Midsummer Mardi-Gras with the Krewe of OAK and the All For One Brass Band

Bands, Block Parties, Brass Bands, Dance, entertainment, events, music, musicology, Night Clubs, Parades, Parks, Travel

703 Oak Street704 Oak Street705 Oak Street706 Midsummer Mardi-Gras707 Midsummer Mardi-Gras708 Jacques-Imo's709 Jacques-Imo's710 Jacques-Imo's711 Midsummer Mardi-Gras712 Midsummer Mardi-Gras713 Jacques-Imo's714 Midsummer Mardi-Gras715 Midsummer Mardi-Gras716 Midsummer Mardi-Gras717 Midsummer Mardi-Gras718 The Krewe of OAK719 All 4 One Brass Band721 Midsummer Mardi-Gras722 All 4 One Brass Band723 Midsummer Mardi-Gras724 All 4 One Brass Band725 All 4 One Brass Band726 All 4 One Brass Band727 All 4 One Brass Band728 Midsummer Mardi-Gras729 Midsummer Mardi-Gras730 Midsummer Mardi-Gras732 All 4 One Brass Band733 All For One Brass Band734 Midsummer Mardi-Gras735 Midsummer Mardi-Gras736 All For One Brass Band737 Midsummer Mardi-Gras738 Midsummer Mardi-Gras741 Jazz Band in Palmer Park742 Palmer Park743 Jazz Band in Palmer Park744 Jazz Band in Palmer Park745 All For One Brass Band746 All For One Brass Band747 All For One Brass Band748 Midsummer Mardi-Gras749 All For One Brass Band750 All For One Brass Band751 All For One Brass Band752 Midsummer Mardi-Gras753 Palmer Park754 Midsummer Mardi-Gras at Palmer Park755 Oak Street756 Oak Street757 Oak Street758 Oak Street759 Oak Street760 Oak Street761 Oak Street
The event calendars for New Orleans showed something called the Midsummer Mardi-Gras that was supposed to take place at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak Street far uptown, in the part of the city called Carrollton. I had imagined something like a little Mardi-Gras-themed summer block party, but what I found proved to be far more elaborate. Operating out of the Maple Leaf, and somewhat affiliated with it is an organization called the Krewe of OAK, which I soon learned stands for Outrageous and Kinky. The Krewe sponsors a regular Mardi-Gras parade through Carrollton during the Carnival season, but also sponsors one during the Midsummer Mardi-Gras in August, and this turned out to be quite an event. Several hundred people were already out in the middle of Oak Street in front of the bar when I arrived, and there were a number of marching units. The Krewe had hired the All For One Brass Band to play for the parade, and this was a band I had heard of, but never heard. They provide to be a fairly good band, and with a speech from the King and Queen of OAK from a balcony on Oak Street, the parade was soon under way. The New Orleans police had blocked off Carrollton Avenue, and I had assumed we would march up Oak Street to Carrollton and stop, but to my surprise, we turned up Carrollton Avenue and kept rolling. Crowds were everywhere, along both sides of the street, and in the neutral ground, and fireworks were being shot off from in front of an old mansion on a corner. It seemed we might roll all the way to Earhart Boulevard, but we ended a little sooner, turning into the main entrance to Palmer Park. Inside the park, another stage had been set up where a jazz band was already playing. They had a tuba instead of an electric bass, but they had set drums instead of the traditional snare, bass drum and cowbell rhythm section of the streets. As the parade arrived into the park, the All For One posted up near the entrance and kept playing until everyone had entered the park. It was now thoroughly dark, and brightly-colored lights were being projected into trees in the park. I decided to walk back toward my car, and soon found that there were still significant crowds on Oak Street. I grabbed an iced mocha from the Rue de la Course, and then continued on my way. The festive mood continued in the area, but I set out to catch up with my homeboys in the TBC Brass Band.

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