Krewes prepare floats for parades

Krewe of Adonis member Rob Radtke works on the king and queen’s float Monday evening under the U.S. 90 bridge in Morgan City.
(The Daily Review Photo by Zachary Fitzgerald)

Mardi Gras krewes are making final preparations for their floats in what is a year-round process for many krewes, according to parade organizers.
Keith Leonard, Krewe of Adonis permanent captain, said the krewe put its floats under the bridge this weekend to allow krewe members to work on the floats out of the rain in preparation for Friday’s Krewe of Adonis parade.
The 13 floats are normally stored at Mardi Gras Floats headquarters on La. 182 in Morgan City near the Greenwood Overpass, Leonard said. The Krewe of Adonis owns one additional float of its own, he said.
Permanent captains are similar to the presidents or owners of the krewe, Leonard said.
The floats were returned this weekend from being used by krewes at other parades, which Mardi Gras Floats rents its floats to, Leonard said. On Monday, krewe members were making any necessary repairs to the floats, he said.
The Krewe of Adonis held a bead sale Monday for its members and also sold beads to other krewes to help defray some of the Krewe of Adonis’ expenses, Leonard said.
The Krewe of Adonis and Krewe of Hephaestus jointly formed a corporation called Mardi Gras Floats. “Mardi Gras Floats actually owns the floats, and each entity has a 50 percent ownership in that,” Leonard said. Mardi Gras Floats rents its floats to other area krewes including the Krewe of Dionysus in Morgan City.
“We do things throughout the year to defray overhead costs. That way each krewe doesn’t have to put up as much money to keep the maintenance and the expenses of insurance and housing and rent,” Leonard said.
Chris Wheeler, float lieutenant of the Monkey Business float, is in his eighth year as a float lieutenant, he said. “Monkey Business is probably the largest float group so we need two floats,” Wheeler said.
Jason Rulf, float lieutenant of the Bulldogs float, said this year is his first year to be a float lieutenant.
Both Wheeler and Rulf were redoing their floats this year and had a lot of work to do, Wheeler said Monday evening.
“Each float lieutenant is responsible for their own float, making sure all the lights work. After that, we help out testing the court float, the captain float and the king’s float,” Wheeler said. The process getting the floats ready for parades can be tedious, but normally runs fairly smoothly, he said. Wheeler’s float group will definitely be “ready to roll” for the Krewe of Adonis parade, he said.
Mardi Gras Floats also does fundraisers throughout the year to help pay for the cost of keeping up the floats and to raise money for charities, Leonard said.
Krewe of Galatea Parade Lt. Michele Picou said her krewe’s floats are mostly finished and those groups who redo their floats prepare their floats throughout the year. The Krewe of Galatea owns all of its 16 floats.
The krewe usually starts repairing or making any changes to their floats the month after Mardi Gras so that by the end of the year the repairs are completed, Picou said.
The Krewe of Galatea has a get-together on Saturday to prepare to load beads before their parade on Sunday, Picou said.

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