It is often remarked that Mardi Gras is the biggest free party on earth. At any given parade, any attendee could catch beads, boas, dublooms, plastic balls or moon pies. Several krewes choose to distinguish themselves with signature themes and throws that are coveted by Mardi Gras attendees.
The riders of the all female Muses krewe throw custom high heeled shoes to the delight of parade watchers. These elaborate shoes are first covered in glitter, decorated with a variety of crafting accessories and highly sought after. Formed in 2000, the krewe of Muses has over 1100 members and is considered to be an elite organization. Each year the krewe of Muses selects a celebrity as an Honorary rider on a fiberoptic shoe float. During last year’s parade, R&B singer and sister of Beyonce, Solange Knowles, made headlines for losing her engagement ring while tossing the shoe throws. In addition to their parade and year-long philanthropic works, the Muses host a design contest for students in the area. The winner has his or her design turned into a Mardi Gras throw cup.
Because of the exclusivity and waiting list to join Muses, a group of women formed the Krewe of Nyx, which parades the night before Muses. Instead of throwing shoes, Nyx riders prepare hand-decorated purses to distribute during their parade. Originally formed in 2011, the Krewe of Nyx is now known as the largest, all female parade in the city of New Orleans.
The Krewe of Tucks originated in 1969 and was formed by two Loyola University New Orleans students. The krewe takes its name from Friar Tuck’s, an Uptown New Orleans bar where these college students decided to create their own Carnival krewe after unsuccessfully trying to become white flambeaux carriers. Founded on the motto of “Booze, Beer, Bourbon, Broads,” the Tucks parade remains a silly and satirical site to be seen. Not to be outdown by the ladies of Muses and Nyx, Tucks riders prepare custom throws in the form of toilet brushes, toy plungers, sunglasses with toilet seat lenses and riders’ “paper” the trees of St. Charles Avenue.