It’s the beginning of the year, which means that one of the most anticipated events in the city, Mardi Gras, is around the corner. Also known as Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras is one day, but the carnival festivities leading up to the holiday start weeks beforehand.
Mardi Gras always falls before Ash Wednesday, which is 46 days before Easter.
Throughout the weeks of carnival, there are different Krewes that roll throughout several neighborhoods of the city, including Uptown, French Quarter and the Marigny.
This weekend in particular will be a busy weekend. Not only is All Star weekend taking place in downtown New Orleans, but between Friday, February 17, and Sunday, February 19, fifteen parades will roll in the New Orleans metro area.
Here is a list, map and synopses of the fifteen parades set to run in New Orleans this weekend, throughout the Uptown, French Quarter, and Marigny neighborhoods.
Note: If you haven’t already, now would be a great time to check out the the Curbed NOLA’s Mardi Gras bingo card, which may add some challenge to casual parade watching.
Also, here’s a hint: if you’re playing Mardi Gras bingo this weekend, you might want to catch ‘tit rex if you plan to score the micro float entry.
Friday, February 17
- [Update]: in Anticipation of rainy weather, the Krewe of Oshun will start at 5:30 p.m. The Krewe of Cleopatra will follow immediately after.
Krewe of Cork - 3 p.m.
Founded in 2000, the Krewe of Cork rolls two Fridays before Mardi Gras. The parade is centered around wine and grape, including several original costumes, and musical selections.
Krewe of Oshun - Update: 5:30 p.m.
According to Mardi Gras New Orleans, the Krewe of Oshun is named in reference to Yoruba, the goddess of love. This Krewe is known for its peacock figures and mug throws.
Krewe of Cleopatra - Update: Follows
The Krewe of Cleopatra is an all-women carnival crew, founded in 1972. The Krewe is named after Egyptian Pharaoh, Cleopatra, who represents a virtuous woman.
Saturday, February 18
Krewe of Pontchartrain - 1 p.m.
This New Orleans Krewe is named after Lake Pontchtrain, and its goal is to deliver a quality Mardi Gras experience. The parade features several marching band and dance troupes.
Krewe of Choctaw - Follows
The Krewe of Choctaw began rolling in 1939 after the Krewe purchased 10 U.S. government mail wagons, which were later converted into floats.
Krewe of Freret - Follows
The Krewe of Freret is one of the newest Krewes to parade during the carnival season. Created by seven Loyola graduates in 2011, the parade is centered on throwing quality, hand-crafted throws created by local vendors and craftspeople.
Knights of Sparta - 6 p.m.
Organized in 1951, and rolling since 1981, The Knights of Sparta are known for its traditional street parade, including mounted officers, traditional flambeaux and a signature, mule-drawn king’s float.
Krewe of Pygmalion
Named after a Greek legend who crated a statue of a sea nymph, and fell hopelessly in love with it, is the Krewe of Pygmalion. The Krewe features traditional Mardi Gras throws, including beads, stuffed animals and doubloons.
‘tit Rex - 5 p.m.
‘tit Rex is everything a Super Krewe isn’t. Inspired by one of the largest super Krewes, Bacchus, ‘tit Rex is known for maintaining the Mardi Gras experience with micro floats, which are tiny, meticulously-designed floats made from small shoeboxes, and are usually drawn by a rope.
The word ‘tit is apart of the Cajun vernacular, short for the word petite.
Krewe of Chewbacchus - 7 p.m.
The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is a Mardi Gras parade centered around sci-fi lovers. Many of the float themes and costumes revolve around Star Wars, Star Trek, video game characters, and aliens. The Krewe also have several signature throws including handmade beanbags, stenciled towels, and a furry bandolier.
Sunday, February 19
Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale - 11 a.m.
The Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale, founded in 2013, is an all-women social group that is centered around community uplift.
Krewe of Carrollton - Follows
Roughly 93 years ago, the Krewe of Carrollton was formed by a group of Oak Street businessmen. The Krewe of Carrollton ranks just behind Rex, Proteus and Zulu as the oldest parading organization.
Krewe of King Arthur - Follows
The ninth largest Mardi Gras Krewe in New Orleans, with over 1200 participants, is the Krewe of King Arthur, which was originally formed on the West Bank and debuted in Uptown in 2001.
Krewe of Alla - Follows
The Krewe of Alla started as an all-male Krewe on the West Bank. While moving to the Uptown parade route in 2014, this year the Krewe of Alla celebrates its 85th anniversary. The parade is known best for its handcrafted genie lamps.
Krewe of Barkus
The Krewe of Barkus is similar to a traditional Mardi Gras parade, but it features dogs! The parade has live music, floats and, well, lots of Mardi Gras costumed pets.