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Mardi Gras Krewe of Muses
Krewe of Muses
Muses- one of the "MUST SEE" parades of the season
Everybody's got their parade preferences- some people like parades with satirical or political themes. Some like the big parades with lots of lights and excitement. For some people, it's all about the 'throws-' how plentiful are their beads and trinkets, and how unique are they?
The Krewe of Muses meets all of those standards and then some. With more than 2 dozen floats, top tier music and entertainment, the ladies of Muses already have enough firepower to draw crowds, but they're also known as some of the most generous float riders in all of Carnival.
Below are some of the photos and video I've taken over the years- all media is my own unless otherwise specified.
Wanna go? Here's what you need to know!
Traditional Schedule:Thursday, 6 nights before Mardi Gras at 6:30pm
Route: Modified Uptown. Lines up on Jefferson, and is the only parade to roll partially on Magazine Street.
Themes: PG (ish) rated, often political/satirical. Many themes are local, but if you don't get the joke, don't worry- the floats are gorgeous and the throws fantastic
Known for: Passionate fans, the first all-female Krewe to have a night parade, generous throwers. Glitter shoes!
Annual float favorites:
- The big fiber-optic shoe that opens the parade
- Light up puppet shoes
- The Rolling Elvi
The Big Red Shoe in action
Proud after snagging a shoe!
Muses get their start in 2001
In 2000, Virginia P. Saussy thought the city needed a new Mardi Gras Krewe, or club. One that was affordable so women of every socio-economic sector of the city could join, and bring an intelligent, satirical bite to a night parade while not losing the 'girlie-ness' of the party.
There was an older all-women parade, but it paraded in the afternoon, and was anything but controversial. Several of the older parades had started allowing women to join, but the costs could be sky high, and those Krewes tended to take themselves a little too seriously.
And so the Muses were born. Their first parade was the very next year, in 2001, when they burst onto the scene, quickly becoming one of the city's most beloved institutions. More than any other parade, you're likely to hear Muses listed as the one night they'll never miss.
The Krewe's emblem is a red high heeled shoe, and features prominently in their throws, but the ultimate catch is a hand decorated glitter shoe. Each Muse (as the Krewe members call themselves) collects designer shoes throughout the year and makes them into individual creations. The only requirements are that they spell out "Muses" upon them and have the year they're being thrown.
Did you know?
We get the word "Museum" from what the Muses' house was called!
Why call yourself the Muses?
Most Mardi Gras krewes take their names and themes from Greek mythology, and the Muses are no exception.
There were nine muses in folklore, each woman specializing in an area of art or science:
- Calliope- Epic song (tales told through song)
- Clio- History
- Euterpe- Lyrical song
- Melpomene- Tragedy
- Terpsichore- Dance
- Erato- Erotic poetry
- Polyhymnia- Sacred Song
- Urania- Astronomy
- Thalia- Comedy
Even after all these years, artists still refer to having their "muse," or one who inspires them.
The Muses each have an Uptown street named after them, and the parade rolls right by them every year.
The Krewe of Muses set out to be just as inspirational as the Muses of legend- and given the attendance breaking records they set every year, we can say they've succeeded!
The Muses parade is also known for the groups who come along for the ride- dancing groups, primarily, but the Rolling Elvi (Elvis pluralized) are one of the biggest draws. Guys of every size and color on goofy scooters and sequined jumpsuits having the loudest, smelliest good time:
The Krewe isn't only popular with the crowds- so many people wanted to be a part of their fun that although membership is technically open to the public, they had to shut down enrollment some time ago. There's a years long waiting list to be able to ride the floats, and the decision was made to let things equalize before allowing anyone else to sign up.
Their website has lots of information, however. If you're interested but can't be here to see the parade in person, there are a couple of options. You can see the write ups of each of the floats on the Muses website here: Krewe of Muses
If you want to watch it live, the Mardi Gras Parade Cam will show the parade as it starts its route on the corner of St. Charles and Napoleon. You can actually watch any parade on the uptown route throughout Carnival season- for free!