Founded in 1917, the Krewe of Iris is the oldest and the largest of all female Carnival Krewes in New Orleans. Named for the Goddess of the Rainbow, Messenger to the Gods, it maintains a global membership of over 900 active riders. First parading in 1959, the Krewe continues to strictly follow the traditional Carnival parading customs, wearing white gloves and full-length Carnival masks.
Every Krewe picks a theme for their parade each year, this year the theme for Iris was "Louisiana Festivals Reign Supreme" I thought it was such a fun theme! More than 400 Louisiana festivals occur each year – which makes it easy to see why Louisiana is often called the Festival Capital of America. They celebrate just about every crop harvested, every indigenous dish, every type of music that's played there – ranging from Cajun and zydeco to Delta blues, New Orleans Jazz, Louisiana's own swamp pop, country, salsa and more. With that many festivals it was easy to come up with some pretty interesting floats and costumes!
Some examples of a few Louisiana festivals are:
Cajun Hot Sauce Festival
Mudbug Madness Festival
And seriously, the list goes on and on. What a fun place to live, right? Southern people know how to have a good time.
Like I mentioned before, Iris' floats weren't my favorite, they weren't as nice as some of the other Krewe's floats. But they did have the best throws, some of my favorite things I caught the entire trip came from the Krewe of Iris!
All the parades are about an equal mix of marching bands made up of military groups or school groups from across the nation, and floats.
Crawfish Festival float
Another aspect of Mardi Gras parades that I thought was fun was Krewe members don't just blindly throw out things, they work the crowd. They scan the crowd looking for someone to throw something to. When they find someone they will point to them and make sure they catch their throw. So, to get the best throws it's beneficial to make eye contact with the krewe members and get them to throw you their throw. Often times, if you made eye contact with one, and they really liked you for whatever reason, they would pick out something really good to throw to you. I got a few really awesome things that way!
Strawberry Festival float I loved their themed necklaces the best! They were adorable and I caught a bunch of them! Wooo!
Alligator Festival Float
Our loot after the parade!