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  Very Good




Greetings, Royal Subjects!

Whether perched on ladder or standing curbside, the denizens of this fair city, joined by thousands of faithful travelers to our dreamy landscape, cheered as the majestic krewes brought forth their artistic processions once more to our streets and avenues. I, too, joined the admiring throngs, but while you reached for blinky bead or stuffed gargoyle, I took careful note of each parade's adherence to our noble Carnival traditions. Krewes earned points for theme originality, float and costume design, overall parade organization, quality and uniqueness of throws, and number and spiritedness of the marching bands. I steered my chariot past car and bike, from Uptown to downtown, from West Bank to Metairie. Herewith, as in so many years past, I present my royal rankings.

I offer a special nod to those who braved the unpredictable elements. Hail Orpheus, Cleopatra, Aladdin, Oshun, Sparta and all others who rolled -- and reigned -- in the rain! To the fair riders of Pygmalion and Zeus, forced to roll on "rain dates," I offer you my thanks for keeping spirits high. Alas, poor Proteus, the lone krewe forced to cancel -- we shall never know the splendors you had prepared for our enjoyment. We await your gallant return next year!

And now, loyal readers, before we march farther into the austerity of the holy Lenten season, let us look back one final time at the magic, mirth and magnificence of Mardi Gras 2004.


2004 Parade Season Highlights:

Favorite Themes
d'Etat, "Malice In Wonderland" 

Le Krewe d'Etat    

Another stellar showing by D'Etat, whose parade is one of the most highly anticipated of the season. "Malice in Wonderland" provided an opportunity for striking riffs on Lewis Carroll's themes and John Tenniel's illustrations. Some jokes were a bit dated -- such as J. Edgar Hoover's cross-dressing -- but it's forgivable when the results are so handsome. Welcome touches included parade bulletins, which newsboys distributed at the start of the procession. Throws seemed less plentiful than in years past, but the white-eyed, pale-blue gargoyles might just be the most distinguished stuffed animal in Mardi Gras history. One stern admonishment: more than one rider tossed LSU-colored Confederate flag beads into the crowd. The dictator should better control his subjects.

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