Friday, June 21, 2024

Photos: Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence In Annual Mardi Gras Parade

Coming up with themes for its annual Carnival parade is never a challenge for Krewe du Vieux. After all, the leading group of endearing humorists in New Orleans thrives in a setting rich with targets for their distinctive satirical procession.

Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

In the previous year, a significant number of the 17 subkrewes focused on satirizing city officials, delving into Mayor LaToya Cantrell’s travel-related controversies and other municipal shortcomings.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Last night the parade took on a broader theme and did not disappoint as it navigated through Faubourg Marigny, the French Quarter, and a portion of the Warehouse District, exploring the theme of “Artificial Ignorance.”

Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Every subkrewe participating in the irreverent parade presented handcrafted floats drawn by mules, accompanied by the lively tunes of live brass bands. The floats portrayed diverse interpretations of the theme, infused with ample doses of political and social commentary, as well as clever and provocative humor.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Krewe of the Mystic Inane tackled homophobic hysteria that has been stoked by right-wing politicians and commentators — and mashing that up with the concept of a gay robot takeover. Their theme was “Feared and Fabulous: The Gay-I Ro-Butt Uprising.”

Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Krewe of K.A.O.S. satirized the well-known Foghorn Leghorn impersonator, U.S. Senator John Kennedy, whose faux-folksy antics in Washington, D.C. have progressively taken on a more buffoonish quality over the years.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The Krewe of Drips and Discharges’ float is an ode to the city’s inability to regulate short-term rentals, which has worsened the affordable housing crisis and wreaked havoc on residential neighborhoods. Their theme was AirD&D: Short Term Rental and Displeasure Club. Their float depicted a short-term rental in disarray, decorated with empty beer cans and other garbage commonly found in the wake of, say, a rowdy bachelor party attended by out-of-towners.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Among the Drips and Discharges’ throws were small pieces of paper with “Yelp (Welp) reviews left by disgruntled tourists,” such as “’The French Quarter sucks and the whole place smells like weed,’ or ‘I went to Commander’s Palace and the oysters were raw,’”

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Famed New Orleans Chef Isaac Toups and his wife Amanda Toups was chosen and the 2024 Krewe du Vieux’s king and queen consort. The krewe usually selects an individual who serves as a custodian of culture and an underappreciated hero to preside over its parade, and Toups unquestionably falls within both of these classifications.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Toups had some special throws for his ride as king. The couple handed out culinary-themed throws including go-cups, heads of garlic and customized condoms adorned with the phrase “Better than your husband’s meat” on the packaging.

Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

The krewe is notably short on plastic beads. Offering more environmentally friendly distinctive throws has been a longstanding tradition of the parade. Numerous participants distribute items such as stickers, cups, koozies, and other handcrafted mementos, opting for alternatives to traditional beads.

Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Krewe Du Vieux Pokes Fun At Artificial Intelligence
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict
Photo Credit: Amy Harris/The Travel Addict

Krewe du Vieux is always one of the most popular parade for locals to attend. The weather was perfect for the walk and the streets of New Orleans were packed with spectators for the annual Mardi Gras tradition that did not disappoint on the laughs.

The full list of New Orleans Mardi Gras parades can be found here.

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Amy Harris
Amy Harris is a writer and photographer who has been traveling for 20 years and flown over 2 million miles to visit over 80 countries on 6 continents. She is a freelance photographer for Invision by Associated Press, AP Images and Rex/Shutterstock. Her work can be seen in various publications and websites including: Rolling Stone, AP Images, National Geographic Books, Fodor’s Travel Guides, Forbes.com, Lonely Planet Travel Guides, JetStar magazine, and Delta Sky Magazine.

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