Entry requirements vary from one parade organization to another. Some parades allow people to join based of off monetary requirements, while other parades only allow a person to join if he or she is specifically invited by another member. Krewes like Rex require that another member must invite a prospective member. No independent applications are allowed. Endymion asks that its potential members receive an application from a current member, then receive an application and pay a $300 fee to the Membership Committee for consideration.
Parade Krewes dues roughly come out to be around $1000-$3000 per year, which includes the ride, insurance, costumes, and a ticket to the ball. Not included in those dues are throws for the parade. You can spend roughly $750 to $900 on throws alone. Krewe members receive order forms for special order throws, but all other throws are obtained elsewhere. Throws get loaded onto floats the day of the parade.
The day of the parade, The Krewe of Thoth parade begins at the intersection of State Street and Tchoupitoulas Street in New Orleans. Members are dressed in their costumes, getting last minute alterations done to costumes and masks. Masks must be worn at all times during the parade itself.
The captain will address the men, and other officers and also give instructions on what buses to board to start the route. In addition to these instructions, float lieutenants will also give additional direction, some involving safety, like (wearing your safety harness).
Once riders are driven to the start of the route and board the floats, riders make sure they have convenient access to their throws. Spots on the float are already pre-assigned. On the float itself, the riders have beverages (including alcohol) and there is a toilet available for use. However, the toilet can’t be flushed until the parade is over, so it’s vital that riders handle business beforehand.
Once the parade starts, the crowd goes wild-literally. In fact, the crowd noise is so loud, that most of the time; riders can’t hear what people are saying in the crowd. (If you’re constantly asking for specific items at parades, you should take this into account.)
One thing shared between parades is the excitement felt when you see how excited people are to see you, and picking people out of a crowd and toss them something. If a rider knows where friends or family will be standing before the parade begins, he can tip the driver before the parade to have him slow down or stop at that particular spot.
What makes Thoth unique is that it doesn’t follow the typical parade route. Unlike most parades, Thoth starts at Tchoupitoulas and State, travels up Henry Clay then to Magazine to the normal start of the Uptown parade route. The route passes in front of 14 institutions that care for people with disabilities and illnesses. The deviation in the parade route allows the parade to pass by the children’s hospital, as well as nursing homes.
One of the most unpleasant parts of riding can be attributed to over-aggressive parade goers who try to jump up and take throws from the edge of floats. Some riders find themselves under attack by revelers who find it amusing to throw things back at the float.
Seeing that parades can be very lengthy, it’s important that riders pace themselves with throws. You never want to be the person who runs out of throws too early at the parade right? On Thoth’s route members will throw cups, which don’t travel well earlier on in the parade. When the parade reaches Canal Street, parade goers are kept further away from the floats due to barricades. Religious protestors also appear every year, urging revelers and members to repent from the sinful practice of Mardi Gras. Riders will often use their signs as target practice.
By the end of the parade, everyone is exhausted. Some riders who may have had a bit too much to drink need assistance off of the float. Riders arms and shoulders are sore. Many remain stuck in the parade atmosphere because Baccus follows the Uptown parade route.
The Krewe of Thoth was founded in 1947. It was named after the Egyptian Patron of Wisdom and Inventor of Science, Art and Letters. Now in 2017, Thoth has over 1600 riders and 50 floats.
The 2017 Krewe of Thoth will take the streets on Sunday, February 26, 2017 at Noon. The parade route is as follows: