Orpheus parade won’t roll due to lack of members

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Orpheus parade won’t roll due to lack of members

By Debbie Glover


For the past 25 years, the Original Krewe of Orpheus has rolled down the streets of Mandeville, throwing their signature pinecones. Unfortunately for Mardi Gras fans on the Northshore the parade has been cancelled for 2013, according to Captain Brett Lowe.

Last week, the Krewe of Lyra announced it will not parade in Mandeville and has moved its parade to follow the traditional parades in Covington Mardi Gras Day, the Mystic Krewe of Covington and the Lion’s Club.

However, Orpheus has no plans of moving.

In connection with the decision, Lowe issued a press release that stated, “On behalf of Board of Directors, it is with major disappointment that we must inform everyone of our decision not to ride on Feb. 8, 2013. We have experienced financial difficulties through a decline in membership over the past few years, which dictates our abilities to produce a quality parade that we are proud of. We are re-organizing and will ride in 2014.

“We will take this time to rejuvenate our spirits and build our ranks. We are looking for gentlemen to help rebuild our organization from top to bottom.”

Hoping to boost membership, the krewe will host a “rebirth party” on its previously scheduled parade night, Feb. 8, 2013.

For more information, interested parties can email Lowe at kreweoforpheus@gmail.com.

The Mandeville all-women’s Krewe of Eve had extended an opportunity to Orpheus to parade behind its krewe on Feb. 1, but Lowe said that was not the route Orpheus wished to take. He thanked them for their offer.

“It was given in the true spirit of Mardi Gras, and we appreciate their kindness, and commitment to the community,” he said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Lowe stated the organization will continue to be a men’s krewe, and the re-organization party will replace the krewe’s annual ball Feb. 8, with women included as they would be at the ball. There will be a slight charge and interested parties should contact the krewe.

Regulations in the city of Mandeville requiring a minimum number of 150 riders paid a “slight part” in the group’s decision not to ride, according to Lowe. As with most parades throughout the area, a permit and insurance is required.

The Original Krewe of Orpheus was founded in April 1987, a year after the Krewe of Eve had successfully made its debut. Its first parade was in 1988 with 13 floats plus local and regional marching bands.

Its signature throw, the pineloon, was originally a pinecone covered in glitter, sitting atop a doubloon base. More recently, it was a plastic pinecone necklace.

Ironically, this past year was the 25th anniversary year with the theme “Orpheus’ Silver Lining.”