For many years I’ve devoted the column on the Monday after the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade to announcing the winning floats, marching groups, etc, in the parade, for those who couldn’t make the parade or, for some reason, don’t remember what they saw.
While pink, as in pink flamingo, was still the dominant color, there was also plenty of red, as in red Valentine’s Day hearts.
Here how one of the parade officials described Saturday’s event in downtown Baton Rouge:
“It was a collision of epic proportions: a Chamber of Commerce Saturday, Valentine’s Day and Spanish Town Mardi Gras all rolled into one.”
The winners are selected by an awesomely distinguished panel of judges who take their deliberations seriously — as they do their bribes from the various krewes.
With longtime Chief Justice Phil Cangelosi moonlighting in Mexico, the arduous task of recognizing the best and worst of the annual event fell to veteran judges Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, Dr. Russell Saloom, WAFB reporter Elizabeth Vowell, WJBO’s Ian Perkins and, making his debut, Celtic Studio’s Patrick Mulhearn, who, under the tutelage of Dr. Saloom’s able assistants, caught on quickly.
The results, not saving the best for last:
Best overall effort
The Babycakes. “Be still my heart!” muttered one of the (male) judges as the female dance troupe paraded by. Not only are they energetic, elegant, choreographed, limber and lovely, they had enough gas in the tank to perform to an appreciative crowd post-parade at the secret site of the judges’ deliberations.
Krewe La Moula. Their metal artwork was of high enough quality to be sold at FestForAll. HONORABLE MENTION goes to I-Da-Hoes, the potato knockoffs who favored the judges with a “50 Shades” souvenir collection: “Filthy Shades of Yay!”
Valentine heart award
Krewe of Boyd, the parade’s oldest float, which carries the king, departed from its usually clever satire to pay tribute to the late Shelby Holmes and to lead the participants in promoting organ donation and other worthy charitable causes.
Krewe of Mewe. They were very catty. Say no more.
Most politically correct
Krewe of Yo-Yo’s. What everybody thinks and nobody dares to say. Except them.
Most politically incorrect
Krewe of Ministers of Misinformation. These guys had Valentine’s Day cards from various high-ranking officials that matched perfectly with the low-ranking activities of the respective high-ranking official.
Krewe of Helios. Classy beads and what one judge succinctly described as “Good loot!”
Brewe Krewe. These guys made attractive cupids out of not-so-attractive politicians.
Best gameday bribe
Krewe of Cookie for their home-brewed liquid libations. (A fancy way to say “moonshine.”)
Battle of New Orleans award
The Politically Incorrect Non-Konformists (Krewe of Pink), who, like The Advocate, reached into New Orleans and managed to mock the Saints and the current squabble for ownership.
First annual Bill Cosby Award for the best use Of Jell-O
Krewe of Klique’s special shots.
Krewe of Mambo: Every Body On Here Loves Alcohol
Best performance in an improvisational role
Krewe of Krime. Members left the float to provide judges with the parade’s largest beads and biggest hearts.
Krewe of Southdowns, who paraded Friday, no doubt stayed up all night and showed up for Spanish Town as well.
Krewe of DamnifIknow. Damnifweknoweither. (Evaluating this float, one of the judges wrote on his form a single word, “Beer.”)
And the coveted worst float
Krewe of Backasswards for masquerading as a float.
And the judges issue this special thank-you:
“A special thanks goes to the Spanish Town Ladies Auxiliary for pampering, coddling, organizing, supervising and making possible all the fun that is Spanish Town Mardi Gras!”
Write Smiley at Smiley@theadvocate.com. He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.