Saturday, February 11, 2006

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Like it or not, Carnival season is off and running in the Disaster Zone.

The Krewe du Vieux rolled through the Faubourg Marigny and French Quarter neighborhoods Saturday night in its traditional position as the first parade of Carnival season.

At least 59 parades will take to the streets of the metro area between now and Mardi Gras (on Feb. 28) during an abreviated parade schedule. This year's Carnival marks the 150th celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and the first one since Katrina destroyed and emptied much of the city.

Known for bawdy and often blistering satire of politicos and culture, Krewe du Vieux members had no trouble finding targets for their lampooning just five and a half months after the hurricane.

Many of the floats made bedfellows (sometimes literally) of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco and former FEMA chief Michael Brown.

Marchers wore costumes made to resemble blue roof tarps and discarded refrigerators, and passed out leaflets promising late deliveries of Mardi Gras beads from FEMA. They also took jabs at the Army Corps of Engineers - or Comatose Corps of Engineers - and the U.S. Postal Service, which still hasn't delivered any of my mail from the first month after the storm. Conspicuously missing from the targets was President Bush.

Bringing up the rear of the parade was perhaps the lewdest of all the floats (above). Titled "Mandatory Ejaculation," the float was followed by an army of sperm-toting marchers.

Photo credits go to Rex.

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