How a fabulous purse became a beautiful float in Mardi Gras, New Orleans' greatest free show on earth
By: Krewe of Nyx
So the krewe decided to turn that special treasure, the purse, into a Mardi Gras float. How exactly does that happen? It all starts with a concept and taking an idea and putting it on paper from an artist who understands the vision of the captain to make the visual connection between the idea and putting it on paper.
For the Krewe of Nyx, the concept of the purse float was created early in 2012, just one year after the krewe was formed. The vision was for a huge purse to carry riders down St. Charles Avenue during the parade. Wanting the purse float to be visually appealing, sturdy, and safe were of the utmost concern.
After months of tweaking the concept, the artist came up with a beautiful rendering of what the float would look like and a sketch was made.
Once everyone was in agreement to the plan and the concept, the next difficult part of the process was taking the design to the float builder to make sure that the purse could actually be turned into a float. Mardi Gras in New Orleans has some of the most beautiful floats in the world. And while they are visually appealing, they have to be structurally sound and safe.
How many riders the float will hold, and much how much weight the chassis can support to accommodate that number of riders is really where it all begins in terms of the bones of the structure. The size of the float as far as dimensions are concerned is also a big decision. The next decisions to be made are will the float be a single or double decker, where the bathroom will be located, and how riders will get on and off. Once these major decisions are made, the builder must decide which materials to use to make the float.
Design ideas are thrown around for several months about lighting, painting, colors to use and how to make the purse one of the prettiest floats in Mardi Gras.
It was decided for this particular Mardi Gras float, the size would be 14ft high, 10 ft wide, and 30 feet long. How the riders would appear coming out the top of the purse was another challenge that the engineers had to overcome.
For the Krewe of Nyx, the brand new purse float made its debut on the streets of New Orleans in the 2016 parade for the krewe's 5th anniversary. 16 lucky ladies rode down St. Charles Avenue in a huge pink purse that became the first signature Mardi Gras float for Nyx. It is a spectacular sight to see each year, and the end result was surely worth the wait.
Krewe of Nyx
Page Updated Last on: Apr 07, 2018