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Bacchus: Creating New Traditions

by Erin Kruml (02/06/08).

Bacchus
February 3, 2008
Mardi Gras, New Orleans

Representing the Roman god of wine and fun, the nontraditional Bacchus parade rolled in style. Founded in 1968 by 12 businessmen who wanted to bring new themes and changes to the parades, Bacchus always has a celebrity monarch to rule as Bacchus over the proceedings. For Bacchus’s 40th anniversary, Hulk Hogan was invited to rule, which he did wearing more sequence then any other rider. In the past Bacchus has chosen celebrity monarchs such as Bob Hope and Charlton Heston. Breaking free from tradition, Bacchus’s floats are intricate and often animated. The floats have highly intricately constructed sculptures and detailed sides. The riders themselves have lit up costumes. This year’s theme was a survey of the last 40 years in pop culture, fads, fashion, music, and TV. Floats included Music of the 60s, 70s Fads and Fashions, and TV of the 90s. The floats were bright and lit up using LED lights. Bacchus is known for their inventive floats including long time standards like the Bacchasaurus. This float shaped like a dinosaur is over 50 feet in length, with an animated head and tail. Another standard float is the Bacchagator, which is over 100 feet long carrying about 100 riders. To commemorate the recently past Sheriff Harry Lee, a float named the HarryLeesiana lead the parade tossing out black doubloons. Bacchus always has great beads with the Bacchus emblem. The monarch has special beads indicating they came from that specific float. Other great throws include 40th anniversary footballs, doubloons in three colors, and beads with the Bacchus emblem, often specific to a certain float. Being a beautiful night, the parade rolled down St. Charles with little to no problems. As the marching bands played and the riders waved and threw, everybody on the streets was screaming and reaching for a good time. As always, Bacchus does not disappoint. With a great theme, good throws, and detailed floats, Bacchus gets everybody in the Mardi Gras mood.

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