Krewe of Nyx hosts Murder Mystery Fundraiser Benefitting Hero Dogs

 

WHODUNIT?!

 

That’s the big mystery as the Mystic Krewe of Nyx hosts a night of intrigue & philanthropy.

“Murder at the Masquerade”
~A Dinner and Fundraiser benefiting Hero Dogs Inc. – Service Dogs for America’s Military Heroes~

Saturday, September 29, 2018 ♦ 7:00 pm

Laissez le bon temps rouler! There is always something intriguing happening in the Big Easy.  And, on the 29th of September, we will let the good times roll for a good cause. Our guests will be dressed to make an big impression as they join in our murder mystery plot. We will find clues, share information, and watch as the murderous plot unfolds to solve the crime of the night!

All of this will be done while enjoying a wonderful 3-Course Dinner of a salad, entree, and dessert. As we eat and all search for the killer, “suspects” will be able to inspect and bid on the silent auction items!

CLICK TO BUY TICKETS

So, pull out your costume, best masquerade gown, or come as you are for THE MURDER MYSTERY OF THE EVENING: The rustle of silks and feathers under muted conversation was probably the last thing heard by the tragically and unexpectedly deceased at the Billionaires’ Club Annual Masquerade Ball. With a mystery under each feathery façade, unmasking the killer may be quite a challenge. It’s up to you to determine which partygoer is guilty, bring this crime to justice, and save the party! Attend the Billionaires’ Club Annual Masquerade Ball and help get this soiree back on track by trading clues with your guests, gathering information, and solving the crime before the masked menace gets away! Get ready for a glamorous evening of mystery, intrigue, and murder.

Prizes will also be given during the evening for the following categories:

  • Best Actor (Individual Award)
  • Best Actress (Individual Award)
  • Best Dressed Male (Individual Award)
  • Best Dressed Female (Individual Award)
  • Best Detectives (Table Award)
  • Dead Last Place (Table Award)

It’s time to sharpen your detective skills and join us for:

MURDER AT THE MASQUERADE!

Saturday, September 29, 2018
Check-In begins at 6:00 pm
Murder Mystery Starts Promptly at 7:00 pm
Harrah’s Casino, The Theatre
New Orleans, LA

LIVE AUCTION EMCEE: DOUG MOUTON, WWL-TV’s Sports Director
ATTIRE: From Casual to Masquerade Ball to Costume…Pick your Poison!
MUST PURCHASE A TICKET FOR ENTRY

A NOTE ABOUT HERO DOGS, INC:

The Mystic Krewe of Nyx is honored to support this important cause, as we know there is perhaps no greater way to say thank you to our military heroes than helping restore their lives and dignity through programs like Hero Dogs. Hero Dogs, Inc., is dedicated to the well-being of our nation’s Veterans by teaming together heroes to form a dynamic team that can restore independence and improve the quality of life of a Veteran.

 

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Julie Lea-Krewe of Nyx Captain’s Mardi Gras Blog Series “Captain 2 Captain” Blog 3–Druids Interview

 

 

Join me as I sit down with my friend and Consultant for the Mystic Krewe of Druids, to learn a little more about them.

 

Mystic Krewe of Druids riders

 

 

JL:  I know the Ancient Druids has been parading since 1998. How did it all begin?

CMKD: Well that is a very interesting story. Myself and one other guy had thrown around the idea of Starting a parade. Conversation went from one idea to another and then went away. Then….myself and a few members of another Club that I belong to went to a Mardi Gras dance together with our wives (It was a Club in Chalmette that is no longer around) and we won a couple bottles
of Tequila and one thing led to another and Druids was Reborn.

There’s more to the tequila story, but, I’d get in a bunch of trouble if I explained the whole story so I’ll leave it alone.

So then myself and the original guy that had discussed the idea went to the City Council and we received a permit. And now it’s October and we have six members.

 

JL: Has Druids always paraded on the Wednesday night before Mardi Gras?

CMKD:  Druids originally paraded as a marching group from around 1915-1921 and then paraded behind Rex from 1922-1935. So we took 65 years off and started parading on a Tuesday night until Hurricane Katrina. We were then asked by the City to move from Tuesday to Wednesday.

JL: There is such a mystique and secrecy about the Krewe. Even the King who is referred to as the Arch Druid is never revealed. Why has the organization decided to remain so anonymous?

CMKD:  We just thought it would bring some fun back to Mardi Gras. Remember there were not that many parades on week nights. There were no Muses or Chaos when we started and Pegasus had moved to the weekend so Tuesday was open. And as far as the Archdruid. We know who the Archdruid is so that’s all that matters. Besides Mardi Gras has always been about secrecy and masking and every Club doesn’t want 3,000 members.

JL:   I also have learned that unlike most Krewes, Druids does not conform with tradition as far as staging a ball, nor naming a court, or a Queen. What is the reasoning for not participating in that type of pageantry?

CMKD:  Most of the guys are involved in other Clubs so we thought just having a parade would be best.
How do you know we don’t have a Queen ?

JL:  The parade is always very controversial. The themes and float titles really push the envelope with poking fun at public figures, being politically incorrect, and taking puns at other Krewes etc. I know this first hand! LOL. What is the premise behind taking the parade to the extremes?

 

Mystic Krewe of Druids sign takes a jab at female krewes in its 2015 parade.

 

CMKD:  That’s not us. You must be talking about someone else.

JL:  Do you think that the parade is misunderstood by some folks in the community?

CMKD: Yes. Absolutely!!

JL:   Now I have to talk about the Druids/Nyx relationship. We have enjoyed some good Mardi Gras fun through the years. I have to take you back to Wednesday, February 15, 2012, which was the night of our first parade. I will never forget we were in the staging area where Druids members were walking to their floats raising their beers and cheering us on in the pouring rain. It really meant something for us to share your parade night and to be wished well for our first ride. And then……..…I heard about the last float in Druids that night. I was crushed! LOL! Then I realized this was going to be a lot of fun and “Welcome to New Orleans Mardi Gras.” It was a real baptism for Nyx. Tell me about the sign on the last float that night.

CMKD: First we warned you that it rains two out of every three years, but, that is perfect Druids weather.

I believe our theme was Druids Circus ? Can’t remember title of last float. I have selective memory.

 

Sign on Druids last float in its 2012 parade.

 

Like they say…if you can’t make fun of your friends….

Druids float in its 2016 parade.

I do remember a few of your riders seemed upset, but, I think they now know it’s all done in jest.

I’m not sure if the media has figured that out yet which is really funny.

 

 

 

 

JL:   I’m glad that we enjoy a friendly relationship with the two Krewes. Don’t think that we aren’t ready for you year after year because we are!

From the Druids walkers in front of our parade that you left behind a few years, to float signs and different titles, we are always have a come back for you guys to keep Druids on its toes. Other than poking fun at each other, how has having Nyx ride behind Druids enhanced your parade?

Nyx jabs Druids in front of its 2014 parade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nyx’s “Don’t be Cruel” float dressed like a Druid rider in its 2015 parade.
Nyx puts “Druids” riders who were left behind in front of their 2016 parade.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CMKD:  The good part is we now have people on the streets. The bad part is we now have to buy throws.

Not a lot of throws. Nyx throws enough for the both of us.
The 2019 parade should be a lot of fun.

I think we are ready for ya’ll.

 

 

“The Ancient Druids will parade on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 6:15pm on the traditional Uptown parade route…………..as a great opening act for the Mystic Krewe of Nyx who parades right behind them at 6:45pm. Don’t miss this spectacle of Mardi Gras mudslinging at its finest!”

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Real Life Sisters Add the Krewe of Nyx Sisterhood to Their Lives

 

 

Written by: Ciarra Joyner & Zanada Joyner

I remember the day I received the email inviting me join Nyx in June 2017. As I scanned my personal gmail account box on my phone casually over my Lean Cuisine lunch, I literally screamed out loud.

I wanted to join the krewe for some time. When I moved back to NOLA in 2014 I became fascinated by the all women krewe on Wednesday night. A woman who worked at my organization was a member and I cozied up to her every chance I got at those staff potlucks. I wanted to know more about the krewe, what it was like, and more importantly how I could join.

As a non-native without familiar ties to New Orleans society I doubted that I could ever join a krewe. A woman at my job gave me hope. She explained that while her family were locals they did not have any ties that could get her a spot on a krewe nor the wealth to participate in a traditional female role as a maid, princess, or queen. I joined the Ladies-in-Waiting list right away and updated my application every year encouraging friends and family to do the same.

Receiving the invitation was like Saints winning the Superbowl, Fat Tuesday without rain, Christmas morning Nintendo, and catching your first Zulu coconut all wrapped into one. I danced around the office and told anyone who would listen. Since I’m a librarian, this exuberance was a bit out of place but I didn’t care. I was going to ride in Mardi Gras.

In August I got a text from my little sister, “I got in!” She had received an invitation to join Nyx too. By now I’d moved to Georgia and my newly married sister was living in Maryland. I missed her and could not imagine experiencing this with anyone else. We spent both the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays gluing, glittering, and beading purses. Her husband and our father groaned every time we grabbed our purses and Mom and made a run to the craft store for more pink feathers (coupons in hand).

Everything came together quickly after the new year rolled in. We flew into town for the Ball and had a magical time. Our friends in the city picked up some recycled beads for us at ARC [my sister had volunteered there when escorting an Alternative Spring Break group of college students]. Our float lieutenant  responded cheerfully to all our annoying, rambling, and confused emails. She picked up our costumes and generally made us feel at home. [Bless you Laura Russell Hill]. Our float Facebook group gave us an opportunity to make connections with the other ladies from afar [The lovely ladies of float #9].

Thank goodness for my Army veteran brother-in-law who with ingenuity and strength managed to get all our beads (recycled and new), trinkets, buckets, baskets, and doo-dads on the float in our positions secured and covered with a tarp. He even picked up our ice and Subway sandwiches in the morning before lock-in despite his tiredness and blood-shot eyes.

Parade day and I was nervous. Forecast was for rainy and chilly weather and definitely disastrous for my multiple sclerosis (MS). Most of the time my symptoms are invisible but, stress (15 family members in NOLA to see us ride), exhaustion (hello Pat O’s at 3am!), and prolonged exposure to cold temperatures could send me barreling toward a full exacerbation. As we ambled toward the floats in the mud, I spotted a rider using a walker. All the ladies helped her along without creating a spectacle or causing a fuss and the tractor driver hoisted her onto the float calmly. I’ve had MS for almost a decade and given the unpredictability of the disease I wondered how my Nyx sisters would respond if I became ill on the ride. Now I knew. The sisterhood was strong and I could be assured that I’d be taken care of if I needed help. Still in my head I counted the pairs of extra socks and hand warmers I had in my parade purse.

 

After sitting on our Home Depot buckets, rain soaked and freezing, the float made that faithful turn onto Jefferson Avenue. As I jumped up excitedly I felt a spasm cripple my left leg. Unable to balance all my weight on my right leg, I grabbed onto my sister for support. Since my sister and I live apart she has been spared from many of the sudden and debilitating incidents that have come with my diagnosis. Unsure how to respond, she wondered aloud, “should we call Mom?” Mom was on the parade route with friends and family likely with daiquiri in one hand and a mini-muffaletta in the other. No, we would just stand together, me leaning on her for support, until the spasm passed. It passed. We threw out beads, trinkets, and purses to the parade-goers who braved the weather to see us roll. It was a glorious time and we were hooked. Hail Nyx!

 

I often say my sister is my rock. She is the one who tells me that I can go on even when all signs point to me giving up. She always believes in me and never leaves me. Our sisterhood has been enhanced by our Nyx bond. Now if we could get Mom off the Ladies-in-Waiting List then our sisterhood would be complete.

The experience to be in the company of so many amazing women has been transformational. Words cannot express my gratitude for the Nyx sisterhood and I know no other excitement like the feeling of parade day. I wake up at night with purse design ideas and I drift back to sleep awash in thoughts of pink glitter and Home Depot buckets.

 

Ciarra Joyner & Zanada Joyner are sisters, and second and third year members of the Krewe of Nyx.  And since the time of this publication, their mother has officially been invited to join the Krewe.

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NOLA NYXETTES HOST DANCE CLINIC AND AUDITIONS JUNE 9 & 10-WOMEN ENCOURAGED TO JOIN THE CITY’S PREMIER MARDI GRAS DANCE TROUPE

NOLA NYXETTES HOST DANCE CLINIC AND AUDITIONS JUNE 9 & 10

WOMEN ENCOURAGED TO JOIN THE CITY’S PREMIER MARDI GRAS DANCE TROUPE

Dance Clinic: Saturday, June 9 at Hilton Riverside Chart Ballroom, 10 am – 1 pm
Auditions: Sunday June 10 at Harrah’s Casino, Fulton Street Room 1, 10 am – 1pm

The Nola Nyxettes dance troupe is holding tryouts this weekend for talented ladies 21 and older.    The auditions will help form a new squad of women who will sashay down St. Charles Avenue during six  Mardi Gras parades in 2019.

 

  

The Nyxettes are holding a clinic to teach eligible ladies a dance routine on Saturday, June 9 at the Hilton Riverside Chart Ballroom, Riverside Bldg from 10 am – 1pm.

Auditions will be held the next day on Sunday, June 10 at Harrah’s Casino, Fulton Street Room 1, from 10 am – 1 pm.    Dancers must attend the clinic to learn the featured number before auditioning on Sunday.  The 2018-2019 squad will be chosen on site.

Audition notes:  Doors will open at 10 a.m. with auditions starting shortly thereafter.  Women may bring mirrors, makeup, and hairstyling essentials to prepare for auditions. They should be performance-ready to try out with hair and makeup complete when auditions begin.

“The Nyxette’s signature top hats and tails bring an element of New York-style dancing to Mardi Gras, which has made the Nyxettes one of the premier dance troupes during Mardi Gras,” said Nyxettes Director and Krewe of Nyx Captain Julie Lea.  “The Nyxettes have become an integral extension of our sisterhood and represent the Krewe at events throughout the year.”

 

The Nola Nyxettes were founded in 2012 and made their debut at the Krewe of Nyx Ball on February 1, 2014.  The team marches in several carnival parades during the season including – Freret, King Arthur, Nyx, Iris, Thoth, and Zulu.

The group has performed at several Pelicans pre-game shows, numerous community parades, and several Mardi Gras balls.

 

For more information on auditions please visit:

 

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A new Mardi Gras Season Begins for the Krewe of Nyx

Written by:  Alison Frazier

The 2019 season for the Mystic Krewe of Nyx has begun and our Summer Social Meet and Greet is  next weekend. The event is one of my favorites. Not only is it a wonderful time to meet new members and reconnect with current ones, it’s a festival of sisterhood. Nyx Sisters come together to share a night of dancing, food, and libations. The positive energy in the room is always palpable and off the charts.

 

  

Being a born and raised New Orleanian, Mardi Gras is in my blood. I began marching in parades at the age of twelve and continued until I graduated from high school. I would look at those riding on the floats and wonder what it was like up there. When my children graduated from high school, I looked for a carnival krewe to ride in. I wanted a krewe that rode at night and because I wanted to be a part of a sisterhood, it had to be an all-female krewe.

When I researched the Krewe of Nyx and found that their mission was ” to unite women of diverse backgrounds for fun, friendship, and the merriment of the Mardi Gras season,” I knew that I had found my krewe.

The Mystic Krewe of Nyx is more than just a carnival krewe and a sisterhood, it’s leading the way in terms of diversity and inclusivity with a significant number of women of all races and backgrounds riding.  Since becoming a member, I have many friends from all walks of life that I am proud to call my sisters.

 

This season is sure to be a great one and I can’t wait to attend krewe events. The many functions for Nyx Sisters and their families to gather and celebrate our 8th year as a Mardi Gras krewe will definitely create memories that will last a lifetime.

The Mystic Krewe of Nyx motto is,  “Friends come and go, but a sister is forever.”

I like that motto.

I love this krewe.

Hail Nyx!

 

Alison Frazier is a five year member of the Krewe of Nyx.  She is also a Float Lieutenant.  You can read more about Allison from her blog, www.bayoucreole.wordpress.com.

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Mystic Krewe of Nyx’s Goddess VII-A View Through the Raindrops

Written by:  Karen Boudrie Greig

 

 

Gallier Hall New Orleans

 

When I finally arrived at Gallier Hall for that pinnacle moment of toasting city officials on my night reigning as Goddess Nyx VII, a massive down pour sent spectators scurrying for cover.  But Councilman Jason Williams braved the onslaught and was there to greet me in all my wet, melted glory.  He remarked, somewhat in awe, at the state of my dress (or undress), “Goddess Nyx VII, I can’t believe it.  You must be the toughest Goddess ever! It’s freezing and raining and you have no umbrella, no coat and no rain poncho.  Wow, you are tough!”   It was something to that affect anyway, and I warmed on the spot.

 

You see, at that point my feet felt like they were frozen in blocks of ice, my carefully applied makeup was streaming down my face, my gown was a besotted mess and my hair looked like it had just poured out of a blender!  I was afraid that my appearance alone would send people scurrying!  But to hear that I was ‘tough’- well that was affirmation!

 

I raised my gloveless, frigid fingers into the air, made big fists and shouted YAY!   Yes, a Goddess should be tough, cause this kind of stuff isn’t for the feint of heart!   And after all,  it was toughness that forged Nyx in the first place -the pure grit and determination of Captain Julie Lea that got the Krewe rolling against all odds and then pushed the envelope even further by making Nyx the biggest in all of Mardi Gras!  Pretty tough stuff- I was in good company!

 

Karen greeting officials at City Hall on 2/7/18 during the Krewe of Nyx parade.

 

So many people have asked me how I got to be Goddess Nyx VII, and well, I’ve got to say it was just a whim at first. My husband had just chucked in a lucrative Engineering Career to become a State Policeman.  He got his mid-life crisis thing going on and well, I wanted mine!  He couldn’t exactly argue with me. So I answered the email seeking Goddess candidates and signed up.

Later, I had an interview with the board and I fell under their spell immediately.  What an incredible group of ladies-so varied, so talented, so committed, but most of all, so welcoming.   I didn’t know any of them prior to that night, but they made me feel like a Goddess from the minute I sat down.  I told them if you don’t pick me for Goddess, no worries- I just want to be involved.  I want to jump in and be a part of it all.  I want what you have-that camaraderie and the sheer bond that comes from toiling for hours together forging something bigger than you.  What I didn’t realize was that I was already getting dosed with Nyx magic simply by being a member.  I  had met ladies I never would have met in my world outside of Nyx. They come from all walks of life, shapes, sizes, colors, socio-economic backgrounds and some with experiences I have only read about.  I have met some of the sweetest, kindest and craziest Sisters ever! That never would have happened without Nyx. They make Nyx magic.  Being Goddess has meant that I’ve been afforded a little more of that magic.

 

I’ve continued to meet more and more amazing Nyx Sisters- finding common interests and experiencing uncommonly good fun! I have a few more months to reign and I’m going to keep soaking it all in.  And when I help crown Goddess VIII this fall, I hope she feels that magic too- because I do believe there’s plenty to go around in this Krewe.  I’ll be taking mine with me.

 

Karen Boudrie Greig is reigning Goddess Nyx VII.  She is a five year member of the Mystic Krewe of Nyx.

 

 

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Krewe of Nyx Purses tracked on the Nyx Purse Tracker Facebook Page

 

Written by Del Hamilton:

In the Spring of 2012 I made a life changing decision when I decided to join the Mystic Krewe of Nyx.  I really wanted to be a part of a women’s krewe and had watched the very first Nyx parade roll in 2012 in the pouring rain.  As my first months passed I attended any event that I could to meet people.  The Krewe’s signature throw was a decorated purse and I was very intimidated by the thought of having to do these.  I attended my first purse decorating party in October with absolutely no clue of what I was getting involved in.  The thought of glittering a purse frightened me but I knew I needed to do it.  During that party, as the group chatted away, the idea of having a way to track where our purses went was born.  I walked away from that event with my very first decorated purse and went home.  It was after that event that I sat down one day and created on Facebook a new page called the Nyx Purse Tracker.

 

It began small and the first year only had a couple hundred followers.  The idea was that riders could add a card, label, or tag that asked the recipient to take a photo of themselves with their catch and post it to the Purse Tracker page so that we could see where and to who our creations went to.  I remember getting up the morning after the 2013 parade and taking a look at it.  Posts were going up.  That year we only had a relatively small handful of posts.  About 50 people posted their photos on the page.

The next year I decided to start posting teaser photos of purses prior to the parade.  This was a fun way to feature some of our creations and get interest from the public to attend the parade. That year I did a purse countdown to the parade and posted a new photo each day for the 50 days prior to the parade.  I have always been very stringent on my self-imposed rules on posting photos.  Photos had to be unique to the page and not have been posted previously.  So if a rider posted a photo to the page themselves I would not repost that as a feature photo.  I was careful to seek permission from the creator to post their photos.  Some riders gave me carte blanche permission to use any photo they had.  I love those riders!  It makes the job so much easier.  Gathering photos for a countdown is the hardest part.  As the 2014 parade approached I was getting messages from all over asking “How can I catch a purse?”  So I started telling people to make signs.  It was a thrill that year to see Purse Tracker signs on the parade route.

 

 

That year we had about 150 people post photos.  The excitement was also building with the riders who search Nyx Purse Tracker trying to catch a post of one of their creations.  The whole idea is completely voluntary on both ends so there is no requirement to put a card on a purse and of course there is no way to ensure that even if there is a card on your purse that the recipient will post a photo.  But after that 2nd year the site was off and running.  It was growing practically by the minute.  Interaction between riders and followers grew as more and more teaser photos were posted.   By 2015 the followers had grown to almost 2000 and instead of a 50 day countdown I did a 100 day countdown.  I learned along the way that posts that I made at 6 am had more impact than one posted later in the day.  Based on that information I began scheduling posts to hit early in the morning to have the most reach possible.   I have connected with people from all over the world through Nyx Purse Tracker and photos have been posted from many different countries.  We even had one recipient take her purse along with her on her travels.  We never knew where the traveling purse was going next and it was fun to find out when she posted a photo.

  

I also met a number of people through Nyx Purse Tracker.  Two really stand out for me.  One was a lady that reached out asking how could she catch a purse.  I of course told her to make a sign.  We conversed back and forth a bit on what that sign should say.  I finally told her to put “Jackie From Maryland” on the sign so I would know who she was.  As we rolled down Napoleon there she was with her sign exclaiming who she was and I managed to throw her the bag I had prepared for her.  After the parade she posted her picture and we continued to converse and became friends on Facebook.

The 2nd person that stands out that connected with me is a lady who posted a photo.  As we rolled down Magazine Street a man came up to me begging for a purse for his wife.  You KNOW that story.  I laughed and said “You really have a wife?  Where is your wife?”  He pointed back to a lady in the crowd who was waving away.  I gave him that purse!  Later Pamela posted a photo and we also connected and became friends.  I had never met them in person.  One lived in Maryland and one in Michigan.

 

 

This past year both of those ladies rode a couple spots away from me in their first Nyx parade as my Nyx sisters.  So the bottom line is that Purse Tracker now has over 5700 followers and is growing every day. It has become a place for people to connect all over the love of Nyx and catching purses.  It has even helped get a rider’s actual personal purse that she accidentally threw off the float back to her when the person who caught it posted asking for help in returning it.

 

This past year we had hundreds of photos posted from all over the world.  Seeing a creation you made in the hands of its new owner and loved as much as we loved them provides a feeling like no other.  We would love to have thousands of photos posted next year. Please follow along on our purse journey by liking our page. //www.facebook.com/NyxPurseTracker/

 

Del Hamilton is a seven year member of the Krewe of Nyx.  She is also a Float Lieutenant and assists the krewe with its preservation of archives.  Additionally, she is a connoisseur of purse decorating!  Watch her making some beautiful Nyx purses for the 2018 parade .

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Julie Lea – Nyx Captain’s Mardi Gras Blog Series “Captain 2 Captain”

Join me  as I interview many different Mardi Gras Captains from across the New Orleans Metro area for a behind the scenes look at how traditions are formed and how parades are staged.

For my first blog in this series, I sit down with my friend Bobby Hjortsberg, the Captain of the Krewe of Freret.

 

JL  In doing research on the Krewe of Freret, I know y’all were founded in 2011, and first paraded in 2014.  Congratulations on that! What made you and the other founders decide to use the name of a former krewe, The Krewe of Freret?  

BH  We have been asked this question a lot and most people don’t believe the answer. Founder Brendan Ryan came up with the name because of our association with Freret Street.  We all went to Loyola and Freret St. was a big part of our lives, thus we became the Krewe of Freret.  We had no idea there was previously a Krewe of Freret until we filed formal paperwork with the state.

JL Parading in New Orleans has so many traditions and one of them is the signature throw.  Tell me about yours and how you guys came up with it.

BH  We wanted to do something handmade like many other Krewe’s now do.  We thought doing masks was an obvious choice for Carnival. We also wanted to throw something people could put on immediately and in a way, become part of the parade.

JL Something very unique about the Krewe of Freret that I find very interesting, and others may not  be aware of is, y’all do a Public Coronation each year.  Can you share with me details about that event?

BH So this just kind of evolved which I guess is how many great ideas come about.  We wanted to watch the first parade of the year together as a Krewe so Brendan and I walked the entire route of Krewe du Vieux to determine the best spot to set up.  Elysian Fields and Royal worked out well because of the amount of neutral ground space there. Once we picked the spot, founder Greg Rhoades noted that Elysian Fields is traditionally “the final resting place of the souls of the heroic and virtuous” in Greek Mythology.  Royal street is obviously a nod to royalty. Thus our Royals begin their reign there and also turn it over to the next royals in the same place. When they give up the crown they are going to their figurative final resting place.

JL How did the hashtag #BeMardiGras come about?

BH #BeMardiGras came about as a result of the masks.  We wanted people to immediately put the masks Bon that we threw and tag them on Social Media.  This allowed folks to actively participate in our parade while at the same time giving the riders a cool look at where their throws ended up.

JL What’s the biggest surprise to you about being a Mardi Gras Krewe Captain?

BH The amount of work that goes into it. It is a year around almost every day job and we only have 400 riders. The amount of time and planning that goes into a 3 hour event is truly mind boggling.

JL You and I have shared some great memories through the years celebrating at different events.  I have pictures to prove it! What would you say is your greatest Mardi Gras memory since the Krewe of Freret has hit the streets?

BH My greatest Mardi Gras memory was the first time our floats turned onto St. Charles avenue in 2014. The weather was perfect and the crowds were enormous.  It was also the first time I had ever ridden in a parade.  Although I had been invited to ride many times before, I wanted to save the experience for when we finally pulled it off on our own.  It was worth it!

 

Bobby Hjortsberg and Julie Lea New Orleans
Freret Captain Bobby Hjortsberg & Nyx Captain Julie Lea

 

JL What’s the best piece of advice you ever got about running a krewe and who was it from?

BH I bet I know why you asked this question lol.  The best piece of advice I ever got about running the Krewe of Freret was don’t wait. We were told not to wait until we thought  we were ready to get a permit or until we were “big enough” because we would never feel ready for such a huge step.  We were also told if we waited we would never get it because the competition for permits was growing and there were only a finite number of them left. It was you of course who gave us this advice. Without that guidance its a pretty safe bet that we would have never been successful in getting a permit and ultimately fulfilling our dream of parading down St. Charles ave.  We will forever be grateful for that piece of advice and all of the other help we got from you and Nyx along this awesome journey!

 

The Krewe of Freret’s membership is currently open.  For more information, visit their site,  www.kreweoffreret.com. 

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