Sunday, February 7, 2010

Order of Isis a big mover among Mobile's Mardi Gras organizations

Sunday 7PM Parade

MOBILE, Ala. -- If Mardi Gras organizations were athletes, the Order of Isis would be the powerful rookie who's clearly on steroids.

Order of Isis a big mover among Mobile's Mardi Gras organizations

By Steve Joynt, Press-Register

January 25, 2010, 7:14AM
It's a brand new ladies' group, and its growth has been astounding.

Last year, members had their first-ever ball. This year, they're putting on their first-ever parade, which is not usual.

Already about 130 members strong, the Isis parade will consist not of the two or three floats that usually define fledgling, even adolescent, groups in Mobile. They're hitting the streets with nine floats.

"It has moved very quickly," said the group's president and emblem. "We've really kind of surprised ourselves."

Most Mardi Gras groups consider themselves to be secret organizations, and the Press-Register usually agrees to withhold the names of members.

As so often happens, the Order of Isis was formed by a group of friends who belonged to one of the well-established Carnival organizations. The splinter group wanted to strike out on its own, the president said.

"We knew from the beginning that we wanted to be a parading group," the president said. "That was our goal."

Isis will launch its life as a Mobile parading group on Sunday, Feb. 7, just behind the Neptune's Daughters parade, which is set to start at 6:30 p.m.

"We wanted our own night, of course," the president said, "but we were very pleased they were able to find us a slot in such a short period of time."

The group's theme, chosen by the president, will be "Let's Groove Tonight."

After the executive board float, floats 2 through 7 will include titles such as, "I Will Survive," "Celebration," "Hot Legs" and "Disco Inferno."

The ladies will be in go-go dresses of bright colors such as lime green or hot pink or lavender. They have white boots to wear to their ball, which this year will be at the Fort Whiting Armory.

The 40 or so Isis marshals will ride on floats 8 and 9. Horses and capes were not in the cards for the marshals this year, the president said, so the ladies decided to give their menfolk a couple of floats instead.

The floats themselves are being rented from the Order of Polka Dots.

But Isis, the president said, will eventually own its own floats and have its own barn. "That's our hope at this point," she said.

And despite the core group being veterans of Mobile's Mardi Gras organizations, more than half of Isis is made up of women who have never belonged to a Carnival group before, "never even ridden on a float," the president said. "They're the newbies, and they're very excited."

The Press-Register's Masked Observer attended the first-ever Isis ball last year at Government Plaza. In his report, the Observer wrote, "the women of Isis proved themselves very capable on the dance floor."

"The group has already gotten the hang of throwing a fine ball."

When asked what sets Isis apart from other organizations, the president said, "We are a young group, and we really focus our organization on building lasting friendships."

The ladies chose Isis as their emblem, the president said, because she was "the goddess of love and motherhood."

"A quote that we have at the end of our oath is, 'Enter as strangers, leave as friends.'"

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