Tuesday, Feb 17th (MARDI GRAS DAY!!!)
It’s finally here! Strap on your favorite wig, glitter makeup (and that goes for guys and gals alike), and get ready for the daddy of all Carnival days, Fat Tuesday! This is the big one, so don’t forget to pace yourself, because it’s going to be a long, amazing, totally insane day. And it all begins with...
Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club
Nice coconuts! Perhaps one of the most coveted throws in all of Carnival is the famous, hand-painted Zulu coconut, which isn’t actually thrown, but rather handed to lucky parade-goers, because really, do you know how much it hurts to be hit in the head with a coconut? This is also the only time in America in which blackface is deemed acceptable, for some reason (there’s some history behind that).
The Krewe of Grela
If you find yourself out on the West Bank, you’ll be treated to Grela, the oldest parade on that side of the river, having been founded in 1948. This year, the krewe celebrates “Friday Night Frights,” just in case you haven’t loaded up on spooky-themed parades at this point.
Krewe of Argus
This krewe was the first to bring Fat Tuesday to “Metry” 43 years ago and will showcase 600 men, women, and children riding on 20 floats. Want a superhero cup? Or a stack of ‘em? Stock up here.
Krewe of Jefferson
Metairie, follows Krewe of Argus
Following on the heels of Argus is yet another huge truck parade, this one weighing in at 75 floats with 3,200 riders.
Elks Krewe of Jeffersonians
Metairie, follows Krewe of Jefferson
Just like the Elks in Orleans, the Metairie version of this parade is a gigantic procession of truck floats, numbering 68 with 2,700 riders.
This is the big one, the parade to rule all parades: Rex, the King of Carnival. This year marks 134 years of Rex, and as usual, they’ll be hosting amazing marching bands, amazing floats (built with traditional materials, including wooden wagons and wheels), and medallion beads tailored specifically for each of its 27 floats, as well as riding crops handed out by the krewe’s riding lieutenants. Get there early, if you didn’t already for Zulu.
Elks Krewe of Orleanians
Uptown, follows Krewe of Rex
Ah, the good ole “truck parade.” Elks is a giant procession of decorated flatbed truck floats, numbering 120 with around 3,800 riders, the oldest parade of its kind. This is a good one for weird toys and trinkets, and it seems to just go on forever.
Uptown, follows Elks Krewe of Orleanians
Another truck parade, Crescent City was founded in 1947 and sports 61 truck floats with 2,500 riders. At this point, you start wondering if there’s anyone in town who isn’t, in fact, part of some kind of Mardi Gras krewe.
KOE: Krewe of Elvis
French Quarter, 10:30am
All hail the King! This is a weird one (not that most Mardi Gras krewes aren’t a little weird), consisting of Mardi Gras-loving Internet junkies who banded together to form their own group, the first ever “cyber-based marching krewe.” But even though they’re Interweb weirdos, they do, actually, have cool medallion throws.
Wednesday, Feb 18th
It’s Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras is over. Sleep it off, have some cafe au lait, get yourself together and start planning for next year. And while Carnival may be over, the party doesn’t stop in New Orleans... it’s festival season now, son!
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