About the Krewe
The Krewe of Perseus was chartered by the State of Louisiana on April 27, 1970, thus making it one of the oldest Carnival organization in Slidell. We are incorporated as “Beau Geste, Inc.” or in English, Graceful Gesture. The purpose of the Krewe was (and is) to bring a true Mardi Gras ball and parade to the City of Slidell. We are strictly a social organization and operate with funds which are generated solely by our members through dues and other assessments if necessary. The minimum age of a member is 21 years old.
Leadership of the Krewe
The Krewe activities are organized and carried out by the Board of Governors. The Board of Governors is made up of not less than ten members of the Krewe. The members of the Board are appointed by the Board itself. There is no time limit on the amount of time a member serves on the Board. The Captain is the head of the Board of Governors; and, thus the leader of the organization. The Captain is appointed for five year increments. The Officers are selected from the remaining Board Members by the members themselves. They consist of President, Vice-President, Recording and Corresponding Secretaries and Treasurer. The remaining members of the Board are committee Chairman of Committees deemed necessary by the Board.
Each Krewe group is headed by a Lieutenant appointed by the Captain. Each Float Lieutenant is responsible for his or her Krewe.
The Float Lieutenant should make sure all group members are informed of all Krewe functions. They should place riders in position on their float (preferably before the day of the parade) and be generally in charge of that Krewe. Each Krewe group should have a minimum of twelve members. The maximum of each group will be controlled by the Captain.
Our by-laws simply require us to have two general membership meetings a year; however, the present Board of Governors feel that our members should have the opportunity to meet with each other through the year at different types of social functions. Besides our Bal Masque and parade, they have initiated numerous other major functions and several smaller outings which, as members, you are invited and indeed encouraged to attend.
So, your membership dues include your entrance to the Ball, your costume, the parade (float ride), and all other functions sponsored by the Krewe.
Our sole financial support comes from the dues and other assessments deemed necessary to the membership.
Our annual dues are #300.00 per person, and one-half of these fees must be paid by June 1st. In addition to dues, [can’t read [TODO]].
Your final dues date is November 1st of each year. It is necessary that we have all monies in by that date because our creditors demand their payments at that time of the year.
PLEASE NOTE: There will be a $25 charge PER MEMBER for EACH PERIOD in the arrears.
As of 2004, the Board of Governors has instituted a non-0riding membership status. This entitles the non-riding member a ticket to the Ball and all other functions sponsored by the Krewe. The annual dues are $100.00—$50.00 payable by June 1st and the balance due November 1st.
As of 1989, female members of the Krewe have been selected by the Captain to be maids for each year’s Ball and parade at no additional cost to them.
The fee for King or Queen is $3,000.00 which includes the dues for the year. If at all possible, the Captain will discuss the theme for that year and their costumes with the King and Queen. It is tradition that following the year’s festivities, their majesties host a reception for the Krewe. The party as well as any personal gifts they wish to bestow are at their expense.
The Princesses and Consorts
The princesses and consorts are relatives and friends of our members. They are presented at the Bal Masque and ride on their own chaperoned float. The young ladies fee of $250.00 includes their gown and the gentlemen’s $250.00 fee includes the rental of the tuxedos. They will meet a few times before the Ball, for practice, and, after their final practice on the morning of the Ball, have a Club sponsored luncheon. They are not members of the Krewe, but wonderful future members. The ages are left to the discretion of their parents, but they are usually in high school and early college years.
Why… The Krewe of Perseus?
Two of our original founders, Mrs. Violet Moore and Mr. Phillip Haddad (sister and brother), asked their cousin, Mr. Carl Smith, Captain of the Krewe of Pegasus, to help with the organization of our Club. With this in mind, we will briefly tell you the Greek myth of Perseus.
PERSEUS (PUR-sus or PUR-see-us) was the son of Zeus and Danae in Greek mythology. He was tricked by Polydectes into going on a search for the head of the Gorgon Medusa.
Hermes came to the aid of Perseus. He led him to the Graeae, who were three old women living in darkness. They had only one eye to share among themselves. Perseus stole it as they were passing it back and forth. He would not return the eye until the Graeae told him how to find the things that would protect him on this journey.
Perseus got the three things. They were Pluto’s helmet which made the wearer invisible, a pair of winged sandals so that he could fly through the air, and a magic case in which to carry Medusa’s head. Hermes also gave him a curved sword, and Athena lent him her shield.
Perseus flew to the land of the Gorgons and found them asleep. They did not dare look directly at Medusa’s face or he would have burned to stone. He used the shield for a mirror and safely cut off Medusa’s head. Then he put it in the magic case and flew away.
The winged horse Pegasus was born from the blood of Medusa as it dripped to earth. Perseus flew over Africa, and a race of poisonous snakes sprang up from the blood that fell on the sands. He showed the head to Atlas and changed the giant into a range of mountains, He also rescued Andromeda who had been chained to a rock to be devoured by a monster. Perseus later married Andromeda.
He returned to his home and turned all of his enemies to stone, including Polydectes. Then he gave the helmet, the sandals, and the magic case back to their owners. Athena put the head of Medusa in the middle of her shield Aegis, and used it against her enemies.
Later Perseus ruled wisely and well in Mycenae. He and Andromeda were placed in the sky as constellations after their death, as was Cassiopeia, the mother of Andromeda.
The Bal Masque
Since 1990, our Board of Governors and other interested Krewe members have been doing some of the work on our costumes and ball decorations. You are invited to help if you are so inclined.
On the night of the Ball, which is always the 4th Saturday before Mardi Gras, you are asked to arrive in costume by 6:00 p.m. Immediately organize your belongings at the table you have been assigned AND RETIRE TO THE HALLWAY OF THE AUDITORIUM CLOSET TO THE PARKING LOT. The doors open at 7:15 p.m. for our guests. It is important that the guests do not see our costumes before the Ball. Please help us maintain the mystique!!
Group pictures are taken between 6:30 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. As soon as all members of each group have arrived, please make your way to the state for photographs. The Captain requests that all members please dress in costume for the Ball.
The Tableau lasts approximately one and a half to two hours with dancing until 1:30 a.m. immediately following.
It is tradition that the Krewe of Perseus has two Call-Out Dances to being the dancing at the Ball. Call-out dances are given to your special guests and, usually, a token gift is presented—maybe a special Perseus favor being offered that year or any gift of your selection.
Rehearsal is held at the auditorium the Friday before the Ball, and, if you wish, you may help us clean up on Sunday morning after.
The Krewe of Perseus always parades on the 3rd Sunday before Mardi Gras.
Since 2017, our floats have been supplied by PFJ Float Builder [unable to read [TODO]] and makes arrangements for floats which depict the theme of our Ball and parade. On the morning of the parade, professional drivers transport the floats to the start of the parade by 11:00 a.m. Members are asked to arrive between 11:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. for boarding. Other parade participants arrive after 11:30 a.m. Please wear your entire costume. MASKS are always a part of the costume. Please use them. In 2001, we instituted a new mask decorating scheme. Each Krewe group was given the supplies to decorate their own masks. Some groups have a mask decorating party and the results were fantastic.
Our parade route at present begins at Fritiche Park and travels down [Ponchartrain? Gause? Clarify this section. Many edits [TODO]].
Parade throws are up to the discretion of the member. Please make sure you allow enough throws for the 5 mile route. The Krewe of Perseus prints cups with our theme and other specialty throws each year.
Mardi Gras Definitions and Trivia
Mari Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. The last day of merriment before 40 days of fasting and penance.
Carnival Season officially begins January 6th (12th night after Christmas) and continues until Mardi Gras.
The date of Mardi Gras is set by the use of the Gregorian Calendar of Paschal Full Moon (east Moon) and can occur anywhere between February 3rd and March 9th.
Throws. The Pagans who survived winter showed their appreciation to the Gods by throwing flour into the fields.
“If Ever I Cease To Love” the official Mardi Gras song was USED IN 1872 WHEN THE Grand Duke of the Russian Empire, Alexis Romanoff Alexandronitch was in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. The song was taken from a musical comedy entitled “Bluebeard” in which the lead was sung by Miss Lydia Thompson, with whom the Duke had taken a fancy.
Mardi Gras Colors
In 1872, Rex was founded and organized their first parade in honor of the same Duke. A local actor playing the role of Henry, III at the Variety Theater had a costume which Rex wore that day. It had a purple cloak, green rhinestones, and a gold crown and scepter.
In 1892, the Rex Parade theme was Symbolism of Colors, with purple representing justice, green for faith, and gold for power.
Krewe simply means club or organization.
The King Cake is a carryover from pagan tradition and has been part of local Carnival celebrations from the beginning. There are many myths and legends about the king cake.
Official End is midnight of Mardi Gras.
First Mardi Gras parade in North America was held by the Krewe of Comus on February 24, 1857 with 2 floats, costumed riders, and flambeaux. Mobile, Alabama did a walking group prior to Comus.
Louisiana’s first Mardi Gras celebration was held by Iberville on March 3, 1699, when he discovered the mouth of the Mississippi. He camped out that same evening and since it was Mardi Gras, they had a celebration.
Doubloons. The first was minted in 1884 when Rex attended the World’s Fair in New Orleans. They were not used again in any quantity until the 1960 Rex parade.