Irksome Things: Carnival Edition

Napoleon Avenue. Photo by Betty Eyer.

I’ve written a lot about Carnival this year. I covered the proverbial waterfront from Krewe du Vieux to Decapitated Jesters to Gras abuse to Mayor Teedy’s hand gestures.

I hope my non-NOLA readers don’t mind this navel gazing. Carnival is a big deal in my city. Consider me your native guide. I promise not to lead you into an ambush.

I’ve been so cranky about Carnival because it’s something I care about. There’s been much to be irked by this year. Let’s get on with it.

I’m irked that after years of fighting the good fight with the Krewe of Chad the enemy seems to have won. Tents were rarely seen on the Uptown parade route until five or six years ago, but they’ve become ubiquitous as you can see from the featured image.

The Chads transform New Orleans into a tent city every Carnival season. Someone please make it stop.

Perhaps the Bonzo Dog Band can help:

I’m irked with myself for failing to put some meat on the Krewe of Chad bones. Here’s what I said about the Chads at Bayou Brief in 2018:

The term caught on and is widely used on social media to describe people who think they can rope off sectors of the public green for their exclusive use. Chaddism used to be restricted to the Endymion parade route in Mid-City, but couches, tents, roped off sectors, ladders, and the like are increasingly seen Uptown. It’s a monumental pain in the ass for those of us who live on or near the parade route since Carnival is supposed to be a moveable feast, not urban camping.


For the first time in years, the city attempted to enforce existing ordinances against rampant early Chaddery on the parade route. The Chads were shocked that their selfish efforts were not appreciated by the powers that be. They continue to confuse tailgating culture with Carnival culture to the detriment of everyone.

Self-quotation is my jam.

Then there’s this irksome problem:

St. Charles Avenue. Photo by Swampwoman.

Ladders have been with us for many years, but the wall of ladders is a fairly recent irksome development. I’ve also seen people bring out 12-foot ladders, stepstools, and toadstools. I made the last bit up. They pop up on their own if it rains enough.

I’m irked by the ladders and alarmed by the dangers they pose. Before a night parade, I stood near a ladder person. His child’s head was perilously close to a power pole’s support cable. I rarely become an officious intermeddler but I butted in. He told me the wire’s proximity was a good thing because his kid could grab onto it if the ladder fell over. He was not joking. I am not making this up.

Ladders belong in a shed, not on the parade route.

I’m irked that, after years of singing with Grateful Dead spin-offs, Joan Osborne hasn’t recorded a Hunter-Garcia covers album. That has nothing to do with Carnival but it works with the video above.

Back to Carnival 2023.

I’m irked that the Krewe of Nyx is still given a prime parade spot after its Captain was exposed as a racist grifter. A mass exodus of members ensued. See last year’s post: Nix On Nyx.

It’s time to kick Nyx off the schedule and give a more deserving krewe a shot at prime-time Carnival.

Nyx is known for its elaborately decorated purse throws. Here’s some musical commentary:

It’s time for them to go. Repeat after me: Nix on Nyx.

I’m irked by the decline of regional Carnival. When I arrived in New Orleans, Metairie Carnival was on the rise and there were many more parades on The Wank DBA The West Bank.

Regional Carnival relieves the pressure on New Orleans. Many Chads are from elsewhere. Give them more and better parades at home and they might stay out of my neighborhood. FYI, this shirt is their uniform.

They rarely costume, they usually go as themselves. Why? I’ll never know. This song is for all the Chads out there:

I’m irked that no enterprising band director has added Gimme Some Lovin’ to their repertoire. It’s perfect for a marching band, especially as Steve Winwood plays it now.

I’m irked that a post about Carnival in New Orleans doesn’t feature any songs by local artists. Let’s rectify that omission by giving the last word to my 13th Ward homies:

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