusive and made up mostly of FONOF (fine old New Orleans families).



The first Carnival ball of the season is always the Twelfth Night Ball, held on Jan. 6.



The public celebrations take the form of parades, sponsored by the same krewes that hold the balls for members only. Not every krewe has a parade, although every krewe will throw a party for its members. A very few krewes allow the public to buy tickets to their balls - Endymion and Orpheus, for example. About 70 groups in a four-parish area around New Orleans hold parades.


Most krewes are named for figures in Greek mythology, like Bacchus for the god of wine or Orpheus for the god of music (no coincidence the latter was co-founded by Harry Connick Jr.)



The parade season officially begins on the second Friday before Mardi Gras, although the parade calendar is expanding. At the beginning of the season, parades are held on weekends only, then become more frequent until the week prior to Mardi Gras, when there's at least a parade a day. There are nine parades on Mardi Gras, most notably Rex.


Rex (don't say "king of"; it's redundant) - always a prominent New Orleans businessman - is considered the king of Mardi Gras. (You should, therefore, sneer when you hear some Hollywood matinee idol announce to Jay Leno that he will be "king of the Mardi Gras." He won't.)



Every parade has a theme, usually borrowed from mythology, history or Hollywood. Most parades have mock royalty, kings and queens and dukes and duchesses, either drawn from the ranks of the krewe's members or celebrities (hence the Jay Leno clown above). All parade riders throw trinkets - beads, doubloons, small toys, candy - from the floats to the crowds. These are called "throws." Parades consist of anywhere from 10 to 40 floats carrying krewe members, marching bands, dance groups, costumed characters and the like. Some parades are small and suburban, others downtown and lavish.


The colors of Carnival are purple, green and gold, chosen in 1872 by that year's Rex. The 1892 Rex parade gave the official colors meaning: purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power.


The one ubiquitous food of the Carnival season is the king cake. Sweet roll-like dough is shaped into a big circle, cooked and brushed with purple, green and gold sugar or icing. Then a plastic baby, representing the Christ child, is tucked inside. Whoever gets the piece of cake containing the baby must, by tradition, provide the next king cake. Nowadays, king cakes come with a variety of fillings from chocolate to pineapple.
 
        Top
Lisa
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 01:08 PM


Super Freak


Group: Members
Posts: 25971
Member No.: 16
Joined: 24-August 01



1) Official Mardi Gras - Who runs it and where can I buy tickets?

You can buy them from me. Send cash. Check in at the "will call" desk at the airport. We have a limited-time, internet-only special that includes entrance to ALL parades, plus all the beads you can catch. OK, obviously your exposure to Mardi Gras is limited to "Girls Gone Naughty" and the Dubuque High School homecoming. So let's get it straight: Mardi Gras is a HOLIDAY. Like Christmas. Or Halloween. Anyone can create Mardi Gras events - and charge for them, or not. But the best parts of Mardi Gras are free. All parades - probably the most recognizable element of Carnival - are held on public streets. Show up and grab your spot. There are no ticket booths to enter the French Quarter (although an age restriction would probably be a good idea). Many other events, including concerts, are also free.

What's not free? Besides the obvious - food, lodging and transportation - fees are charged for special access of various types. Ticketed grandstand seating is available in some areas along parade routes; many parade-route businesses, such as restaurants, offer parade viewing opportunities. In the French Quarter, especially on Bourbon Street, balcony access is a hot item. Many businesses offer such access, sometimes for regular customers, other times for a separate fee. Some parade organizations offer access to ride on their floats for a price; some offer access to their balls. Most traditional krewe parades and balls are open only to their members and guests, however.

Note: This information applies to our local Mardi Gras celebrations. In some areas of the country, especially those jumping on the Mardi Gras bandwagon recently (and more power to them!), official organizations plan and control their celebrations. Hence some of the confusion when people ask about our local Mardi Gras.

(back to top)

2) Official dates - I see that Mardi Gras starts on Feb. 20, 2007. I'm coming in the next day, ready to party. What's the best event for me to attend?

Probably early Mass at St. Louis Cathedral. You've missed Carnival and slipped straight to Ash Wednesday. You're still free to drink yourself into a stupor, but you should start planning now for Mardi Gras 2007. It's a common misperception that Mardi Gras is the start of a heavy couple of weeks of parading and partying. That's backward. Mardi Gras is the END of the partying. The last day. End of the line. (At least until the bars open the next night). Read on for more details.

(back to top)

3) More on dates - What's the difference between Carnival and Mardi Gras, and when do things begin and end?

Carnival, which is Latin for "kiss your flesh goodbye," is a long season between Christmas and Lent. This historically Roman Catholic city, which loves its food and drink more than normal, prepares for the pre-Easter Lenten season by partying up until the last minute. Carnival officially begins in New Orleans on the Feast of Epiphany, or Twelfth Night - Jan. 6 - and continues until the midnight of Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday. The date for Ash Wednesday, of course, changes from year to year depending on the date of Easter. The Carnival season builds slowly, from the drunken streetcar-jacking parade of the Phunny Phorty Phellows on Jan. 6 until Mardi Gras Day. The intervening weeks are filled with balls, banquets and other social activities. "Mardi Gras" (which is French for Fat Tuesday) technically applies only to the day before Ash Wednesday. But "Mardi Gras" is also commonly used to refer to the whole Carnival season, especially the final frenzied two weeks when the most parades occur. A condescending traditionalist may make a big deal over the technicality, but locals normally refer to the entire long party as "Mardi Gras."

(back to top)

4) More on dates - What are the earliest and latest dates that Mardi Gras can occur?

Backed up 47 days before Easter, Mardi Gras can occur as early as Feb. 3 and as late as March 9.

(back to top)

5) What's the weather like during Mardi Gras? What should I pack?

A parka and suntan oil. Seriously, Mardi Gras can occur at the end of what we call winter all the way to late spring. Generally that means the best chance for "nice" weather that you get in New Orleans. Moderate highs, cooler evenings. But it's also a season where we have rapid changes and often-extreme weather. Mardi Gras 1998, for example, started with chilly, rainy weather that included a "hurricane-like" storm, as The Times-Picayune headlined it, and ended with broiling sunburn days. Mardi Gras 2003 was one of the rainiest seasons in recent memory, and often chilly to boot. Mardi Gras 2007 is in late February, so it's likely to involve chilly weather. But it's wise to pack shorts and tee shirts along with a jacket and warm clothes. And it's wise to carry an umbrella along on ANY trip to New Orleans.

(back to top)

6) I can only visit for a few days, what's the prime time to see Mardi Gras?

As mentioned above, Mardi Gras really kicks into high gear the last two weeks. The height of the party - including the most famous parades and other activities - is the last long five-day weekend, from Friday through Fat Tuesday. For 2007, this means Feb. 16-20. The weekend before that also offers a packed selection of parades and plenty of partying in the Quarter, and may be preferable if you're not sure about the whole Mardi Gras thing. Mardi Gras involves big, big rowdy crowds. Some find the final frenzy overwhelming . . . others thrive on it. And some locals schedule vacation and head to Dubuque.

(back to top)

7) Is there a lot of nudity during Mardi Gras?

That depends on your definition of "a lot." Most of all, it depends on where you're standing. There is absolutely SOME nudity during Mardi Gras. In general, it occurs within the French Quarter, where my Bible Belt dictionary would define it as "a lot." And while Bourbon Street is the densely packed center of this carnal display, it is certainly not confined to Bourbon Street. By nudity, we mean the flashing of body parts, either for beads or for other reasons. In fairness to Mardi Gras, this activity goes on year-round on Bourbon Street, although not at this pace. Which is why we warn people to keep their kids away. Most places in the city, you are unlikely to see any nudity at all . . . and if you do, you are likely to see the exposed person in handcuffs a short time later. Read the following for more information.

(back to top)

8) What's the best way to get beads? Do I have to flash?

Somewhere, someone is doing a doctoral thesis on why people go crazy at the sight of a string of beads. While some may sniff that this is a tourist phenomenon, we know better. From the flashers on Bourbon Street to the kids on Mardi Gras ladders to tuxedo-clad locals at the Endymion Ball, everyone goes crazy for beads.

Pound for pound, the best way to get beads free is to attend Mardi Gras parades. Each float rider has to provide his own "throws," mostly thousands of beads. Thousands of riders hailing beads down on hundreds of thousands of arms. No one walks away from a parade without a bag o'beads. These end up mostly, I think, in a slowly growing crate of old beads in every garage in Southeast Louisiana.

From your question, however, you seem to be focusing on the popular "Bead Game" in the Quarter, not only at Mardi Gras, but year-round (when it's pretty well confined to Bourbon Street). This generally involves an exchange of some sort. Probably the most common sight is the flashing of female chests for beads, although guys flash too. Beads are also traded for kisses or hugs, or just because someone likes your looks or feels sorry for you (the latter being the reason I generally get beads). Please note that flashing is technically illegal, in or out of the French Quarter. However, such goings-on are generally ignored by police, whose main job is to prevent outbreaks of violence, thefts and other more serious crimes during the jammed holiday. The further you are from Bourbon Street, the more strictly such laws are enforced. And flashing in the family-oriented Garden District, for example, is likely to get you free room and board at Orleans Parish Prison. And dropping one's trousers in the street is ill-advised in any area. A lot of those guys who look like drunken frat boys on Bourbon Street are really carrying badges . . . a word to the wise, if you can remember it after a few hurricanes.

(back to top)

9) Can I bring my kids to Mardi Gras?

By all means, but be picky where you take them. Unless you want to answer uncomfortable questions, you should never take a child down Bourbon Street. If you want to make the French Quarter frenzy part of your Mardi Gras party, make plans for a babysitter. That being said, any authentic New Orleanian will be glad to talk your ear off about childhood Mardi Gras memories that make Carnival sound as wholesome as Christmas morning. (These stories are most amusing when the Yat is seriously drunk and ogling flashers on Bourbon Street.)

But you can certainly arrange a child-friendly Mardi Gras experience. As a longtime professional father, I recommend the Upper Garden District areas of the parade routes. St. Charles Avenue, roughly between First Street and Napoleon, offers prime viewing. The wide neutral ground, or median, where the streetcar tracks are located, offers plenty of space for a family to stake out a viewing spot in a parklike atmosphere. The streetcars cease operation to accommodate parades. The arching oaks over St. Charles offer a nice backdrop for the parades, especially at night, quite different from the post-apocalyptic urban street mosh on Canal Street or in the Central Business District.

Also don't overlook the Metairie parades. Veterans Boulevard, the main parade route, offers plenty of elbow room its entire route, and many of the parades are on a par with those in New Orleans. Metairie, in fact, hosts one of the only local kids parades - Little Rascals - although this occurs before the main parade period. Mardi Gras parades in suburbs and outlying areas, from the North Shore to Acadiana, tend to be very family oriented.

And finally, take your kids to the Barkus parade. Thousands of animals, mostly dogs, dressed in costumes reflecting an annual theme. Come an hour early to the formation grounds and party in Louis Armstrong Park on the edge of the French Quarter, walk around, take lots of photos and let the kids have a special time. The parade kicks off and meanders through the Quarter, across Jackson Square, and back up to Armstrong Park. It's best to enjoy this event at the formation area, then watch the parade just outside the park . . . pets and owners tend to drop out of the parade as it wanders through the Quarter, so watchers near the end of the route don't get the full effect.

(back to top)

10) Mobile (Alabama) says it started Mardi Gras. What do you say?

I say Mobile is a nice clean little city with good fishing, great museums and interesting Civil War historical sites. Y'all come back now.

Back to Mardi Gras. While this claim is an article of faith among Mobile natives, we can't find that the city makes this claim. Neither does New Orleans. Both cities tap dance around the issue, because in fact, both have some bragging rights. In fact the founding fathers of modern Mardi Gras traditions did not see it as a competition between Mobile and New Orleans, but rather as a cooperative effort between buddies. Both cities have gone through periods when Mardi Gras almost died out, and each has been instrumental in exporting traditions to the other and keeping the fire going.

Neither New Orleans nor Mobile started Mardi Gras, of course.

Carnival/Mardi Gras is a European import, celebrated long before Columbus was a gleam in his Daddy's eye. In fact, long before it was Christianized, it was a pagan bacchanalia of drinking and debauchery . . . which hasn't changed much. Much of Catholic - or formerly Catholic - Europe celebrates Carnival under one name or another, again as a season of partying before Lent, as do many of its former colonies. The early explorers and settlers of both New Orleans and Mobile arrived with a tradition of Mardi Gras and adapted the tradition to their new home.

Historically the first recorded celebration of Mardi Gras in what is now the United States occurred in 1699, on a Mississippi River island just downstream from modern New Orleans. The French explorer who threw the party named the place Mardi Gras Island. He then moved upriver and staked out the site for modern New Orleans. Mobile skeptics say this celebration is disqualified since the city of New Orleans didn't exist, except in the explorer's dreams, but that sounds like sour grapes to us. Mobile's first recorded celebration was in 1704.

In both areas, celebrations took place to varying extents from the very beginning of settlement, picking up additional traditions as new waves of immigrants arrived. Partying in New Orleans, in fact, was at times out of control, which eventually brought crackdowns from the Spanish and new American governments, especially focusing on masking and street events. This brought the public celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans to a sputter in the early 19th Century. Slowly the Creoles won back permission to expand Mardi Gras celebrations, until masking and street celebrations were again legalized. Mobile stepped into the picture in 1857, when members of the Cowbellian de Rakin Society helped blueblood New Orleans pals set up the Mystic Krewe of Comus, the pioneering parading krewe in the Crescent City. This launched an explosion of new Mardi Gras traditions. What Mobile can accurately claim is a nearly 300-year tradition of organized Mardi Gras celebrations, leadership in the creation of some modern Mardi Gras traditions, and exporting at least one of the most important traditions to New Orleans - the parading krewe.

By the way, you may be interested to know that Gulfport, Mississippi, also claims to have been the site of the first American Mardi Gras. If you take the famous Ship Island excursion ride, you'll find an article from a local newspaper on the wall that claims that Ship Island was the REAL Mardi Gras Island referred to by the explorer.

(back to top)

11) What is the drinking age in New Orleans?

Despite rumors to the contrary, and the number of youngsters who manage to obtain alcohol, the drinking age in New Orleans is 21.

(back to top)

12) What do the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold mean?

The colors of Carnival were chosen in 1872 by that year's Rex. By some accounts, the colors were chosen because Rex thought they looked good together. Twenty years later, for the 1892 parade, Rex declared that the colors had meaning: purple for justice, green for faith and gold for power.

(back to top)

13. What is this year's Mardi Gras theme?

Again, as there is no official Mardi Gras ruling organization, there is no official theme. In the New Orleans area, each parading organization sets its own theme - sometimes kept secret until the parade - and non-parading krewes set themes for their balls. In 2003, as we prepared for war in Iraq, patriotic themes were common.

(back to top)

14. Is it true that Mardi Gras is really a pagan holiday?

If you've ever been on Bourbon Street on Mardi Gras, as a drunken mob gathers around a Golden Calf beating drums and blowing horns and shouting "Hail to the Calf!", you won't need to ask that question. There is no doubt that the period of celebration that we call Carnival has roots in pagan end-of-winter and beginning-of-spring rituals reaching back thousands of years. These festivals - some of which can only be described as drunken orgies - existed across most lands that were being overtaken by the Christian Church, and like many other holidays and rites, the Church sought a balance between the old and new. Understanding that the party was not going to stop, the church placed limits on it, decreeing that it could not start until the finish of the Christmas holidays and had to end on the day before Ash Wednesday.

 
        Top
loislane78
Posted: Mar 3 2006, 01:40 PM


Groupie


Group: Members
Posts: 1029
Member No.: 1258
Joined: 17-February 05



Thanks Lisa!

--------------------
I am a work in progress.
 
        Top
0 User(s) are reading this topic (0 Guests and 0 Anonymous Users)
0 Members:
7 replies since Mar 3 2006, 07:26 AM Track this topic | Email this topic | Print this topic

<< Back to Orpheuscapade 2007