The Krewe of Muses has taken a stand against Confederate-themed parade throws, banning its members from throwing Robert E. Lee beads — or any other items with a political message — in its upcoming parade.
The Krewe of Orpheus has also told members not to toss the Lee beads and its captain said any riders who bring them will be asked to remove them from the floats. And the Krewe of Endymion is also suggesting riders not bring the controversial throws.
According to a memo sent to the Muses' float lieutenants, besides the throws being deemed inappropriate, the Lee-themed beads — which have garnered attention on social media — are also dangerous. The memo says the krewe is concerned people who would throw those beads could have them hurled back at them or the person throwing them could be harmed by angry paradegoers.
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The beads also would be in violation of city code section 34-28(b), which defines acceptable throws:
"No Mardi Gras parade participant shall knowingly throw any doubloon, trinket or other throw which would be redeemable for or entitle the bearer to a prize or a discount on the price of any food, beverage, merchandise, service or admission to any event or which displays, conveys or communicates any commercial, political or religious message," it reads.
The all-female parade rolls through the city Thursday.
Orpheus Captain Sonny Borey said Friday that he had told riders not to bring the controversial throws or anything that could "cause problems between participants and float riders."
"I’m telling the riders that I think that this is the time of year where we all celebrate each other and have fun together and we should not do anything political," Borey said.
Borey said has not faced any internal or external backlash for the announcement.
Endymion President Dan Kelly said his krewe first learned about the Lee beads in the fall and sent out an email to float lieutenants suggesting they not toss them from the floats.
"It’s a hot topic there was a lot of controversy about it when it happened, it’s over with now there’s no reason to bring it back up," Kelly said.
"We want the riders and spectators to have a good time and this was something that was very controversial. So we’re trying to be as cautious as we can," he added later.
Other krewes are also believed to have issued similar instructions to their riders.
More details to come.
The first year Bea Young rode with the Krewe of Iris, her throwing arm was out of commission for days afterward.