Krewe of Muses celebrated its 20th birthday this year at the 2020 Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. Organized in 2000, the Krewe of Muses is named after the legendary daughters of Zeus. In Greek mythology, muses were patrons of the arts and sciences, as well as sources of inspiration for artists, poets, philosophers, and musicians.
This all-female krewe has become one of the most attended parades during all of Mardi Gras on what has become Muses THersday. A Muses signature shoe is one of the most sought after Mardi Gras throws.
One of my most amazing Mardi Gras experiences was riding in Muses last year. I was able to be a substitute for a friend. Since the Krewe has a waiting list of hundreds of women to join permanently. I was especially lucky to get this opportunity.
I am not a very crafty person but I quickly learned what it took to make the signature Muses shoe with a crash course from my float captain. I learned to “glitter” which is an action verb during Mardi Gras where I learned how to navigate Hobby Lobby in 3 counties to get enough glitter, shoe decorations and Mod Podge (a special glue) to adorn my thirty shoes to throw to screaming parade-goers. People from all krewes are now glittering so sometimes you have to wait at the craft store for employees to anxiously open boxes for Mod Podge replenishment supplies.
Mardi Gras parades only started to include women in 1941 and they weren’t always met with the enthusiasm we see today at Muses. The first parades with women had men throwing tomatoes at them in protest. Luckily today several all-female Krewes (NYX, Iris and Femme Fatale) have developed wonderful parades that are some of the most popular throughout the whole celebration.
This year’s Muses parade was met with a postponement when high winds and rain forced the parade to be moved to Friday in a slightly abbreviated version. On Friday the weather was perfect for the krewe to roll and the streets were lined with Muses fans competing for a shoe.
Actress Jennifer Coolidge served as this year’s Honorary Muse as was able to stay for the Friday parade and ride in the giant red show float. It was great to see the parade for the first time as a spectator and I would recommend this parade to anyone who wants to experience a special Mardi Gras experience.