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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MYSTIC KREWE OF NYX TO HONOR CHARTER MEMBERS

 


 


NEW ORLEANS, LA — Mystic Krewe of Nyx, the world’s largest carnival organization, will recognize more than 100 of its charter members at an appreciation brunch on August 19The charter members of Nyx will be honored for taking a historic leap of faith in 2011.

Stories of the first year, laughter, tales of sisterhood, and a few surprises is on the agenda for the ladies attending the brunch this Sunday.

“Our charter members took a chance on us when we only had a dream,” said Julie Lea, the Krewe Captain and Founder. “Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today. We thank them for their faith in us and for helping to build Nyx into one of the premier carnival Krewes in New Orleans’ 300-year history.”

 

Each of the charter members will be treated to brunch and share memories of their first year with a Krewe that was trying to establish itself among Mardi Gras giants.

“We’ve come such a long way,” Lea said. “We owe a lot to our charter members and they deserve this special day. We can’t wait.”

 

Mystic Krewe of Nyx was established in 2011 with 534 female members and is now made up of more than 3,300 members. Nyx will parade on the traditional Uptown route on February 27, 2019.

Mystic Krewe of Nyx Charter Member Appreciation Brunch, Sunday, August 19, 2018.

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Krewe of Nyx’s Sisterhood helped me fight cancer

 

Written by:  Debra Crosby

 

For years, I used to say that I had no desire to go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans UNLESS I could ride on a float and throw beads. I never dreamed that one day I’d be able to do just that. I always assumed the Krewes were ancient, exclusive, and peopled by folks whose families had been in those Krewes for generations.

Then, one day, I saw a Facebook post by an old friend, Suzanne Ferguson, and it included photos of her and her daughter Katie wearing fun costumes, having a ball at Mardi Gras in New Orleans! I asked her if she was in a Krewe, and she said yes! I said, “I want to do that!” Turns out, the Krewe was the Mystic Krewe of Nyx, and my friend was a charter member.

She helped me, guiding me through the membership process, and before I knew it, I was a Nyx Sister! I had no idea of what I was in for.

My Mardi Gras in New Orleans Experience as a Nyx Sister

From the start, I was warmly welcomed into the Sisterhood of Nyx. My first ride was in February of 2017, so I started getting ready months ahead of time. We got together and decorated purses (I am NOT an artistic person, so this was a challenge for me!), and I actually managed to come up with 20 purses that I’d not be ashamed to toss to strangers in a crowd. I had paid my dues, ordered my throw package, and I was ready to roll!

Krewe of Nyx Purse

I had no idea what the parade would be like. I figured that if it wasn’t fun, I’d just do it once and bail out. But oh, my, what fun I had! Honestly, the whole thing was a blur, from the preparade party to the end of the parade.

I remember float loading, being amazed by how organized things were (my stuff was on the right place, in my spot, with my name on it!), then I remember the huge party, with all of those laughing, friendly, fun-loving woman in bright costumes, then I remember going to the float to roll in the parade.

The weather was perfect that year for Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and the crowds were thick and excited. The parade went by so quickly that I was shocked when we stopped! Time does indeed fly when you’re having fun, and I had a blast.

Unexpected Challenges

breast cancer boxSo, of course, I signed up again for the 2018 season. However, something unexpected happened to me in July of 2017 – I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and was told I’d have to have chemo, surgery, and radiation, a course of treatment that would last over a year. Sigh. In spite of all that, my overwhelming desire was to be sure that I felt good enough to ride with my Nyx Sisters. It was a reward I felt I deserved! I worked hard to make that happen.

So I did what I had to do, and specifically made sure to schedule my radiation treatments to NOT start until after my Mardi Gras parade ride. My doctors were very supportive, and I was therefore able to ride in the 2018 parade.

Suzanne and I went on the Pray for Favor ride, and had a great time. I even got up at lunch and danced. No more sitting on the sidelines for me!

The Sisterhood of Strength

The next day, at the preparade party, I was moved to tears when I was presented with a gorgeous purse, made by my sister Shari Tallulah Brown, in support of my breast cancer journey. These are the kind of women who make up this Krewe. Warm, giving, welcoming, fun-loving. Full of life. Just what I needed after a tough 6 months. I’d never met Shari, but she knew about me. She now has an everlasting friend in me. I will always have her back.

Marie Laveau didn’t exactly take us or our prayers seriously, because the weather took a turn for the worse late In the afternoon. We soldiered on. Even though it was cold and wet (and windy!), the spirits of the Nyx Sisters never flagged. I was personally glad to be experiencing ANYTHING, so glad to be there. The crowds inspired me, because in spite of the inclement weather, they were lively and happy. They weren’t going to let some bad weather get them down. The Krewe of Nyx and its fans fed of one another’s excitement and enthusiasm, and we rocked that night!

My motto is now Carpe Diem. I’m seizing every moment, every experience, every chance to live life to the fullest. The Nyx experience is such a big part of that.

Don’t let life get you down. Embrace it. Take the opportunities that come your way. You never know what’s around the corner.

I seize every moment. I embrace my sisters. Thank you, Nyx, for standing with me.

 

Debra Crosby is a three year Krewe of Nyx member………..and a cancer survivor!

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

Join me as I sit down with my friend and fellow Captain, “The Masked Captain” of the Knights of Sparta, to learn a little more about them.

 

  

 

JL:   In researching the Knights of Sparta, I learned the organization was formed in 1951 and first paraded in 1981. After 30 years of presenting elaborate bal masques and tableaus, why the move into parading as well?

MCKS: That move was made the our previous Captain and the Officers at that time. The possibility of parading was afforded us by Mr. Bernard I. (Irv) Zoller, who was the Captain of MECCA. He offered to incorporate what was then the Krewe of Sparta into his parade on the first Saturday of the parading season. After one very successful year of parading as MECCA / Sparta, Irv decided to step back into the Captain Emeritus position and offer the parade permit to Sparta. That is when we became The Knights of Sparta, and have paraded under that name since.

JL:   Parading in New Orleans has so many traditions and one of them is the use of Flambeaux’s. which Sparta still uses in its parade. Why have yall decided to continue with this tradition?

MCKS:  We were able to acquire a number of “original kerosene flambeaux” many years ago. We feel that having flambeaux in our parade links us with the parades of yesteryear, and gives the crowds that attend our parade a taste of the processions of the 1800s. We are, of course, not the only parade that still uses the old kerosene flambeaux. However, three are very few, and upholding many of the old traditions of Carnival is important to our members.

JL:   How long have you been the Captain of the Knights of Sparta?

MCKS:  This will be my fifteenth year as Captain.  I am only third Captain in the 67 year history of Sparta, and I am very humble and proud to serve in that capacity.

JL:   In your own words, can you explain the role of the Krewe Captain, and tell us some of your duties.

MCKS:  I expect that the role of Captain varies from krewe to krewe. However, in Sparta the Captain acts as the CEO and Chairman of the Board. The Officers each have their responsibilities and/or events to chair. However, the Captain oversees all the activities of the organization and has control of all artistic aspects of the Bal Masque and Parade.

I write and produce the Bal Masque, select the yearly themes, control the design of the costumes and floats, and chair several events. I must add that the Officers take a very active rule in all of activities and work hand-in-hand with me on all aspects of our organization. It is, truly, a “team effort”.

JL:   I have had the honor of attending many of your beautiful bal masques and parades. Something very unique about the Knights of Sparta I find very interesting, and others may not be aware of is, the Junior Captain. Can you share with me his relation to you and what roll he plays in the organization?

MCKS:  The position of “The Captain’s Shadow” was developed for Sparta by the previous Captain. His grandson served as The Captain’s Shadow for a number of years. My grandson, who is now 22 years old, began as The Captain’s Shadow, but was re-titled The Junior Captain when we grew taller than me. Incidentally, I took a good bit of friendly ribbing from some of the other Captains as my Grandson grew and eventually outgrew me.

The idea of a Captain’s Shadow or Junior Captain is to link the generations of Carnival and show that it is a tradition that is passed down from father to son………and from grandfather to grandson. Thus, Carnival survives and thrives through the years.

I now have a two year old Grandson, who I hope will eventually become The Captain’s Shadow.

JL:   How many officers help you run the krewe?

MCKS:  At present, we have 10 Officers. Each Officers has specific duties and/or events or committees to chair. Of course, the Officers’ Ladies are also very involved in our success each year.

JL:  Another thing I think is so much fun about you is that you assist other krewes during the season with narration of their balls and tableaus. How did that begin and how many balls do you assist with per year?

MCKS:  I was fortunate enough to have a background in theater while growing up in Ohio, and have never been shy about being in front of a crowd or behind a mic. I was also very honored to learn about Carnival from some of the great masters such as Irv Zoller, Irma Strode, Karl Smith, Norris and Jimmy Fitzmorris, and others. They taught me about bal masque and parade structure, narrating, and the history of Carnival.

Over the years I guess it has just snowballed into being involved with a number of krewes. Through those years, I have written and narrated coronations, bal masques, and parades for over 20 krewes. I presently am involved (in one way or another) with 14 organizations.

JL:   I know the Knights of Sparta believe firmly in the traditions of Mardi Gras. Which traditions are some of your favorites?

MCKS:  The traditional Old-style tableau bal masque is very important to Sparta and to me. We are one of the very few krewe that still stage a traditional tableau ball, and feature actors, dancers, singers, costumed Court, and a intricately scripted tableau.

Masking for the parade is certainly also high on the list for Sparta. We require all of our members to keep their masks in place for the entire ride.

I also love the fact the our parade features aspects of Carnival’s past, like traditional flambeaux and a mule-drawn King’s float.

We also almost exclusively use marching bands in our parade, like the parades of old.

JL:   What would you say is your greatest Mardi Gras memory in your time as Captain?

MCKS:  I would have to say that my ride the first year that I was Captain was my most significant memory. I was elected Captain in March of 2005, and was preparing for my first year as the leader of Sparta when Katrina hit. It was a real fight to just get our parade on the street for 2006, with displaced members, depleted city resources and manpower, etc. However, we were able to parade, and the people of the city were overwhelming with their outpouring of gratitude and love for us and for the continuation of the Carnival tradition. Sitting astride my horse and leading the parade as Carnival proved to the world that New Orleans was not going to give up after disaster was a wonderful feeling.

 

The Knights of Sparta will parade on Saturday, February 23, 2019.  Membership is currently open. Please visit //www.knightsofsparta.com for more information.

 

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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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New Orleans Mardi Gras – The Festival with indescribable feelings.

 

The feeling of attending Mardi Gras is incomparable with any feeling, but being at the forefront of the parade is a feeling indescribable.

Mardi Gras  is a must in New Orleans. It is one of the celebrations of the year with exciting sights and sounds and floats. You will never know the worth of the season until you attend one. It is not enough for you to attend, you must plan it carefully to relinquish every moment.

Yes, millions all over the world love the Mardi Gras. People plan their trips just to get a feel of the Mardi Gras celebration. As exciting as this sounds, nothing can be compared when you are part of the parade team. To be part of the parade, you must be join a krewe.

The Mardi Gras season is the season where every kind of dressing is simply imaginable. It is an event-loaded period with contests for the best costumes with the crowd watching with much as much fun and enthusiasm as the parades themselves.

You cannot talk about the Mardi Gras without making mention of beads, stuffed animals, cups, and doubloons. You will hear the crowd cheering, “Throw me something, Mister!” at the riders of the floats. Get ready with your cloth bag or sturdy plastic to get a hold of all treasures thrown at you. You must be ready for the fun because some people due to over-excitement may grab the beads you have collected. The fun never ends until midnight on Mardi Gras night.

 

Each year the Mystic Krewe of Nyx parades on the Wednesday night before Mardi Gras.  If you have the chance to see it, you won’t be disappointed.  Just yell for the ladies “Throw me something Sister!” to catch some of the fun swag and useful throws that Nyx is known for.

We hope to see you all on the Avenue!

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