How to Catch a Muses Shoe (And Other Elusive Carnival Throws)

How to Catch a Muses Shoe (And Other Elusive Carnival Throws)

Mask“A shoe, a shoe, please lady a shoe!!” As a Muses rider, this is the anthem we hear for almost six miles. It’s the sing songy backdrop to our parade from the heart of Uptown to the depths of the Warehouse District. As I enter my tenth year of riding, I still find the enormity and intensity of the crowds a little overwhelming. When you look out into the sea of revelers, there will inevitably be those who stand out. After seeking counsel from my fellow contributors, and members of the other amazing ladies’ Krewes of Cleopatra, Iris, and Nyx, I’ve pulled together our best tips on how to catch a Muses shoe (and other elusive Carnival throws).

Make Eye Contact

Every once in a while, someone will point at me and make direct eye contact, and I will spend the next block trying to send throws their way. It’s amazing how a simple point of their finger and connection with their eyes will turn them from a face in the crowd to next recipient of something special. If they are in close proximity to the float, I will ask them to come closer so I can hand down one of the thirty custom glittered shoes I have among my throws.

Dancing In The Streets

I love to see the joy of Mardi Gras spread through the crowd. When the parade comes to a stop, and we have the chance to interact with everyone, my favorite thing to see is people dancing along with the music from our marching bands. I might even encourage a dance off where the crowd can choose the winner and recipient of the shoe. The basic rule is that the more you are enjoying yourself, the higher the likelihood that a rider will connect with you. So eat, drink, and be merry, my friends!!

Wigs, and Costumes, and Tutus, Oh My!

I am a sucker for anyone who goes all out in the name of Muses. When I spot someone in a fabulous wig with matching makeup and some funky fashions, I really appreciate that they’d join in the celebration the way that they can. So go for it. Try your best Bowie impression or seek out your inner Beyonce, and I can guarantee you’ll catch our attention.

Bring a Sign

shoeThere is nothing as eye catching as a sign. But even better than a sign, is a really, REALLY funny sign. There are two that I will never forget.  The first was held up by a nice gentleman in his mid-forties and it read, “I do the dishes and give foot massages.” The second was held by an older gentleman in a terry cloth robe and said “I cuddle after…” Hysterical! A shoe is the best reward for a humorous sign!

A Cute Kid and a Tired Mom

When I see a mom huddled behind her tribe, it strikes a chord in me. I know her. She has endured several days in a row without naps and dinners composed solely of things caught off of a float. She has spent the last several hours listening to her children throw snap pops into the street and then fight about who go to throw more of them. She is tired but will keep going because the smile on her children’s faces when they catch a stuffed animal or a light up ring bring her more joy than getting sleep would. She deserves something special from one tired mom to another. Because let’s be honest, with all of the running around she does, Momma needs a new pair of Muses shoes.

Have you caught one of Carnival’s great treasures? How’d you do it?

5 Responses to How to Catch a Muses Shoe (And Other Elusive Carnival Throws)

  1. Jessie January 28, 2016 at 9:26 pm #

    I got a Zulu Coconut in the pouring rain in 2014. I’d say that wasn’t so bad for a MG first timer!
    Wish we were going to be there to dance for you this year Jennifer Have so much fun!! Can’t wait to see pictures! xo

  2. Crazy Cajun January 28, 2016 at 11:47 pm #

    One year, my sister who had a heart condition, and easily tired, finally decided to let me push her in a wheel chair from the car to the parade. She could walk but would get worn out easily. Her gorgeous red hair, combined with her beautiful smile and a Harley Davidson t-shirt must have been a sight! Dozens of stuffed animals, bouquets of plastic roses, long beads, and bags of trinkets and beads were all thrown her way. She let her pride go out the window and took that wheelchair the rest of the season. Little did we know it would be her last Mardi Gras. Her weak heart finally gave out that Christmas. But remembering her last Mardi Gras and watching her, like a little girl , amazed by all the trinkets, is a sweet memory I cherish.

    • Kate February 2, 2016 at 9:44 pm #

      Wow what a sweet, touching memory.

  3. Jodiy Timmerwilke January 29, 2016 at 8:31 am #

    I was blessed with a beautiful, glittery shoe by making a shoe hat. I’ve got one ready this year too. I love the shoes!!

  4. Stella Leto February 3, 2016 at 6:26 am #

    As a long time lover of Muses (and occasional shoe recipient) here’s my take: Many of the women who ride are not particularly friendly towards middle aged women. A group of us wear wigs, carry humorous signs, even dress up. As seasoned MG celebrators, we know to make eye contact. We have tried everything. What we see is women showing disdain for older women, and throwing their best stuff to men and young girls. Not to say every Muses rider is this way, but enough so it should be pointed out to Muses sisters: – if you’re lucky you too will be an older woman. And you will know how it feels to be invisible.

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