NOTE! This is a work in progress, last updated 11/20/19. The 2020 parade schedule won't be released until later this year, but we are updating our 2019 post with projected dates and info. We'll be updating this page throughout the year so check back often! (Not obsessively, but still...)
While Carnival officially begins when we cut the first piece of King Cake on January 6 at our Carnival Kickoff, 2020 brings us almost two months of parading fun. Here's the 2020 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule with appropriate commentary thrown in for good measure. We also include here the marching krewes as well as other parades throughout Louisiana in case you want to take a road trip and so that we have the most complete parade schedule ever.
New! We now have our own Google Calendar! Search for KingCakeHub@gmail.com to integrate into your calendar or visit this link for the complete parade and events schedule!
KING'S DAY, MONDAY, JANUARY 6, 2020:
Phunny Phorty Phellows: Monday, 1/6, 7pm, St Charles Streetcar Route
While technically, we now claim the official Carnival Kickoff with our event the morning of January 6 as we celebrate the start of Carnival with the grand arrival and ceremonial cutting of the first piece of King Cake, the Phunny Phorty Phellows is the first parade and it is our duty to toast them as they embark upon the streetcar for their annual journey heralding the onset of Carnival.
Krewe of Jeanne d’Arc: Monday, 1/6, 7pm, French Quarter
This year's theme: Joan of Arc meets Joan Van Ark (and I will keep using that joke every year).
Funky Uptown Krewe: Monday, 1/6, 7:05pm, Uptown
The Funky Uptown Krewe or F.U.K. for short (or maybe not) made its debut in 2019 following the Phunny Phorty Phellows on the St Charles Streetcar line.
Societe des Champs Elysees: Monday, 1/6, 7:30pm, Downtown Streetcar Route
This relatively new Twelfth Night krewe has paraded on the Rampart streetcar line but since the collapse of the Hard Rock hotel, the RTA has said that "there is no chance the cars will be rolling again by early January." Ergo, there's a change of plans for the Krewe. Side note, RTA says only four streetcars can be reserved for parties on any given day so if one wanted to, for example, reserve a streetcar for one's own Carnival Kickoff for a location that is conveniently on the streetcar line, they would be out of luck. Or so we may have heard.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 11, 2020
St. John Fools of Misrule: Saturday 1/11, 4pm, Covington
The Fools of Misrule announce the arrival of the Carnival season to St Tammany Parish where for some reason the season begins a few days after Twelfth Night. Is Seventeenth Night a thing?
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1, 2020
Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus: Saturday 2/1, 7pm, Marigny/Bywater
UPDATE: Chewbacchus normally rolled on the first Saturday of parades but in 2019 kicked off the parade season by rolling two weeks earlier. The Krewe of 'tit-Rex, which used to roll right before Chewbacchus, also rolled earlier than normal. We'll update you if dates change again.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2020
Krewe Boheme: Friday, 2/7, 7pm, French Quarter and Marigny
This new walking Krewe for the French Quarter and Marigny made a splashing debut in 2019 and grabbed a coveted parading spot on an open Friday night. It’s comprised largely of expatriates from the Krewedelusion and had beautiful costumes and headdresses, creative floats and themes and presented an overall magnificent parade. We look forward to their 2020 show!
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2020
Krewe of Confetti Kids: Saturday, 2/8, 10:30am, Algiers
This relatively new walking krewe is a kid-friendly walking parade that winds through the streets of Algiers Point. All are welcome to decorate a bike, wagon or stroller.
Krewe of Bilge: Saturday, 2/8, 11am, Slidell
Every year I think “Oh, we should go to this boat parade. Supposedly they decorate the boats up really nice. It should be fun.” We never do. One day, Bilge, one day. Besides, generally we're tied up with (and possibly a little buzzed during) the Scout parade in Lakeview so during that time we have to recover to make it down for Krewe du Vieux.
Krewe of Kuties, Saturday 2/8, 1pm, Gretna
A "beloved children's parade" kicks off Carnival in Gretna. Does that mean it's a beloved parade or a parade of beloved children? Discuss.
Krewe of Oshun, Saturday, 2/8, 2pm, Baton Rouge
Krewe of Poseidon: Saturday, 2/8, 6pm, Slidell
Sorry, Poseidon. It’s Krewe du Vieux night.
Krewe du Vieux: Saturday, 2/8, 6:30pm, Marigny & French Quarter
Yes we’ve taken our daughter to this every year and we always get some side-eyes but she has to cheer for Mommy and Aunt Jen and Uncle Peter and Aunt Grace and everybody else in Krewe of Spank and she’s too busy clamoring for throws to notice the giant leaking phallus that’s travelling down the street.
Krewedelusion: Saturday 2/8, 7pm, follows Krewe Du Vieux, sort of although they have a different route.
And to our friends in Northeast Louisiana...
Krewe of Janus Children’s Parade: 10am, West Monroe
Krewe of Paws Pet Parade: 1:30pm, West Monroe
Krewe of Janus: 6pm, West Monroe
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2020:
Krewe of Nefertiti: Sunday, 2/9, 11am, New Orleans East
New! New Orleans East gets a new parade for 2020, formerly a subkrewe of the Krewe of Freret. Here are the details.
Krewe of Little Rascals: Sunday, 2/9, noon, Metairie
I took my daughter to this a couple of years ago to support this children’s parade and it was a nice day but I almost screamed in terror when I saw this sign identifying a float:
Krewe of Slidellians, Sunday 2/9, 1pm, Slidell
Krewe of Perseus: follows Slidellians
Ok, we went to the Slidell parades once and had a great time. There's plenty of parking, crowds aren't too thick and it's a fun little afternoon jaunt. We'll have no Slidell-shaming here, thank you.
Krewe of Pearl River Lions Club: Sunday 2/9, 1pm, Pearl River
Krewe of ‘Tit-RƏx: Sunday, 2/9, 4:30pm, Marigny:
Faubourg Marigny is the place to be as the creative walking Krewe of ‘Tit-RƏx takes to the streets with a procession of intricately-designed mini-floats that demand multiple viewings to fully appreciate their creativity. Bonus stars for the mini ladder (pictured below). 2019 had a new date and time for Tit-Rex so maybe it'll catch the Krewe du Vieux stragglers from the night before.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2020:
Krewe du Kanaval: Friday, 2/14, 2pm, Congo Square and an "undetermined route and duration".
Conceived by Ben Jaffe of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and Win Butler and Regine Chassagne of Arcade Fire, this krewe debuted in 2018 and for some reason nothing to do with actor Bobby Cannavale. Here's more info.
Krewe of Cork: Friday, 2/14, 3pm, French Quarter
This krewe of wine-lovers (which tangentially makes me think that Albino Rhino Gyno Wino would make for a great Mardi Gras costume, especially if you’re a Bojack Horseman fan) makes its way around the French Quarter mid-afternoon before the first weekend of parades yet also feels the need to do a “practice parade” the weekend before just in case any of their members have forgotten how to walk and drink at the same time. Wife is generally finishing her float’s Galatoire’s lunch right around then so we meet up with her for some French Quarter carousing although we usually try to finish up in time to catch the Krewe of Oshun but rarely actually make it. Sometimes we take the daughter out of school early for it. Don't judge.
Krewe of Oshun: Friday 2/14, 6pm, Uptown
Rarely do we catch this parade because we’re still carousing after Krewe of Cork, although every year we urge Parade Tracker to tweet “Oshun is in motion.” (No website, but read their Yelp reviews for extra comedy.)
Krewe of Cleopatra: Friday, 2/14, 6:30pm, Uptown
Krewe of ALLA: Friday, 2/14, follows Cleopatra, Uptown- NEW DATE!
Breaking news from the Krewe of Alla that has been the longtime anchor of the first Sunday's parading marathon. Alla is moving to Friday night so you can spend your Valentine's Day with a few parades. Impress your friends by telling them ALLA stands for "ALgiers, LA," the original home for the parade until it moved to the Uptown route in 2014. Further impress your friends by telling them ABBA stands for Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni-Frid. Or, tell them Abba is Hebrew for Father. Either way, I just offered several potential parade themes.
Krewe of Eve: Friday, 2/14, 7pm, Mandeville
Krewe of Excalibur: Friday, 2/14, 7:30pm, Metairie
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2020:
Krewe de Paws of Old Towne: Saturday, 2/15, 10am, Slidell
There's also a Krewe of Paws in Monroe, apparently, so check your Google map otherwise it's a much longer drive.
Knights of Nemesis: Saturday, 2/15, 11am, Chalmette
Mystic Knights of Adonis: Saturday 2/15, 11:45am, West Bank
Alternate title: Krewe of I Am That I Am.
Krewe of Tchefuncte: Saturday, 2/15, 1pm, Madisonville
It's another boat parade!
Krewe of Push Mow, Saturday, 2/15, 1pm, Abita Springs
Abita Springs gets into the Carnival fun with their annual do-it-yourself parade which begins and ends at the Abita Springs Middle School.
Krewe of Pontchartrain: Saturday, 2/15, 1pm, Uptown
When we did our live broadcasts from the Uptown parades a couple of years ago, Pontchartrain refused to give us any advance information about their parade and were actually kind of snippy about it. Negative Eleventy Billion stars.
Krewe of Choctaw: Saturday 2/15, follows Pontchartrain
Krewe of Freret: Saturday, 2/15, follows Choctaw
Parading on the first Saturday, Freret hires our friend Professor Carl Nivale every year to call the parade from Gallier Hall (in 2019 he called most of the Uptown parades) and last year he invited us to party with him and Grand Marshal Marty Graw on the reviewing stand. Plus when we did the parade broadcasts Freret graciously sent us their entire parade script. Five stars.
UPDATE 11/20! Freret announced plans to showcase seven new large floats, more members and a new celebrity Grand Marshal, Troy "Trombone Shorty" Andrews who will ride on an animated large signature float with a 20-foot working trombone slide. Shorty will also headline a post-parade bash. Here's the story from Nola.com. We're looking forward to this one!
Knights of Sparta: Saturday, 2/15, 5:30pm, Uptown
Sparta puts on a pretty parade, but normally it's Chewbacchus night so we're having dinner at Kebab. But, since they're moving Chewbacchus maybe we'll make our way Uptown.
Krewe of Pygmalion: Saturday, 2/15, follows SpartaKrewe of Caesar: Saturday, 2/15, 5:30pm, Metairie
Scratch that. Caesar ain't 'dere no more.
Magical Krewe of MadHatters: Saturday, 2/15, 5pm, Metairie
Krewe of Centurions: Saturday, 2/15, TBD, Metairie
BREAKING NEWS! Centurions used to roll on the Friday of the 2nd Weekend but Jefferson Parish announced on June 17 that Metairie's oldest Krewe, Centurions, along with a new krewe called the "Magical Krewe of MadHatters" will roll during the Saturday of Family Gras, Metairie's family-friendly Carnival celebration. Each of the Metairie parades will roll on the new route, starting at Bonnabel and ending at Clearview center.
More Breaking News: Centurions announced that the 2019 Little League World Champion boys baseball team from River Ridge will be the Grand Marshals of Centurions' 41st annual parade accompanied by the Girls' Eastbank World Series finalists. The kids are going to have an active Carnival season as they'll also be on a special float in Bacchus.
Krewe of Olympia: Saturday, 2/15, 6pm, Covington
Krewe of Titans: Saturday, 2/15, 6:30pm, Slidell
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2020:
Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale: Sunday, 2/16, 11am, Uptown
Krewe of Carrollton: Sunday, 2/16, follows Femme Fatale
I remember when Carrollton used to roll in Mid-City by my house and when I was a kid Mr. Stokes the milkman used to ride in it and my mom would call out "Mr. Stokes!" Not sure if he threw anything to us. Whatever happened to milkmen? Discuss.
Krewe of King Arthur: Sunday, 2/16, follows Carrollton
King Arthur is one of the more underrated gems of Carnival but it puts on a good parade and membership is open to all. Our friends Meghan and Andy ride in it and wife and I always talk about joining up since it would be the chance to ride together. One day. It's the 9th largest Krewe and the first weekend's largest parade and fortunately Alla has moved to Friday night so afterward you can go home and admire your grails.
Krewe of Hyacinthians: Sunday, 2/16, 12pm, Houma
The oldest women's carnival club in Terrebonne Parish. I include them here because I used to be a Houma radio DJ and one day had to toss out to a live broadcast from this parade and I was terrified of having to say “Krewe of Hyacinthians” on-air.
Krewe of Titans: Sunday, 2/16, follows Hyacinthians, Houma
Krewe of Claude: Sunday, 2/16, 1pm, Slidell
"And Then There's Claude." There's a theme for you. Call me and we'll hash it out.
Krewe of Dionysus: Sunday, 2/16, follows Claude
Mid City Gras: Sunday, 2/16, 1pm, Baton Rouge
The krewe started in 2018 and their name translates to "Fat Mid City" but it's in Baton Rouge, so give them a break.
Krewe of Barkus: Sunday, 2/16, 2pm, French Quarter
When we had a French Quarter restaurant we would always get stink-eye when we would tell Barkus guests they couldn't bring in their boa-laden pets into the restaurant due to health department ordinances. Ah, good times.
Krewe of Kings: Sunday, 2/16, 5:30pm, Metairie
Haven't caught this new Metairie parade (that started in 2019) but hopefully they will include King Ahasuerus and King Vitaman. Speaking of King Vitaman (yes, for some reason it's King Vitaman and not King Vitamin), I bring you Mardi Gras 2014:
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2020:
Krewe of Druids: Wednesday, 2/19, 6:30pm, Uptown
"These aren't the Druids you've been looking for" has been used many times. Don't say it, 'cause you may be banned.
Krewe of Nyx: Wednesday, 2/19, 7pm, Uptown
With almost 3400 riders, Nyx has become the largest krewe of Carnival and puts on a spectacular parade despite the fact that it rains on it pretty much every year. Sorry Zhu-Lée.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2020:
Knights of Chaos: Thursday, 2/20, 5:30pm, Uptown
We usually pass the Chaos den as the floats and riders are pulling out as we walk to our Muses party. They use the old Momus floats and members are in current and former Carnival krewes. Watch to see how they make fun of the other parades.
Krewe of Babylon: Thursday, 2/20, 6:15pm, Uptown
Old-school Carnival traditions are reflected in this classic parade which features floats with wooden wheels that generally break down before the parade turns on to Napoleon thus delaying Muses.
Krewe of Muses: Thursday, 2/20, 6:30pm, Uptown
Muses is an incredible parade with amazing throws and beautiful floats with the best marching bands and the most creative marching groups that puts on a super-fun after-party and even if my wife was not a long-standing member I’d still give it a good review. But let’s work on getting the Pointer Sisters to play the after-party one year.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2020:
Greasing of the Poles: Friday, 2/21, 10am, Royal Sonesta
This is not a parade, per se, but I include it because it's an annual tradition that's considered one of the staple events of Carnival. Celebrating its 50th year in 2020, the Royal Sonesta's poles are greased to prevent revelers from climbing up the poles to get to the hotel's coveted balconies. Among the many fans of this event is a group from Switzerland that makes a pilgrimage each year to participate.
Krewe of Bosom Buddies and Breast Friends: Friday, 2/21, 11:30am, French Quarter
A relatively new walking krewe that parades in the French Quarter wearing tutus, bras and hats. No word if Peter Scolari will make an appearance. Or Wendie Jo Sperber. Speaking of Bosom Buddies...
Krewe of Crescent City Dames: Friday, 2/21, 12pm, French Quarter
According to their website, they're a "sazzy, dazzling group of mothers, spouses, neighbors, mentors, divas and more who have come together in the spirit of fun, hard work, diversity, and community awareness" who sashay on Bourbon Street on one of the best Fridays of the year to be on it.
Divine Jewels of Covington: TBA, French Quarter
I have no information about this group but if you happen to stumble upon a marching krewe parading around the Quarter on Friday afternoon who look like they're from Covington then this might be them. Or not.
These three parades roll the Friday night before Fat Tuesday and we generally miss them because Wife is tired from her Muses ride the night before. But we usually catch them on the ParadeCam which entails us yelling at the computer at the interns they recruit to be the parade hosts and cringing when they blatantly mispronounce the name of the parade which they are covering. Hint: It’s not “Krewe OF detat” (yes, hosts, the final t is silent) and Hermes is not pronounced “Herms.” Since I usually have that night free I hereby volunteer as tribute to host the coverage.
Krewe of Selene: Friday, 2/21, 6:30pm, Slidell
According to Greek mythology Selene, the goddess of the moon, had fifty daughters with Endymion so I don't know how she had time to get anything done, let alone put on a parade especially with Endymion tied up with all of his mishegash for the next day.
Original Orpheus: Friday, 2/21, 7pm, Mandeville
BREAKING: the Original Krewe of Orpheus announced they will not parade in 2020 but plan to take a break to build up membership and hopefully will return on January 29, 2021. Here's more on the story.
Or, outside of the New Orleans area:
Krewe of Aphrodite: 6:30pm, Houma
Krewe of Adonis: 7pm, Morgan City
Merchants’ Parade: 7pm, Lake Charles
Krewe of Athena: 7pm, Golden Meadow
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2020:
Krewe of Bush: Saturday, 2/22, 9am, Bush
Krewe of NOMTOC: Saturday, 2/22, 10:45am, West Bank
NOMTOC stands for “New Orleans’ Most Talked of Club” and admittedly I have never heard anybody actually talking about it, even my mom’s mah-jongg group, and they talk about EVERYTHING. Although NOMTOC is sponsored by the Jugs Social Club and used to be listed in the schedules as NOMTOC/Jugs which brought about a tee-hee or two in Middle School, kind of like Krewe of Bush.
Sunset Mardi Gras Parade, 11am, Sunset, LA
Sunset is located north of Lafayette on I-49. It's known as the "Gateway to Carencro."
Krewe of Iris: Saturday, 2/22, 11am, Uptown
Iris celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2017 making it Carnival's oldest all-female krewe and also the largest parading krewe with over 3400 members and 1600 riders. In 2020, Iris will debut their mounted Cavaliers so check them out and catch a pair of hand-decorated sunglasses.
Krewe of Tucks: Saturday, 2/22, 11am, Uptown
Okay, technically we haven't seen Iris and Tucks in many years since it's a big king cake day for us plus we're hunkered down in Lakeview getting ready for Endymion. But, Tucks, can we chill on the toilet paper that stays in the trees forever?
Krewe of Rosethorne: Saturday, 2/22, 12pm, Lafitte
Baldwin Mardi Gras Parade, 1pm, Baldwin, LA
Krewe of Cypremort Sippers: 1pm, Cypremort Point
I've never heard of Cypremort either, but it's right at the end of Louisiana south of Avery Island and a two-hour drive from New Orleans on Hwy 90. If this wasn't our busiest day of the year for king cakes and, well, Endymion, this looks like it would be a fun day trip.
Krewe of Dionysus: 2pm, Bayou Vista
Technically you could do a Baldin/Cypremort Point/Bayou Vista trifecta which would make for a fun Saturday road trip.
Souper Krewe of Broth: Saturday, 2/22, sometime before Endymion
I don't know much about the Souper Krewe of Broth but apparently they started a couple of years ago going around the streets of Mid-City before Endymion and handing out soup. Here's some more info, although sometimes I'm perfectly happy with some Lipton Cup-a-Soup.
Krewe of Endymion: Saturday, 2/22, 4:15pm, Mid-City
Folks start lining up for Endymion a couple weeks in advance of the parade which gave rise to the #KreweOfChad hashtag which I credit myself for incorporating into the Carnival lexicon. We would link here to our Storify story documenting the history of #KreweOfChad but alas Storify got sold to Adobe and they wiped out all their content despite my personal pleas to CEO Jordan Kretchmer whom I knew when he was in high school. But, it’s a good story nonetheless.
Krewe of Dionysos, Saturday, 2/22, 6pm, Natchitoches
Okay, bear with us. Yes, there is a Krewe of Dionysus earlier in the day in Bayou Vista. This is the Krewe of Dionysos even though Dionysos and Dionysus are both acceptable spellings of the Greek god of wine, merriment and theater who is also known by his Roman name, Bacchus, which parades tomorrow. Natchitoches is in central Louisiana and you won't pronounce it correctly. (It's not pronounced Natch-ee-tuchus.)
Krewe of Isis: Saturday, 2/22, 6:30pm, Kenner- NEW INFO!
Don't be alarmed when you see the articles about Isis coming to Kenner. It's just the Krewe of Isis becoming Kenner's first Mardi Gras parade in many, many years as the Krewe moves from the controversial Metairie route. For more information including the new route, check out articles here and here.
(Oh, speaking of Sinbad...)
(Further speaking of Sinbad (still not sure why), there actually was a Krewe of Sinbad that paraded in Metairie from 1990-1999. Okay, here endeth the tangent.)
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2020:
Krewe of Okeanos: Sunday, 2/23, 11am, Uptown
Krewe of Mid-City: Sunday, 2/23, 11:45am, Uptown
Part of the Mardi-Gras Sunday parade marathon, we never make it out to these parades because we’re usually in a food coma due to too much potato salad at the Thoth party (see below). Supposedly Mid-City’s floats are wrapped in aluminum foil or Reynolds Wrap or something. Somewhere in my wife’s lineage there’s a Reynolds line and I’m curious if she’s a long-lost heir to aluminum foil fame and fortune. Three stars.
Krewe of Thoth: Sunday, 2/23, 12pm, Uptown
This Sunday morning superkrewe winds its way through Uptown New Orleans with a special route that takes it past Children’s Hospital. Atara’s parents always have an open house and Ms. Deidre makes the absolute best potato salad in the world. Five stars. Sadly, I don't have a picture of the potato salad, but here's my friend Jim playing the trumpet during Thoth, 2013.
Krewe of Terreanians: Sunday, 2/23, 1pm, Houma, LA
Krewe of Galatea Parade: Sunday, 2/23, 2pm, Morgan City, LA
Box of Wine Parade: Sunday, 2/23, Uptown
A walking krewe on the Uptown route immediately before Bacchus, we tried to make it out to see Box of Wine but we got frightened by the hordes of drunken teenagers that converge on the corner of St Charles and Amelia. We tried to fight our way through Walking Dead-style but we were rapidly overrun by the adolescent zombies and those of us who survived retreated back to Cait’s for more smoked brisket chili.
Krewe of Bacchus: Sunday, 2/23, 5:15pm, Uptown
For 35 years we’ve had the tradition of watching Bacchus from Billy’s mom’s house. Some years we’re actually invited. Billy makes a mean brisket. One time he cooked a roast on his engine manifold while driving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. (It was a rental car.) Bacchus always picks a celebrity as royalty except the guy who played Rizzo was a bit of a stretch. Five stars.
(UPDATE 1/23/19: It was just announced that this year's Bacchus will be Jensen Ackles who apparently has been on a show after he was Eric Brady on Days of Our Lives.)
(UPDATE: 8/30/19: The Krewe of Bacchus announced that the World Champion Eastbank Little League Team and the Girls' Eastbank World Series finalists will ride on a special float in the 2020 parade!)
Krewe of Athena: Sunday, 2/23, 5:30pm, Metairie
Krewe of Pandora: Sunday, 2/23, follows Athena
LUNDI GRAS, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2020:
Krewe of Amani Parade: Monday, 2/24, 2pm, Patterson, LA
Krewe of Proteus: Monday, 2/24, 5:15pm, Uptown
Krewe of Orpheus: Monday, 2/24, follows Proteus
The Monday night superkrewe which I've had the pleasure of riding in a couple of times. One year it rained super hard and by the time we made it into the convention center I was nearly out of throws so I was scooping them from off the floor of the float which by that point was soaked in rain, beer and mud. But, the formal-clad attendees at the party didn't mind being showered with them. They were leaving with wagons full of throws.
Krewe of Robyn: Monday, 2/24, 8pm, French Quarter and Marigny
Ah, Robyn, the Swedish singer whose 1995 debut album Robyn is Here gave us the hits "Do you Know" and "Show Me Love." There's a parade in her honor. Yup. It's been a long post so far. Do we need a Robyn break before perusing which parades are on Mardi Gras? Fine. Here you go.
MARDI GRAS, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2020:
Start your morning early with the marching krewes!
North Side Skull and Bone Gang: Treme and the Seventh Ward, 5:00am
One day I'll fulfill this item on my Mardi Gras bucket list and wake up super early to see the Skull and Bone Gang wake up the folks in Treme and the Seventh Ward. From a tradition started in 1819 and revived in 2003 the group starts at the Backstreet Cultural Museum at 5am and goes house to house waking up the neighborhood and spreading a message of peace.
Skeleton Krewe, Uptown Route, French Quarter, Marigny, 6:30am
The Skeleton Krewe gets an early start walking the streets of the parade route. They also march before Krewe D'Etat on the Friday before Carnival.
Pete Fountain's Half-Fast Walking Club: Uptown, French Quarter, 7am
Since 1961, Pete Fountain's Half-Fast Walking Club has led the way on Mardi Gras morning with a musical stroll starting at Commander's Palace and winding its way down the route to downtown, Bourbon Street and finishing up at the Monteleone Hotel. Even though the legendary clarinetist died in 2016, the group carries on in Pete's memory with bright suits and traditional jazz. They even have their own doubloons!
Mondo Kayo: Uptown Route, French Quarter, Marigny (follows Pete Fountain)
This is Mimi. Mimi makes fabulous costumes every year for Mardi Gras and we always look forward to seeing her latest creations. She marches with Mondo Kayo, a marching group whose mission is to bring the color and joy of Caribbean Carnival to the streets of New Orleans. Catch their fabulous costumes and lively dancing just before Zulu starting at Third and Magazine then throughout the French Quarter and Marigny.
Jefferson City Buzzards: Uptown Route, 7:30am
Irish Channel Corner Club: Irish Channel and Uptown, 7:45am
Organized in 1918, this group also marches in Thoth on the Sunday before Mardi Gras.
Societe de Sainte Anne: Bywater, Marigny and French Quarter, 8am
One of my favorite annual Mardi Gras traditions occurs when the brightly-costumed members of the Societe de Sainte Anne culminate their march throughout Bywater, the Marigny and French Quarter and end up at the Moonwalk where members pour the ashes of their loved ones who died into the Mississippi River. It's a beautiful tribute to offer one last celebration to those who have passed during the previous year. Here's a great blog post about this tradition which has been going on since the krewe's founding in 1969.
Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club: Tuesday, 2/25, 8am, Uptown
8am? Really? When has Zulu ever actually rolled at 8am?
Rex: Tuesday, 2/25, 10am, Uptown
We usually try to toast Rex as he makes the turn onto Canal Street, generally timed with stopping in for our Popeye’s picnic. My friend Ian had his rehearsal dinner in the Rex room at Antoine’s. On the wall were pictures of all the previous Kings of Carnival. During my toast I made a joke that they were pictures of my synagogue’s past-presidents. An awkward silence followed. Three stars.
Elks, Crescent City: Tuesday 2/25, Follows Rex, Uptown
Truck parades. Can't stand the horns. Really, we hear you. We know you're a big truck. You don't need to keep informing us "this vehicle is equipped with a horn."
Krewe of Argus, Elks Jefferson, Krewe of Jefferson: Tuesday 2/25, 10am, Metairie
Mardi Gras in Metairie. It's a thing. Hey what happened to Grela?
Lions Club Parade, Mystic Krewe of Covington and Krewe of Lyra: Tuesday, 2/25, 10am, Covington
KOE, 11am, French Quarter
Also known as the Non-Rolling Elvi (I just made that up), the Krewe of Elvi bill themselves as Mardi Gras' first "cyber-krewe" with members from all over the country who converge annually during Carnival for mirth and revelry.
Krewe of Chahta: 1:00pm, Lacombe
Franklin Mardi Gras Parade: 1pm, Franklin
Krewe of Folsom: 1:30pm, Folsom
Krewe of Hephaestus Parade: 2pm, Morgan City
Krewe of Pegasus:
Technically this parade hasn’t rolled since 2009 but it still gets three stars because it used to start right by my house until the consolidation of the neighborhood parades into the central Uptown route.
Krewe of America:
Ok, there isn’t really a Krewe of America but there used to be for an ill-fated three years in the late 90s. By the way, Nola.com has a great list of 50 Krewes that ain’t ‘dere no more.
While you wait for the Mardi Gras Guide and a more detailed listing for 2020, check out pics, links and info from 2019 at Nola.com’s very impressive article at https://www.nola.com/expo/life-and-culture/erry-2018/10/2596dd2d482873/mardi-gras-2019-see-the-comple.html. Kudos to Doug MacCash and team for putting it together!