Mardi Gras party is a yearlong event for krewes
MORGAN CITY, La. — Mardi Gras parades will start making their way through Morgan City tonight with the Krewe of Adonis parade, but the krewe’s preparation for the parade is a year round endeavor.
It’s (planning for the parade) 12 months out of the year, but we’re more of a social club too,” said Chuck Walters, who is on the Krewe of Adonis board of directors.
The krewe formed a corporation several years ago along with the Krewe of Hephaestus called Mardi Gras Floats Inc., and purchased floats together to use for their parades, he said.
Rob Radtke, president of Mardi Gras Floats Inc., said the krewes own 13 floats, one king/queen float, captain float, court float and 10 group floats. Mardi Gras Floats Inc., maintains the lights, bead racks, tires, paint, repairs tears in the canvas exterior of the floats and any other problems they may encounter. “It’s more labor intensive than it is cost,” he said.
People don’t understand how much work goes into it for us to get it there (to the parade) and throw $1,000 apiece worth of beads (off each float),” Radtke said.
“All throughout this week, the groups have been coming and doing work on their floats,” said Jeff Lagrange, of the Moon Pie float, who was duke of the Krewe of Adonis ball Jan. 12 along with his wife, Amy, who was maid.
John Broussard of the Dirty Bird float in the Krewe of Adonis said the krewe purchased his group’s float last year from a krewe in Thibodaux, because the group had outgrown its previous float.
The average float can hold about 10 to 12 people, but his group needed more room than that to accommodate its members, Broussard said.
Maintaining the floats is not cheap. “Every year, to keep them up, you’re looking at easily $1,500 to $2,000 in maintenance per float,” Broussard said. Building a new float from scratch can cost anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on the size of the float, he said.
In addition to the parade and ball, the Krewe of Adonis also holds events throughout the year, including golf tournaments, casino nights and family picnics, to name a few. “We donate proceeds of some of our fundraisers to different local charitable organizations,” Walters said. The krewe has about 145 members.
Among the different floats in the Krewe of Adonis, they have an “internal competition” to see which group can “one up” the other, Broussard said. “It’s become a little competition between all of us. We have fun when we have meetings. We jab at each other and we have a good time,” he said.
Though the groups have fun with the parade and other social events, the krewe still has to make sure its finances are in order. “It’s like a business. You have insurance to deal with. You have overhead. You have rent,” Broussard said.
Mardi Gras Floats Inc. also rents out its floats to krewes in Thibodaux and Berwick/Bayou Vista, Radtke said.
The Krewe of Adonis parade begins at 7 p.m. tonight. This year the parade will start at Victor II Boulevard’s intersection with Myrtle Street and proceed down Victor II to Clothilde Street, Ninth Street, Marguerite Street, Sixth Street, Onstead Street, Federal Avenue and end at Brashear Avenue.
The Krewe of Hephaestus will parade at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Morgan City.
That parade will begin at the corner of Sixth and Sycamore streets in Morgan City, proceed down Sixth Street to Marguerite Street, Ninth Street, Clothilde Street, and Victor II Boulevard, and end at the auditorium.