Mardi Gras Parade Schedule 2021
Schedule, Routes and Pictures
***UPDATED January 31, 2021***
***Tentative Schedule***
ALL INFORMATION SUBJECT TO CHANGE


NO PARADES WILL ROLL THIS CARNIVAL SEASON
DUE TO COVID-19

but we are working on a list of Carnival related activities that we know will be occuring
LIST UPDATED ON JANUARY 31, 2021

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday, February 1st thru Tuesday, February 16th

Krewe of House Floats
Date: February 1 - February 16, 2021
Location: all over the place
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

2021 Carnival season has a new alternative amid cancellation of parades due to COVID-19

NEW ORLEANS (Dec. 8, 2020) — In a city that doesn’t let anything rain on its parade, the new Krewe of House Floats will roll forward with its plans for a safe alternative to the traditional 2021 Carnival season due to the cancellation of parades caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Created by New Orleans resident Megan Boudreaux, the Krewe of House Floats began as an idea posted to social media and rapidly grew into an organization with more than 7,500 members.

“It started off as a Twitter joke and now everyone wants to participate,” said Boudreaux. “We look forward to this not only being a way for people to safely celebrate Carnival season, but also as an opportunity to help our city’s culture bearers.”

The volunteers and subkrewes comprising the Krewe of House Floats have spent countless hours planning, structuring the organization, consulting with city officials, brainstorming ways to help local artisans, and working on an official Krewe of House Floats map where carnival-goers can view participating houses, which will be decorated with the traditional flair of the city’s beloved floats.

The decoration of house floats will begin on King’s Day (Jan. 6, 2021), the official start of Carnival season. Nearly 40 neighborhood subkrewes have formed throughout the greater New Orleans region, including Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Terrebonne parishes. There is even a subkrewe for NOLA expats in other states who, unable to return home for Carnival season festivities, will be celebrating with house floats from afar.

Throughout Carnival season, which culminates with Mardi Gras Day on Feb. 16, the Krewe of House Floats will channel donations to organizations around the city who support those most affected by the cancellation of parades, including but not limited to local artists, float builders and other culture bearers. More details about community partnerships are forthcoming.

For more information or to participate, visit www.KreweOfHouseFloats.org or email the krewe at KreweOfHouseFloats@gmail.com. Find us on Facebook (@KreweOfHouseFloats), Instagram (@KreweofHouseFloats) and Twitter (@HouseFloats). For corporate and individual sponsorship opportunities, contact KreweOfHouseFloats@gmail.com.

krewe website: KreweOfHouseFloats.org

2021 MARDI GRAS HOUSE FLOAT PICTURES

Audubon / West and East Riverside
"There is a HOUSE in New Orleans"

Fairgrounds / Bayou St. John
"How Sweet it is to be Loved Bayou"

Broadmoor / Fontainebleau / Marlyville
"Staycation: All I Ever Wanted"

Freret
"Mardi Gras Will Go On"

Marigny / Bywater
"Theme? We don't need no stinking theme!"

Uptown
"Uptown Parades!"

Irish Channel
"Channel Surfing"

Mid City
"Here Come the Truck Floats"

University Uptown
"2020: The Musical!"

Navarre / Park Places
"Mardi Gras at the Park"

Lower Garden District
"Let the music play!"

Central City
"Mardi Gras in the City"

 

Thursday, February 4th thru Sunday, February 14th

Floats in the Oaks
Date: Thurs., February 4 - Sun., February 14, 2021
Location:  City Park, New Orleans
Time:
Weekdays 5pm -10pm/ Weekends 1pm - 10pm
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

Friday, February 5th

Krewe of Alla
Date: February 5, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: all over the place
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

Sunday, February 7th

Mystic Krewe of Barkus
Date: February 7, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: online
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

The Mystic Krewe of Barkus welcomes the 2021 Mardi Gras season with the theme: "Bone Alone: Barkus at Home But Not Alone!”

Monday, February 14th

Krewe of Bacchus
Date: February 14, 2021
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Location: Online / App

The Krewe of Bacchus is excited to announce our Throw Me Something Bacchus app for Mardi Gras 2021.

The app gives its users the ability to catch and collect virtual throws every Sunday during Carnival season. Players will be able to create their own avatar, trade throws with other players, and trade select virtual throws for actual throws.

On Bacchus Sunday, February 14, 2021, stream the VIRTUAL PARADE in the app. Cameo appearances from Bacchus royalty. Catch 2021 throws as the floats roll by to the tunes of our favorite bands. Make the BacchaBoard’s Top 100 players and capture your memories in the app. Follow Bacchus riders for special virtual throws.

krewe website: kreweofbacchus.org


As we find out more information on these events or others we will update the information

If you would like to let us know of anything else that may be occuring, please contact MardiGrasParadeSchedule.com through our Facebook Page @mardigrasparadeschedule

sorry if we missed anything


MASTER LIST OF EVENTS
Wednesday, January 6th

Phunny Phorty Phellows
Herald the Arrival
of the Carnival Season!

Date: January 6, 2021
Time: 7:00 p.m. Sharp
Location: St. Charles Ave. Streetcar Line
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

Celebrating the arrival of the Carnival Season, the costumed and masked krewe of the Phunny Phorty Phellows will assemble (socially distanced) on Twelfth Night, January 6, 2021 (Wednesday) in the Willow Street Car Barn.

At 7pm sharp, the Phunny Phorty Phellows will board the streetcar and begin their traditional ride to "Herarld the Arrival of Carnival" down the St. Charles Ave. Streetcar Line.

The public will not be allowed in or near the streetcar barn in keeping with RTA COVID-19 restrictions. All are invited to come see the PPP throughout the route but please be responsible as we encourage everyone to follow all the City guidelines in place (wearing a mask, socially distance from other groups, etc click here for more info).

krewe website: phunnyphortyphellows.com
Wednesday, January 6th

Funky Uptown Krewe
Date: January 6, 2021
Location: St. Charles Ave. Streetcar Line
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

We all know that to #revelresponsibly some new ideas about celebrating Mardi Gras 2021 have emerged- even though our annual street car ride is cancelled, we will be having a unique and interactive scavenger hunt for our coveted hand-painted record throws!

The first clues on where to find records along the St. Charles Ave street car line will be released on Instagram on Jan. 6 at 5pm, followed by more clues for more records! So be sure to follow us on Instagram and set a reminder to keep an eye out on Twelfth Night for clues. The following morning, an e-blast will go out to all our subscribers with every clue so you can see if any were not found the night before.

krewe website: funkyuptownkrewe.com
Wednesday, January 6th

Krewe de Jeanne d' Arc
Date: January 6, 2021
Time: 6 - 9 p.m
Location:
Behrman Memorial Park
2529 General Meyer Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70114
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

Celebrating St. Joan of Arc’s birthday and Twelfth Night, Krewe de Jeanne d’Arc presents the Tableaux de Jeanne d’Arc, a medieval-themed live performance drive-by event, inspired by Joan's life and legacy. In a multitude of tableaux we tell the story of Joan from her childhood as a shepherdess to her sainthood. You will see most of the props, characters, performance groups, and music from our annual walking parade as you drive by. Look for some new vignettes as well.

While you wait in line you'll be able to log in and listen to the story of our parade or compete in our Joan Quiz Bowl. We anticipate wait times of approximately 40 minutes so you'll have time to do both!

We are committed to keeping both krewe members and the public safe. We will follow all city and state coronavirus guidelines.

All participants will be wearing face masks and will keep 6 feet or more apart. There will be no close contact between people. No throws will be distributed. All viewers must remain in their vehicle wearing masks. All vehicles must have a ticket.

krewe website: joanofarcparade.org

Saturday, January 23rd

Intergalactic
Krewe of Chewbacchus
Date: January 23, 2021
Location: LIVE STREAM ON FACEBOOK

MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

Hey Chewbs, never fear. We will celebrate tonight, just virtually! Join us at 7:00 for a livestream that will include a mystical ritual as well as greetings from some of our beloved former royalty. All Hail!

The Overlords are hosting a Virtual Costume Contest to determine the most creative Chewbs for our 2021 celebration. To enter, post a video or photo to Facebook or Instagram with the hashtag #ChewbacchusNewReality2021. Two winners--overall and crowd fave--will
be declared: one determined by judges and the other by re-posts and shares. Post those fabulous nerdy looks by 8:00pm this Saturday to be considered. Members and the public are welcome to enter, just be sure to use the hashtag! Both winners will win a lifetime membership to the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus as well as some IKoC merch!
#chewbacchus #kreweofchew #chewbacchusnewreality2021 #2021
#hitchhikersguide #costume #costumecontest #virtualcostumecontest
#cosplay

On January 23, 2021, The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus planned to embark on its eleventh annual adventure, this time navigating the impossible terrain of socially distanced parading during a global pandemic. With SubKrewe stations all over metro New Orleans, these “chapters” would honor the theme DON’T PANIC! THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE NEW REALITY.

However, with the recent decision by the City of New Orleans to move to Modified Phase 1, the 2021 celebration and all SubKrewe activities will be halted. We are trusting the science and directing all krewe members to suspend their planned celebrations on January 23, 2021.

We're also postponing our scheduled scavenger hunt to a later date. The Overlords are hereby announcing a Virtual Costume Contest and are asking krewe members and the public to post photos of their Chewbacchus looks on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #chewbacchusnewreality2021.
The Overlords message to members, New Orleanians, and fans across the galaxy is: Don’t Panic!

ORIGINAL PLANS BELOW
HAVE BEEN POSTPONED

The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus will embark on its eleventh annual adventure, this time navigating the impossible terrain of socially distanced parading during a global pandemic. Life finds a way.

On that day, The Sacred Drunken Wookiee will awaken from his season of slumber to present the theme DON’T PANIC! THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE NEW REALITY - VOLUME ONE.

Within the week leading up to VOLUME ONE, the krewe will release “The Guide” in the form of an online PDF brochure, which will include a map to the locations of where the devoted subkrewes of Chewbacchus will be stationed at homes and businesses around the city of New Orleans on January 23, 2021. Each station will represent a “chapter” of the guide. Fans and devotees of The Sacred Drunken Wookiee will be able to visit these stations on that date and collect the wonderful handmade throws of our subkrewes and marvel at the beautiful costumes and glorious contraptions of our members in a socially distanced manner.

ALL CHEWBACCHUS MEMBERS WILL BE APPROPRIATELY MASKED, AND ADHERING TO CURRENT SOCIAL DISTANCE AND OUTDOOR GATHERING GUIDELINES. In return, it is expected that fans and spectators will return that respect and be masked and socially distanced as well. To emphasize a mindfulness to the safety and health of our members, The Overlords of Chewbacchus hereby issue the decree that no member of the public visiting a station of our subkrewes will be entertained with the gift of a throw if not masked and respecting current social distance guidelines.

Furthermore, in addition to the opportunity to still witness the splendor of our subkrewes and chance to acquire their beautiful handmade throws, DON’T PANIC! THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE NEW REALITY - VOLUME ONE will include a multimedia side quest for rare, one of a kind, artifacts of The Sacred Drunken Wookiee. Those artifacts will be found at randomly selected subkrewe stations and will reveal clues to the location of a prized collection of rare treasures, a Chewbacchus merchandise prize package, a lifetime membership to the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, and the Royal title “Ultimate Survivor of the New Reality.”

More details to follow. Subscribe to our mailing list at Chewbacchus.org for latest information.

Join us, as The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus guides you through the New Reality. And don’t panic.

ALL HAIL THE SACRED DRUNKEN WOOKIEE!

krewe website: Chewbacchus.org

Saturday, January 30th

Krewe du Vieux
Satirical Art Installations
Tasteless Mini-Libraries

Location: all over the place
see map below or
visit this link


VIRTUAL EVENT
When: January 30th - 6:30 pm
Where: Will be streamed from our website
from this link:
VIRTUAL KdV


MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

--->VIEW OUR 2021 PICTURES HERE<---

Krewe du Vieux Has No Taste!

KdV will not let New Orleans down! Mardi Gras may not be coming, but we are going to present how tasteless we are, pandemic or not! Krewe du Vieux will shame who needs shaming and stroke who needs stroking!

We present to you:

14 Satirical Art Installations
10 Tasteless Mini-Libraries
1 Virtual Gobsmacking


INSTALLATIONS
When: starting January 30th
Where: Check out map below which has all the details.

VIRTUAL EVENT
When: January 30th - 6:30 pm
Where: Will be streamed from our website from this link: VIRTUAL KdV

Like virtually every other Mardi Gras organization, Krewe du Vieux is not parading in 2021. Instead, many of the subkrewes have created installations to express their creativity, satire and general lack of taste. Basic information about these is listed below; more details can be found on some of their websites, or by abducting and interrogating a krewe member (trust us, they’ll love it). In all cases, however, please wear masks and keep appropriate social distance. Oh, and one of these may not be real – test your Krewe du Vieux subkrewe knowledge!

All we know is that the many subkrewes will be doing different art instalations around the city. As more information is made available, we will update this section. All activities will follow New Orleans COVID-19 guidelines.

Seeds of Decline, Krewe du Mishigas, Krewe of SPANK, Krewe of the Mystic Inane, Krewe of Underwear, Krewe of K.A.O.S., Knights of Mondu, Krewe Rue Bourbon, Krewe of L.E.W.D., Mystic Krewe of Spermes, T.O.K.I.N., Krewe of Drips and Discharges, Krewe of C.R.U.D.E., Krewe of Space Age Love, Krewe de C.R.A.P.S., Mystick Krewe of Comatose, Krewe of Mama Roux

krewe website: kreweduvieux.org

Monday, February 1st thru Tuesday, February 16th

Krewe of House Floats
Date: February 1 - February 16, 2021
Location: all over the place
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

2021 Carnival season has a new alternative amid cancellation of parades due to COVID-19

NEW ORLEANS (Dec. 8, 2020) — In a city that doesn’t let anything rain on its parade, the new Krewe of House Floats will roll forward with its plans for a safe alternative to the traditional 2021 Carnival season due to the cancellation of parades caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Created by New Orleans resident Megan Boudreaux, the Krewe of House Floats began as an idea posted to social media and rapidly grew into an organization with more than 7,500 members.

“It started off as a Twitter joke and now everyone wants to participate,” said Boudreaux. “We look forward to this not only being a way for people to safely celebrate Carnival season, but also as an opportunity to help our city’s culture bearers.”

The volunteers and subkrewes comprising the Krewe of House Floats have spent countless hours planning, structuring the organization, consulting with city officials, brainstorming ways to help local artisans, and working on an official Krewe of House Floats map where carnival-goers can view participating houses, which will be decorated with the traditional flair of the city’s beloved floats.

The decoration of house floats will begin on King’s Day (Jan. 6, 2021), the official start of Carnival season. Nearly 40 neighborhood subkrewes have formed throughout the greater New Orleans region, including Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Terrebonne parishes. There is even a subkrewe for NOLA expats in other states who, unable to return home for Carnival season festivities, will be celebrating with house floats from afar.

Throughout Carnival season, which culminates with Mardi Gras Day on Feb. 16, the Krewe of House Floats will channel donations to organizations around the city who support those most affected by the cancellation of parades, including but not limited to local artists, float builders and other culture bearers. More details about community partnerships are forthcoming.

For more information or to participate, visit www.KreweOfHouseFloats.org or email the krewe at KreweOfHouseFloats@gmail.com. Find us on Facebook (@KreweOfHouseFloats), Instagram (@KreweofHouseFloats) and Twitter (@HouseFloats). For corporate and individual sponsorship opportunities, contact KreweOfHouseFloats@gmail.com.

krewe website: KreweOfHouseFloats.org

Thursday, February 4th thru Sunday, February 14th

Floats in the Oaks
Date: Thurs., February 4 - Sun., February 14, 2021
Location:  City Park, New Orleans
Time:
Weekdays 5pm -10pm/ Weekends 1pm - 10pm
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

Friday, February 5th

Krewe of Alla
Date: February 5, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: all over the place
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

Sunday, February 7th

Mystic Krewe of Barkus
Date: February 7, 2021
Time: 2:00 p.m.
Location: online
MardiGrasParadeSchedule Krewe Page

The Mystic Krewe of Barkus welcomes the 2021 Mardi Gras season with the theme: "Bone Alone: Barkus at Home But Not Alone!”

Monday, February 14th

Krewe of Bacchus
Date: February 14, 2021
Time: 5:15 p.m.
Location: Online / App

The Krewe of Bacchus is excited to announce our Throw Me Something Bacchus app for Mardi Gras 2021.

The app gives its users the ability to catch and collect virtual throws every Sunday during Carnival season. Players will be able to create their own avatar, trade throws with other players, and trade select virtual throws for actual throws.

On Bacchus Sunday, February 14, 2021, stream the VIRTUAL PARADE in the app. Cameo appearances from Bacchus royalty. Catch 2021 throws as the floats roll by to the tunes of our favorite bands. Make the BacchaBoard’s Top 100 players and capture your memories in the app. Follow Bacchus riders for special virtual throws.

krewe website: kreweofbacchus.org


As we find out more information on these events or others we will update the information

If you would like to let us know of anything else that may be occuring, please contact MardiGrasParadeSchedule.com through our Facebook Page @mardigrasparadeschedule

sorry if we missed anything

New Orleans Mardi Gras ( New Orleans Canival Season) draws millions of fun-seekers and party people to the Big Easy every year. Mardi Gras is always celebrated in New Orleans on a larger then life scale. Dazziling with beautiful masked balls and colorful mardi Gras parades with Royalty and throws and fantastic parade floats.

The two week long celebration is a local and nation wide favorite holiday to attend.

No one really Is actually certain where or when the actual custom called Mardi Gras really offically begain. Some Mardi Gras Historians trace its magical roots to the ancient Romans, whose pagan rites and orgies were held during the early spring season.

Louisianas' early French that settled in New Orleans begain having private Grande masked balls and social parties as early as 1718. When the Spanish government took over, parties and street dancing were publicly banned. Not until 1827, well after the Louisian Purchase, that the right to party inpublic and mask was restored.

During the 1850's, New Orleans' elite and their elegant Mardi Gras parties were quite a contrast to the wild partying and near-rioting in the streets.

In 1857, a secret society called the Mystick Krewe of Comus formed
Comus or Komus is the god of festivity, in Greek mythology, he revels and nocturnal dalliances. Comus represents anarchy and chaos. During his festivals in Ancient Greece, men and women exchanged clothes. Visually, Comus was depicted as a young man or youth on the point of unconsciousness from drink. He had a wreath of flowers on his head and carried a torch that was in the process of being dropped. Unlike the purely carnal Pan or the more purely drunken Bacchus, Comus was a god of excess. He is a son of Dionysus and Circe.

The Lord of Misrule, known in Scotland as the Abbot of Unreason and in France as the Prince des Sots was an officer appointed by lot at Christmas to preside over the Feast of Fools. The Lord of Misrule was generally a peasant or sub-deacon appointed to be in charge of Christmas revelries, which often included drunkenness and wild partying, in the pagan tradition of Yule. The Church held a similar festival involving a Boy Bishop. The celebration of the Feast of Fools was outlawed by the Council of Basel that sat from 1431, but it survived to be put down again by the Catholic Queen Mary I in England in 1555.

While mostly known as a British holiday custom, the appointment of a Lord of Misrule comes from antiquity. In ancient Rome, from the 17th to the 23rd of December, a Lord of Misrule was appointed for the feast of Saturnalia, in the guise of the good god Saturn. During this time the ordinary rules of life were turned topsy-turvy as masters served their slaves, and the offices of state were held by slaves. The Lord of Misrule presided over all of this, and had the power to command anyone to do anything during the holiday period. This holiday seems to be the precursor to the more modern Mardi Gras holiday, and it carried over into the Christian era.

The Mystick Krewe of Comus (founded in 1856) is a New Orleans, Louisiana Carnival Krewe.

A Krewe is an organization that puts on a parade and or a ball for the New Orleans Carnival season (Mardi Gras).
The word is thought to have been coined in the early 19th century by an organization calling themselves Ye Mystick Krewe of Comus, as an imitation or parody of Old English; with time it became the most common term for a New Orleans Carnival organization.

Prior to the advent of Comus, Carnival celebrations in New Orleans were mostly confined to the Roman Catholic Creole community, and parades were irregular and often very informally organized. In December of 1856 a number of New Orleans businessmen, mostly uptown Protestant Americans from other parts of the United States, gathered to found the organization to produce a parade and ball on Mardi Gras night. The inspiration for the name came from John Milton's Lord of Misrule in his masque Comus. Part of the inspiration for the parade was a Carnival group in Mobile, Alabama called the Cowbellions.

The first Comus parade was held on Mardi Gras 1857, and this became an annual event. Other organizations sprung up in New Orleans in the 19th century inspired by the Comus model and also came to be known as "Krewes".

Members of Comus are always masked when appearing in public at Krewe events, and their identities are supposed to remain unknown. Membership in Comus has historically been identical or nearly identical to membership in the private New Orleans men's club The Pickwick Club.

Parading on Mardi Gras night, Comus was the final parade of the New Orleans carnival season. It was much smaller than both the more modern parades and its fellow 19th century Mardi Gras day parade Rex. (Comus also did not stage parades for a number of years, so that by the late 20th century Rex, although 16 years younger than Comus, had held more parades.) The Comus parades became known for their sometimes obscure themes relating to ancient history and mythology. While other New Orleans parades might have themes like "Foods of the World" or "Broadway Show Tunes", Comus would present themes like "Serpent Deities of the Ancient Near East".

In 1991 the New Orleans city council passed an ordinance that city funds could not be used to pay for police and sanitation for any event held on public streets by any organization which was racially segregated according to its own bylaws. The Comus organization (along with Momus, another 19th century Krewe) decided to no longer parade rather than to either change their bylaws or pay for the municipal expenses of their parade. The Mystick Krewe of Comus still holds an annual ball on Mardi Gras night. While the

Mistick Krewe of Comus was originally a part of and associated with the Pickwick Club, that association ended over one hundred years ago. Most of the members of the Krewe of Comus also claim membership in the old line social clubs including the Boston Club of New Orleans and the Pickwick Club.

Retrieved from
"http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Mystick_Krewe_of_Comus"


Comus was New Orleans first parade actually planned around a Mardi Gras theme and used flambeaux carriers to light the parade procession.
Rex (founded 1872) is a New Orleans Carnival Krewe which stages the city's largest parade on Mardi Gras Day. Rex is Latin for "King", and Rex reigns as "The King of Carnival".
 
Rex was organized by New Orleans business men in part to put on a spectacle in honor of the New Orleans visit of Grand Duke Alexis of Russia during the 1872 Carnival season. Also in the minds of the founders of Rex was the desire to lure tourism and business to New Orleans in the years after the American Civil War.
The Rex parade is put on by an organization called The School of Design. The organization is related to the private New Orleans men's club The Boston Club.
One member of the Rex Organization is each year chosen to be the monarch of the organization; he is often incorrectly referred to by the (technically redundant) phrase "King Rex". The correct title is simply "Rex". The identity of Rex is made public on Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras. Rex is always a prominent person in the city, one who is usually involved in several philanthropic and civic causes. Being chosen Rex is one of the highest civic honors a person can receive in New Orleans. The Mayor of New Orleans traditionally hands over a symbolic Key to the City of New Orleans to Rex for Mardi Gras Day.
A consort is also chosen each year for Rex, and she is titled the "Queen of Carnival". The queen is almost always a debutante, attending college. Like Rex, the queen is chosen in the spring of the previous year, and must keep her identity secret until Lundi Gras.
While historically restricted to people of European ancestry for most of its history, Rex had no trouble complying with the 1991 anti-segregation ordinances which ended the parades of the Mystick Krewe of Comus (see). The first Rex (businessman Louis Solomon) was Jewish, although for a number of years in the early 20th century Rex prohibited entrance into the organization of any new Jewish members.
Rex has held more parades in New Orleans than any other organization. It's official song is "If Ever I Cease to Love", a quirky tune from the 1870s musical "Bluebeard". This was adopted because the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia had a fondness for the actress who sang the song in the musical, which was playing in New Orleans at the time of the first Rex parade in 1872. It has stuck around since then and is played often during Carnival.
Rex is categorized as one of the four New Orleans "Super Krewes" for the very large size of the parade; the others (Endymion, Bacchus, and Orpheus) were all founded in the 2nd half of the 20th century and parade during nights in the days leading up to Mardi Gras. Rex is the only 19th century krewe and the only "super krewe" to parade during the daytime.
The Rex parade has long been known for very finely and artistically built floats. Many consider the Rex parade to be the highlight and most beautiful sight of New Orleans carnival. If one looks closely at some of the Rex floats, they are built on old cotton wagons, their wooden wheels leaving scratch marks on the pavement.
In addition its famous parade, the Rex Organization also holds a private ball for its membership and invited guests on Mardi Gras night. In the 1950s, this ball made headlines when the Duke and Duchess of Windsor bowed down to Rex and the Queen of Carnival.
In recent decades, the Rex ball is held on one side of the Municipal Auditorium, while on the other half of the building at the same time, the Mistick Krewe of Comus (the oldest krewe), holds its ball. A rich tradition is that Comus (the monarch), extends an invitation to Rex and his queen to join him and his consort at the Comus ball. This is called the "Meeting of the Courts", and when the monarchs have all made their exits, the Captain of Comus literally closes the curtain on the Carnival season. This event is televised live locally (and to selected areas outside of the city) - and many New Orleanians stay up to watch - despite their weariness - the very end.

Naming Krewe kings and queens at Mardi Gras balls has been a tradition of the krewes ever since. Another tradition began with that royal visit: the Romanoff house colors—purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power—became the official colors of New Orleans Mardi Gras.
New Orleanians have since formed a lot of secret societies that have served many charitable and social functions. They often help unite the city with their parade's political themes. In 1877, after a brief interruption from the Civil War and the unrest that followed, the Krewe of Momus held a parade with the theme "Hades, a Dream of Momus" to ridicule President Grant and his Administration. During the Persian Gulf War, the theme for many parades and costumes was patriotism.
Mardi Gras can even poke fun at itself. The blacks of New Orleans mocked the snobbishness and exclusivity of Rex with their own parade. In 1909, William Storey wore an old tin can for a crown instead of the more elaborate crown Rex used. William was crowned "King Zulu" that year, and was proceeded by "Provident Prince" and the "Big Shot of Africa."
The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club (founded 1916) is a New Orleans Carnival Krewe which puts on the Zulu parade each Mardi Gras Day. Zulu is New Orleans' largest predominantly African American carnival organization.
The Zulu parade grew out of an older small working-class African American marching club called The Tramps in 1916. The members decided to satirize the conventions of white New Orleans Mardi Gras, particularly the Rex parade. Zulu also satirized white society's attitudes towards and stereotypes of blacks.
While Rex arrived at the foot of Canal Street in a yacht, the early versions of King Zulu arrived on Carondolet Canal in a coal barge, wearing a tin crown made from a lard can and holding a ham-bone, in parody of Rex's jeweled crown and scepter. Members of the Zulus used black and white makeup on their face in an even more highly exaggerated style than the blackface makeup of the minstrel show performers of the era.
The Zulu court wore grass skirts. Back when the New Orleans police force was exclusively white, a contingent of Zulus paraded wearing accurate duplicates of New Orleans police uniforms.
Zulu was not the first African American carnival organization in New Orleans, however it was the first to stage a sizable public parade. Older "colored" organizations restricted themselves to private balls and small marching clubs. In its early years, the membership of Zulu was largely working class, and often looked down on by more well to do and educated New Orleans blacks. In addition to the carnival parade, Zulu also arranged for funerals with a brass band for deceased members.

As late as the mid 20th century Zulu had no pre-publicised set route, but would wind around predominantly black neighborhoods with stops at various clubs and bars, in addition to a procession in front of city hall where the Mayor of New Orleans and various dignitaries were in reviewing stands waiting for Rex. By the 1920s Zulu had become enough of a tradition that King Zulu and the Mayor exchanged toasts on Mardi Gras morning. After the swing by old city hall, individual Zulu floats would sometimes make their own way around the city as Zulu broke apart into numerous mini-parades. Since the 1960s Zulu has been required to hold to a set route like all the other large parades.

As the race and identity of individuals could be hidden by the blackface makeup, a small number of whites joined Zulu even in the days of the Jim Crow laws, making Zulu New Orleans' first racially integrated Carnival Krewe even before this was legal.
In the early days the Zulu floats were decorated wagons; later Zulu took to renting floats already used early in the Carnival season by other Krewes. This tradition continues. Zulu does a rapid customization of these used floats before the parade, so that in the Zulu parade one might see floats depicting the likeness of such figures as Napoleon or The Beatles in blackface.

In 1949 Zulu had the first celebrity carnival king when Louis Armstrong reigned as King of the Zulus.

In the 1960s Zulu endured presure from various civil rights organizations to disband because of its use of the negative stereotype of blackface. Zulu continued nonetheless, and is today one of the favorite parades of the Carnival season.

Zulu coconuts, coconuts which have been custom painted and decorated by Zulu riders, are perhaps the most prized of all the handouts given to the Mardi Gras crowds by New Orleans parades.

In 1993 the Zulus began their annual public Lundi Gras festivities the day before Mardi Gras, in Woldenburg Park on the banks of the Mississippi River beside the French Quarter. This quickly became a popular event, and since the first one climaxes when the kings of Rex and Zulu ceremonially greet each other.

Donning black face and white eyes is another irresistible pun of the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club. Zulu's parade would meander from barroom to the barroom in junky cars and wagons instead of floats.

One of the most misunderstood aspects of the Zulu's has long been it's use of the Vaudevillian Black face. Many modern Afro-Americans feel offended by it's continued use by the Club. Others however know it's true origins and understand it's deeper meaning. Click here Now, discover the true hidden nature of
"Zulus' Mardi Gras Parade Blackface:
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http://www.mardigrasdigest.com/News/
Feature_Zulu_Blackface.htm

If you wanted to catch the start of the parade, you had to find the bar that was extending hospitality to King Zulu. This Krewe didn't establish a parade route until recently. Today, Zulu, withits beautiful modern floats, is one of the more popular parades of the season! They are known for their unique, hand-decorated coconut throws. Only a fortunate few are lucky enough to get those!

Most Mardi Gras Krewes developed from private social clubs that have restrictive membership policies. Since all of these parade organizations are completely funded by its members, we call it the "Greatest Free Show on Earth"!

However, in 1991, the New Orleans City Council introduced a parade organization anti-discrimination ordinance; As a result; some of the oldest private clubs;Momus; Comus and Proteus, no longer parade the streets. (Comus is returning year 2000.) The most recently developed parade organizations are open and not secretive: Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu, and some Metairie parades feature superstars on their floats -- and all take place within the few days before Mardi Gras.

Krewes: New Orleans Royalty


Mardi Gras has long combined wild street activities open to everyone with events organized by private clubs known as krewes. Today, thousands of people belong to about 60 krewes that plan the parades and balls of New Orleans' Mardi Gras. The oldest krewe, the Krewe of Comus, was founded in 1857 by men who feared the outrageous antics of Mardi Gras would lead to the holiday being outlawed. They hoped that secret societies could keep the celebrations alive.

Most Mardi Gras Krewes developed from private social clubs that have restrictive membership policies. Since all of these parade organizations are completely funded by its members, we call it the "Greatest Free Show on Earth"!
Throws

The millions of colorful beaded necklaces thrown from floats are the most visible symbols and souvenirs of Mardi Gras. In addition, millions of cups and toy coins known as "doubloons" are decorated with krewe logos and thrown to parade-watchers. Some "throws" are especially prized: only the luckiest folks manage to take home the hand-decorated coconuts from the Krewe of Zulu.

The throwing of trinkets to the crowds was started in the early 1870s by the Twelfth Night Revelers, and is a time-honored expectation for young and old alike.

In 1884 (over 100 years ago!), Rex started using medallions instead of trinkets. These medallions are represented by today's doubloons. These doubloons are aluminum and anodized in many different colors. They depict the parade theme on one side and the Krewe's emblem on the other. They have become collector's items.

Other popular throws include cups (otherwise known as New Orleans equiste drinking glasses), long pearl beads, Krewe Of Mid City's Parade Potato chips and stuffed animals.

Be warned! If you're at your first parade and reach down to pick up a doubloon with your hand, your fingers may never be the same! Many stomp on doubloons in their rush to claim them.

People do outrageous things to catch the most throws. Some dress as priests, hoping the many Catholics on the floats will shower them with goodies. Others dress their children in eye-catching costumes and seat them, holding baskets to catch the loot, on ladders that tower over the crowds. Others give up on the costume ploy altogether, finding that taking clothes off can be the quickest attention-getter.

 


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