Kathy Gamble and Bonnie Hayes were best pals way back in grammar school. A lifetime later, the two, still like sisters, have joined the Krewe of Nyx, one of the newest all-female Mardi Gras gangs. With moxie and mystery, the hot pink and black band of beauties (Don't you dare use that other B word!) will navigate the exclusive St. Charles route on February 6. The ladies of the evening (because they only come out at night!) celebrate the joy of sisterhood and all things feminine. However, the men were allowed at the January 12 ball, where Mojeaux, official band of the New Orleans Saints, kept the Riverside Hilton rockin' until the break of dawn. Kathy's husband, David Melancon, and Bonnie's fifth grade sweetheart, hubby Mark Haase, donned masks and tails to escort the gorgeous girls.
"It really does take a village," Bonnie reminded in a recent telephone interview from her current home in Olathe, Kansas. "Joining this krewe has brought friends and families together. I am making some rocking chair memories, too!" Her mother, Emelda (Toby) Broyard Hayes, grew up in New Orleans and the family had restaurants in the crescent city. Bonnie recalled how her grandmother was in the Krewe of Amor, and used to sew the most intricate gowns for carnival season. Toby, a resident of Dry Prong, Louisiana will be attending the parade, and alluded to the generational connection that the women have. "My mother threw beads to us from the floats, and now my daughter will be throwing the beads to me."
Nyx, the Greek goddess of the night, has favored almost a thousand women, with this, their second parade. Twenty-six floats will hug the streets, turning on Canal, while hand decorated purses are thrown to revelers, along with pink and black dabloons and some of the biggest and finest beads that fat city has to offer its native children. The identity of a female celebrity (Oh captain, my captain!) and secret theme are being closely guarded until ready-to-roll time. Krewe members point out that they have nothing against men. Some of their fathers were men. But this is certainly not your daddy's Mardi Gras parade. It's your mama's.