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It’s Mardi Gras 

Rex Duke previews Carnival parades

click to enlarge Float riders in the Krewe of Babylon parade throw beads to the crowd. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

Carnival season heads into its final week of parades, and the action promises to be truly super. The Krewe of Orpheus celebrates its 20th anniversary. The Krewe of Endymion debuts a technologically advanced nine-car float celebrating the amusements at Pontchartrain Beach. A band from Switzerland has made the long journey to march in a couple of parades, more krewes are throwing hand-decorated items, celebrity guests are everywhere and there are many more surprises as well.

My previews include information on themes, royalty, throws, special guests, parade routes and more. See below for parade route maps, and watch for my reviews after Carnival concludes. Enjoy!

 

Monday • Tuesday

Maps

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 6

DRUIDS
6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 20
Archdruid: secret
Throws: plush balls, light-up polystone medallion beads, doubloons and cups
The U.S. Marine Corps band will lead the traditional and secretive Mystic Krewe of Druids. Look for the signature Druid Calliope float.

NYX
7 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 26
Queen: Lauren Thom
Throws: hand-decorated purses, light-up martini glasses, plush purses, light-up martini lanyards, light-up headboppers, doubloons

The all-female Krewe of Nyx keeps its theme secret until parade time, but martini-related throws seem to be toasting its second parade. There's also a contest for the high school marching bands in the procession.

 

 

WednesdayThursday • Friday

 Saturday • Sunday • Monday • Tuesday

Maps

THURSDAY, FEB. 7

click to enlarge A cascade of oyster
shell beads provides a golden cape for a
gold-masked reveler. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

BABYLON
5:45 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 21
King: secret
Queen: announced day of parade
Floats: light-up Babylon sticks, bracelets, jester hats, LED streetcars, LED Babylon crests, doubloons, theme cups
Babylon announces its theme and queen the day of the parade, and the krewe welcomes the Guggenmusick Kamikaze band from Switzerland to the procession.

CHAOS
6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 15
Number One: secret
Floats: decks of cards depicting floats, individual float cups, light- up beads, knight and crest blinkies, plush shields and swords, light up swords
The Knights of Chaos follow the Carnival tradition of not announc- ing the theme until parade time, but its 15 wagon wheel floats typically illustrate a satirical take on timely subjects.

MUSES
6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 26
Floats: silver-metallic shoe bracelets, strobe theme beads, rhinestone bracelets, "reMusable" grocery bags, flasks, flashlights, light-up ray guns
New Orleanian Ruby Bridges, who was the first black child to go to an all-white elementary school in the South, rides as honorary Muse. The parade includes the debut of a new Sirens float, as well as the signature bathtub and shoe floats. The krewe's wide array of throws includes many fashion-themed and practical items.

 

 

WednesdayThursday • Friday

 Saturday • Sunday • Monday • Tuesday

Maps

FRIDAY, FEB. 8


HERMES
5 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 29
King: secret
Queen: announced at krewe ball (Feb. 7)
Throws: krewe emblem cups, doubloons and plush items, silver goblets, footballs, light-up Hermes necklaces, light-up winged headbands, light-up theme medallions
Hermes doesn't announce its theme until parade time, but it often uses themes featuring the ancient world and combining literature, mythology and the arts. Some sample floats to look for include Vivaldi's Primavera and Mozart's Magic Flute.

D'ETAT
6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 26
Dictator: secret
Throws: blinking plush D'Etat scepters, blinking logo bracelets and key rings, Candy Wagon cups, doubloons, krewe cups
The satirical Krewe D'Etat introduces the Candy Wagon float this year. The theme for the parade and the Dictator's Dancin' Dawlins routine are revealed at parade time.

MORPHEUS
7 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Friday Night at the Movies
Floats: 21
King: Emilio S. Gonzalez Jr.
Queen: Alicia Marie Aucoin
Throws: plush moons, plush bears, decorated night masks, LED masks and necklaces, theme cups, doubloons
Morpheus stays up late with some movies. Floats depict recent films and classics including Miracle on 34th Street, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Devil Wears Prada. The procession includes the Guggenmusik Kamikaze band from Switzerland.

CENTURIONS
7 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Happy Holidays
Floats: 20
King: James S. Spangler III
Queen: Lisa Michelle Barbiero
Throws: "Comicus" stress dolls, swords, krewe emblem footballs, cups and beads
Centurions enjoys the holidays with floats dedicated to Halloween, Valentine's Day, Christmas, President's Day and the Fourth of July. Guest riders from the Magnolia School ride the Magnolia Float.

 

 

WednesdayThursday • Friday

 Saturday • Sunday • Monday • Tuesday

Maps

SATURDAY, FEB. 9


N.O.M.T.O.C.
10:45 a.m.
Location: West Bank
Theme: Of Imagination and Dreams
Floats: 19
King: Vincent T. Lombard Jr.
Queen: Lo'Gon F. Lombard
Throws: canteens, bracelets, light-up medallion beads
The members of New Orleans Most Talked Of Club (N.O.M.T.O.C.) are led by the Walking Jugs and a brass band. The theme includes everything from mythological creatures like the centaur to the god Apollo. Since last year's parade was postponed and moved due to rain, last year's king and queen ride again in 2013.

IRIS
11 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Louisiana Festivals Reign Supreme
Floats: 33
King: Robert "Bob" Kutcher
Queen: Renee Kutcher
Throws: plush Iris flowers, hand-decorated sunglasses, Iris license plate medallion beads, reusable/collapsible water bottles, reusable grocery bags, large cups, doubloons
Fiddler Amanda Shaw serves as grand marshal for a parade celebrating Louisiana festivals. Floats are decorated to represent the Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival, Zydeco Festival, French Quarter Festival, New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, Voodoo Experience and Essence Festival.

TUCKS
noon
Location: Uptown
Theme: Tucks Uncovers History
Floats: 32
King: Kabir Kalsi
Queen: Carlene Oehler
Throws: Tucks toilets, plungers, toilet paper and sunglasses, hand-decorated toilet brush scepters, doubloons, wooden nickels, theme medallion beads
The irreverent Krewe of Tucks exposes what promises to be revisionist history. Float titles include "The British are Coming," "Spanish Fly," "Storyville" and "New Orleans Gets Balls." Lee Zurik serves as grand marshal. The krewe distributes 7,000 toilet brush scepters hand decorated by members and students from Magnolia Special School and Holy Rosary Academy.

ENDYMION
4:15 p.m.
Location: Mid-City
Theme: Ancient Mysteries
Floats: 42
King: Daniel Dwight Curole
Queen: Victoria Michelle Hanzo
Throws: plush Pontchartrain Beach clown dolls, spinning guns, light-up medallions, Kelly Clarkson cups, footballs, throwing discs, doubloons
Endymion introduces a new signature float this year. The Pontchartrain Beach, Then and Now float includes nine cars, carries 230 riders and has high-tech LED lighting programmed to run like amusement park lights. Theme floats will feature King Arthur, Dracula, Noah's Ark and Atlantis. Kelly Clarkson rides as a special guest.

ISIS
6:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Girls Just Want to Have Fun
Floats: 19
King: Scott McCarley
Queen: Susan Kinsley Kolb
Throws: Hand-decorated flip-flops, light-up crown boppers, light-up batons, king's and queen's beads and cups
The women of the Krewe of Isis like to have a good time. Their theme floats depict exotic destinations, including Maxim's in Paris, a trip to China to celebrate the Chinese New Year, as well as local fun spots, such as the casino, zoo, aquarium and parks. The Ponchatoula High School band leads the parade for the 40th time.

 

 

WednesdayThursday • Friday

 Saturday • Sunday • Monday • Tuesday

Maps

SUNDAY, FEB. 10

OKEANOS
11 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Okeanos Getaways
Floats: 21
King: Roberto Esteban Cuca
Queen: Marissa Marie Fabacher
Throws: crawfish trays, plush logo horses, refrigerator magnets, cups, doubloons in seven colors
Okeanos members have vacation spots on their minds. Floats depict the Casino de Monte Carlo as well as popular spots in Italy, Mexico and Canada. Vince Vance and the Valiants ride as special guests.

MID-CITY
11:45 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: It's About Time
Floats: 17
King: James A. Brenner
Queen: Cheryl H. Koch
Throws: potato chips, plush clocks, slap band watches, long beads, logo beads, krewe T-shirts, cups, doubloons
The Krewe of Mid-City is right on time with its theme. Floats illustrate common phrases involving time, including "Time is Money," "It's Game Time" and "Toasting Father Time."

click to enlarge Young revelers shout for throws. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

THOTH
noon
Location: Uptown
Theme: Thoth Salutes the Kings
Floats: 46
King: Frank Guastella
Queen: Amanda Held
Throws: king hand puppets, medallion beads, footballs, "The King" sunglasses, doubloons and krewe cups
The Thoth parade is a completely royal affair. Floats celebrate famous kings, including King Kong, Ole King Cole, King Arthur and Stephen King. There's also a new tandem float carrying the King of Pop and the King of Jazz. The procession also features Egyptian stilt walkers.

BACCHUS
5:15 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Bacchus Sails the Seven Seas
Floats: 39
King: G.W. Bailey
Throws: glowing chalice lanyards, krewe logo cups, doubloons and bouncing balls, flashing Hawaiian leis with pirate medallion, swords, hand-painted medallions
The Bacchus parade sets sail for exotic destinations. Floats are decorated like exotic ports of call including the Galapagos Islands, Tahiti, Bali, New Zealand and the Maldives.

NAPOLEON
5:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler
Floats: 21
King: Alvin "Bart" Ricouard
Empress: Nicole LaFrance
Throws: cups, doubloons
The Corps of Napoleon celebrates festivals from around the world. Floats depict Chinese New Year, Oktoberfest and Mardi Gras. Bag of Donuts rides as special guests.

 

 

WednesdayThursday • Friday

 Saturday • Sunday • Monday • Tuesday

Maps

MONDAY, FEB. 11


PROTEUS
5:15 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: The Unseen New Orleans Carnival
Floats: 20
King: secret
Queen: announced day of parade
Throws: plush tridents, king cars and seahorses, LED tridents, LED medallion beads, LED blinking bracelets, doubloons, krewe cups
The old-line Krewe of Proteus celebrates the Carnival clubs that hold formal balls but don't parade. Floats honor The Atlanteans, Knights of Momus and Mystick Krewe of Comus.

click to enlarge The Krewe of Orpheus celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

ORPHEUS
6 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Twenty Years of Rhythm, Rhyme and Revelry
Floats: 36
Throws: doubloons featuring the likeness of "Uncle" Lionel Batiste, light-up Smokey Mary medallion bead that plays Harry Connick Jr.'s new tribute song
Orpheus celebrates its 20th anniversary with a host of celebrity guests including Gary Sinise, Mariska Hargitay, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews, America's Got Talent host Nick Cannon, The Imagination Movers and Tillman the Skateboarding Bulldog. For the occasion, krewe cofounder Harry Connick Jr. released a song celebrating the signature Smokey Mary float.

HERA
6:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Preview information not available.

ZEUS
7 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Zeus Celebrates a Night at the Movies
Floats: 10
King: Henry Nuss
Throws: krewe cups, numbered passports with a drawing at the end of the parade to win a Harley-Davidson motorcycle
WWL AM 870 Sports Talk hosts Bobby Hebert and Deke Bellavia serve as grand marshals for a parade celebrating movies. Floats depict Batman, Pirates of the Caribbean and other popular films.

 

 

WednesdayThursday • Friday

 Saturday • Sunday • Monday • Tuesday

Maps

TUESDAY, FEB. 12

click to enlarge Zulu brings pageantry to Fat Tuesday morning. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER


ZULU
8 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Zulu: One World, One Love
Floats: 50
King: Cedric Givens
Queen: Monica V. Givens
Throws: Zulu coconuts, krewe emblem medallions
Members of Zulu award one of the most prized throws of the Carnival season — hand-decorated coco-nuts. The parade is lead by the royalty, the Soulful Warriors and characters including the Big Shot and Witch Doctor.

click to enlarge A rider prepares to hand out Zulu coconuts. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

REX
10 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: All Creatures Great and Small
Floats: 28
Rex: announced Feb. 9
Queen: announced Feb. 9
Throws: folding discs, individual float medallion beads, krewe beads, cups and doubloons
The procession includes animals both great and small and real and mythical. There's everything from bees, frogs and snakes to polar bears and lions as well as a unicorn, Sphinx and Cyclops.

click to enlarge The Rex Proclamation. The identity of Rex, 
traditonally announced on Fat Tuesday, will be named early this year. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • The Rex Proclamation. The identity of Rex, traditonally announced on Fat Tuesday, will be named early this year.

GRELA
10 a.m.
Location: Gretna
Theme: Grela's Gretna Centennial
Floats: 20
King: Jeff Badeaux
Queen: Callie Tillis
Throws: centennial bobble-heads, plush versions of the Jefferson Memorial in Gretna, doubloons
The Krewe of Grela celebrates Gretna's centennial. Floats depict Gretna landmarks and businesses including the Bingo Palace, Tower Theater, Maison Blanche, Lawson's Liquors and others. Sal DiVincenti of Sal's Meat Market serves as grand marshal.

ARGUS
10 a.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Argus Memories
Floats: 26
King: Raymond J. Brandt
Queen: Lydia Louise Netterville
Throws: medallion beads, plush animals, theme cups, doubloons
Argus gets nostalgic with a parade featuring floats titled "Love is in the Air" and "Greatest Show on Earth." Special guests in the parade include cast members from the Oscar-nominated film Beasts of the Southern Wild as well as Minions from the forthcoming film Despicable Me 2.

WednesdayThursday • Friday

 Saturday • Sunday • Monday • Tuesday

Maps

Click the thumbnails below for printable route maps!



Click the thumbnails above for printable route maps!

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