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Royal Streets 

Mardi Gras parade routes and revelry

Greetings, the beaded and bedazzled! This year, the Carnival season falls suddenly upon us, like a hail of trinkets sifted through nighttime oaks. No sooner did the twinkling lights of other seasons fade than did the first sugared ring of cake appear on yon office table. Hark! The sousaphones doth sound! The parades approach! As you rummage through attic and loft for folding seat and painted ladder, I, Rex Duke™, the world's foremost authority on all things Carnival, am gathering my royal scribes together for our annual outing into your fair city, where we shall once again cast our discerning eye upon the perennial processions. But first, I offer the following guide to help you locate the fair krewes and their appointed routes. Discarded evergreens may still linger, but it's later than you think!


Oshun 6 p.m.

Location: Uptown
Theme: "A New Frontier Under the Sea"

Floats: 14
King: Oliver Thomas
Queen: Molly McKinney
Throws: Plain medallion beads, lighted medallion beads, cups, stuffed animals

The 200 riders in Oshun will take to the streets for the ninth year running, with its fantastic aquatic theme reflected in such floats as "Orca," "Seahorse," "Clownfish" and "Seashells." Councilman-at-large Oliver Thomas will be a familiar face as king, and grand marshals are 102.9 FM on-air personalities Kelder Summers and LBJ. Several posses and school marching bands and dance teams will round out the procession.

Cleopatra 6:30 p.m.

Location: West Bank
Theme: "Girls Just Want To Have Fun"
Floats: 23
King: None
Queen: Colleen Dill Johnson
Throws: Cleopatra flying discs and bracelets, pens, fans, drink cozies, logo cups, beads with purses and shoes, light-up necklaces, baseballs, shirts, caps, toys

A natural theme for an all-female krewe, "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" will feature mostly double-tandem floats with such titles as "Las Vegas," "Carnival in Rio," "Day at the Races," "Mardi Gras," "Slumber Party," "Gone With the Wind," and "Shopping on Rodeo Drive." The Navy and Marine bands join more than a dozen marching bands, mostly from out of town, plus dance groups, horse posses and motorcycle groups. There is no king, for as Captain Dolores Kepner says, "Cleopatra rules alone."

Atlas 6:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: "Imaginary Creatures"
Floats: 17
King: Mark Hughes
Queen: Megan Brassette
Throws: Alloy medallion beads, plastic medallion beads, krewe emblem cups, Atlas bobble-head dolls, keychains, lighted wine goblets

At the front of this year's salute to fantastic fictional characters will be a float filled with real-life U.S. Marines recently returned from Iraq. The floats that follow pay tribute to such creatures as "Mermaids," "Trolls," "Santa's Elves" and "Witches." Jefferson Parish's second-oldest krewe has grown to 250 members, and this year's procession is its largest in 36 years.

Pygmalion 7 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: "Break a Leg"
Floats: 15
King: Stephen Scalise
Queen: Courtney Kneip
Throws: Polystone medallion beads, cups, 3-D molded medallion beads, aluminum doubloons

Now in its sixth year, the 250-member Krewe of Pygmalion is spending this Carnival season paying tribute to those grand productions on the Great White Way, with floats honoring such popular Broadway musicals as Beauty and the Beast, Annie, Grease, and Phantom of the Opera. The king, queen and maids will sport large, elaborate pieces on their collars, and welcome this year's celebrity guest, Playboy Playmate of the Month for last February, Amber Campisi. Amber will help entertain the crowds along with horse groups and 10 marching bands.


Aladdin Noon

Location: West Bank
Theme: "We're So Wild About Harry"
Floats: 22
King: Tim Michael Perrin
Queen: Lisa Foret Perrin
Throws: Aladdin logo flying discs, stuffed "Abu" monkeys, aluminum and blue doubloons, cups, Aladdin "Beary" beads, pearls, toys

For the first time in three years, Aladdin is bringing back doubloons to its throws list. The parade will feature a new Aladdin Trolley leading the parade; Bag of Donuts will perform on a celebrity band float; and out-of-town marching bands will join dance teams, five horse groups and Marine and Navy bands. Although the krewe invited Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee to be its grand marshal, at press time the invitation had not been accepted. Floats, two of which are double tandem, include "Harry Walks the Plank," "Harry Sings the Blues," "Harry Loses his Rubles," and the last float -- "Sayonara, Harry."

Pontchartrain Noon
Location: Uptown
Theme: "What's Playing at the Show Tonight?"
Floats: 15
King: Master Chief Charles William Simpson III
Queen: Marki Rockelle Romano
Throws: 22-oz. anniversary cups, plush grouper, flying discs, special anniversary beads to be revealed

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Krewe of Pontchartrain is marking the date by offering parade viewers a trivia game. Each float will depict a famous movie, with title cards that reveal only the film's stars. Examples: "Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Š" and "Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in Š". Also look for the celebrated Super Grouper float and a number of horseback groups.

Shangri-La 1 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: "Cheers to Shangri-La"
Floats: 21
King: Thomas "Silky" Sullivan
Queen: Heather Paige Kahn
Throws: Oriental-themed throws, vintage doubloons from past parades, Rosie the stuffed dragon, medallion beads, pewter Shangri-La drink cozies, cups

With local bar owner "Silky" Sullivan as king, what could be more fitting than a parade featuring one festive toast after another? Floats entitled "Champagne," "Sangria," "Margaritas," "New Orleans Hurricane" and "Tropical Drinks" carry the theme. Shangri-La's community work takes a prominent place in this year's parade as the krewe honors "Caregivers of the Year" from Woldenberg Village's Alzheimer's community, presents a "Salute to America's Wetlands," and sponsors a public-school band contest with a $4,000 grand prize.

Caesar 6 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: "Name That Tune"
Floats: 32
King: Guy Bourgeois
Queen: Sharon Mora
Throws: Cups, doubloons, Caesar soccer balls and chariots, American flag footballs

Featuring celebrity grand marshals The Imagination Movers (who will be performing their hits along the route), Caesar is rolling out a tuneful parade indeed. Each float represents a performer and a hit song, such as Elton John's "Crocodile Rock," Elvis' "Teddy Bear" and Jimmy Buffett's "Margaritaville." The floats themselves are equipped with audio systems that will play the songs. A special float is dedicated to Sunshine Kids, a group of children with disabilities; Caesar is sponsoring 20 kids to ride in the parade.

Sparta 6 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: "I Hear a Symphony"
Floats: 18
King: Nicholas J. Beninate
Queen: Lillie Elizabeth Joyce
Throws: Sparta medallions, light-up beads, stuffed animals, jumbo beads, doubloons, special lavender doubloons, cups

The Knights of Sparta's classic style becomes apparent every year at the start of their parade, which is always led by a riderless float featuring a giant Spartan helmet. This year, the krewe adds to the classical theme with "I Hear a Symphony," with floats paying tribute to some of the greatest music ever composed, from "Appalachian Strings" to "Rhapsody in Blue." This parade also includes a king's float pulled by a team of mules, marching bands including Marching 100 from St. Augustine, and a military honor guard.

Pegasus 6:45 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: "A Few of Our Favorite Things"
Floats: 17
King: Secret
Queen: Katherine Claire Womac
Throws: Fiber-optic lighted beads, cups, beads, medallion beads, doubloons

Pegasus members won't let us know their king, but they will let everyone know some things they like, with a theme that celebrates patriotism, golf, coloring books and more. Marching bands are recruited from across the county, with New Orleans represented by Karr and Clark high schools. Four jazz bands perform as well, including Steamboat Willie and the Bone Tone Brass Band. A horseback unit, a group commandeering dune buggies, and a group from Jerusalem Temple strut their stuff as well.


Carrollton Noon
Location: Uptown
Theme: "A Quest for History"
Floats: 24
King: Dino Nash
Queen: Liddy Romaguera
Throws: Float beads, medallion beads, cups, lighted beads, flying discs, doubloons

The venerable Carrollton parade has been rolling for 81 years, and moved Uptown in 1995. This year's historical theme takes a look at important figures from all walks of life down the generations: Mozart for music, Shakespeare for literature, Socrates for philosophy, King Tut for ancient rule, Nostradamus for soothsaying, Gen. George Patton for military might, and so on. This family parade owns most of its own floats.

Alla Noon
Location: West Bank
Theme: "Alla's Travels Through Middle Earth"
Floats: 27
Maharajah: Edward (Eddie) G. Conrad
Maharanee: Tara Elizabeth Crosby
Throws: "Mr. Mardi Gras" Blaine Kern bobble-head dolls, medallion beads, plastic goblets

The West Bank's longest parade is also Mardi Gras' fourth oldest, having started in 1932. This year, scenes and characters from The Lord of the Rings are depicted on the floats, some of which are double-deckers, while others are two and three units long. The krewe sponsors "Alla Jam," the contest that will feature more than 20 bands from Louisiana competing throughout the parade.

King Arthur 1:15 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: "Arthur's Ancient Atlas"
Floats: 23
King: F. Lee Page
Queen: Jan Molaison Wilson
Throws: "Ancient culture" beads, krewe logo cups, grand marshal cups

It's a form of time travel: ancient-culture-themed beads landing in your 21st-century hands. Escorted by 17 marching bands, King Arthur's krewe members will throw beads from floats depicting Babylon, ancient Egypt, China, Rome, Greece, the Mayans, the Vikings and the lost continent of Atlantis. Grand marshal is WWL-TV's Dave Bernard, who practices the ancient art of meteorology.

Bards of Bohemia 2:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown

No information available at press time.

Rhea 2:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie

No information available at press time.

Mercury 4 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: "Mercury's Birthday Dreams"
Floats: 15
King: Secret until day of parade
Queen: Secret until day of parade
Throws: Krewe logo cups, Super Parade Sunday logo medallion beads, bulldog logo beads, Mercury medallion beads, blue Mercury feather boas, stuffed animals

Founded in 1985, Mercury celebrates its 20th anniversary. The krewe's birthday theme features a trip around the world, in dreams. The four marching bands include two from parish schools, and one each from the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Grand marshal Navy surgeon Lt. R.W. "Chip" Tregle Jr. leads the procession. Two floats will carry young riders: "Kids Kicking Cancer" and children from the Magnolia School.

Centurions 5:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: "Centurions Says Let's Celebrate"
Floats: 20
King: John Anthony Roberts
Queen: Brittany Dianne Roberts
Throws: Doubloons, lighted beads, cups, vinyl swords, purple and gold medallion beads
Centurions features some one dozen marching bands, 60 units and floats themed to celebrations around the world: the running of the bulls in Spain, Easter, St. Patrick's Day and Halloween. The all-male krewe was founded in 1979 by a group of businessmen from Harahan and River Ridge, who named the organization after the legendary Roman armies.


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