Krewe du Vieux 2013 Mardi Gras parade was a ribald romp

Krewe du Vieux and Delusion 2013
(Gallery by Kerry Maloney)

Sure, I enjoy a super krewe Carnival parade spectacle as much as the next guy, but as an art critic, my heart lies with the smaller, more individualistic Carnival experiences. Tonight I found a place at the crowded curb near the intersection of Royal Street and St. Roch Avenue in the Marigny to catch Krewe du Vieux.

Sexual explicitness is Krewe du View’s stock and trade, with beyond-bawdy float designs and costumes that could very well be banned in less laissez-faire communities. But the parade is not purely a procession of private parts. Each year the membership blends comic crudity with Crescent City topicality. Predictably, this year, The Times-Picayune and National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell were the focus of special satirical abuse.

Krewe du Vieux aims for eyebrow-raising, low-brow amusement and often hits the mark with its rude designs and naughty details. And between the blue jokes the parade is punctuated with brass band after brass band, providing an almost continuous soul-soaring blare. Throws are sparse by super krewe standards, but much more thoughtful.

Carnival is, in part, about catharsis and Krewe du Vieux kicked off the season on a bracing note.

Favorite float: The kinetic “Ent-Orgy” float that featured a lighted Reddy Kilowatt, vine-covered power lines and pulses of sparking electricity.

Favorite throw: The football penalty flags tossed by marchers following a Goodell-targeted float were a particularly nice touch.

The rating: Doug MacCash rates select 2013 Mardi Gras parades. From best to worst, the ratings are: Ruler of the Route, Rolling in the Right Direction and Lost its Way. The naughty 2013 Krewe du Vieux parade was a Ruler of the Route.