Museum on the Parade Route

I’m in New Orleans visiting my sister and her husband.  It being Mardi Gras season, we’ve gone out to catch a few of the parades. Last night the Krewe of Bacchus rolled with the theme “Bacchus Salutes the Greatest Generation.” It was a great theme, allowing for some fun floats, but also resulted in an unanticipated museum moment.

The National World War II Museum is located here in New Orleans. One of the first floats which rolled in the parade, after the officers, was a float sponsored and staffed by the Museum. I do not know the exact nature of the involvement was between Bacchus and the Museum – it could have been a pay-to-play, or even that some of the Museum board museum members are also officers in the Krewe of Bacchus. However it worked out, I thought it was a unique way of raising awareness and hopefully visitor numbers for the museum. The WWII Museum has only been open 11 years, and is located in the Central Business District, not the tourist-mobbed French Quarter. Until this year, I was only peripherally aware of its existence.

The Krewe of Bacchus is a super krewe – with more floats, bands, and all than the average krewe. It rolls on the Sunday of Mardi Gras weekend, attended by locals and tourists alike. For those who haven’t been to New Orleans in Mardi Gras, people of all ages go to the parades, camping out all day with grills and lawn chairs. Thousands of people lined the streets of New Orleans on Sunday to watch Bacchus roll with floats about WWII, and the float at the start dedicated to the museum. In theory, some of them might have been motivated to visit the museum the next day.

Personally, I hoped that the Krewe of Bacchus had also consulted the museum for material for the float. I’m not sure they did, but one of my favourite floats from that krewe came almost at the end: Propaganda Posters. Maybe the images came from a google search, but I like to think that some member of the museum was involved.

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2 comments

  1. Bacchusrider · · Reply

    I am a member of the Krewe of Bacchus. The entire parade was done with the full help and cooperation of the WWII Museum. The actual military vehicles in the parade were from the museum.

    In June, 2011, we were told the theme at our annual business meeting which was held at the WWII Museum instead of the Hilton Riverwalk this year. We were all shown the WWII 4D Experience narrated by Tom Hanks. I highly recommend it if you want the actual feel of a B-17 formation or get snowed on in the Battle of the Bulge.

    The Stage Door Canteen in the museum puts on an excellent dinner show. My float, Float 9 – Stage Door Canteen, was named and decorated for this one. It was finely-detailed with “Jukebacchus” appearing on the large juke box prop.

    Master Float Builder Blaine Kern told our members that he wanted Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito images in the float. The museum said “no” because those countries are now our allies.

    It was a great ride and the special WWII veteran medallions, dog tags and the myriad of red, white and blue beads and doubloons were well-received by the crowd.

    1. Thank you so much for commenting! I’m thrilled!

      I remember the Stage Door Canteen float, and I loved it! I noticed it because on our way out the night before, we’d driven past it and my sister had mentioned it as a place she wished she could have taken our grandfather.

      Thanks again!

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