The Krewe of Thoth celebrated its 70th anniversary milestone not with pomp and circumstance, nor refined pageantry, but by doing what it does best: throwing a massive party. Known for its generous and diverse throws and amiable attitude on a typically gorgeous Sunday before Mardi Gras, the krewe — decked out in coordinated chef hats — kept it simple with "Thoth's Cookin'" for its 2017 procession. Floats featured food-centric themes, from the opener "French Wine and Cheese," featuring a large cartoonish French waiter and a float adorned with Parisian locales, to a float dedicated to "Pizza," featuring a huge slice guiding the float up the route.
Chef Donald Link rode as grand marshal, and the krewe's many throws included its signature black fedoras, T-shirts and medallion beads, raining from each of the 50-plus floats.
What better to go with food than wine? The Krewe of Mid-City's foil-covered floats sparkled under cloudless skies as it dedicated its 2017 parade to wine. The krewe's theme — "In Vino Veritas" — offered several wine-themed puns and unique, whimsical float designs from designer Ricardo Pustanio. There's something special about Mid-City, which rolls briefly between the krewes of Okeanos and Thoth like a metallic, technicolor mirage, an obvious outlier from the scores of painted floats throughout Carnival. On the dozen floats this year were intricate flowers drinking from large wine bottles, dolphins flanking a frog leaping from another bottle, and a squad of angry-looking "sour" Grapes of Wrath.
Nearly outshining (and outnumbering) the floats this year were powerhouse marching band performances from Louisiana Tech, Concordia College, St. Augustine High School, Sophie B. Wright High School, and Abramson Sci Academy.
Opening Sunday's parades was Okeanos, delivering a patriotic salute to American pastimes, places and people. "Okeanos Salutes American Icons" — from George Washington Carver to Dolly Parton — wasn't necessarily an original spin on the parade route, but it was a fun, relatively inclusive start to a perfect day to watch parades.