While Carnival officially begins when we cut the first piece of King Cake on January 6 at our Carnival Kickoff, 2019 brings us almost two months of parading fun. Here's the 2019 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule with appropriate commentary thrown in for good measure.
KING'S DAY, SUNDAY, JANUARY 6, 2019:
Phunny Phorty Phellows: Sunday, 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: Sunday, 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: Sunday, 1/6, 7:05pm, Uptown
A new krewe that was just announced. Apparently they will follow the Phunny Phorty Phellows on the St Charles Streetcar line.
Societe des Champs Elysees: Sunday, 1/6, 7:30pm, Downtown Streetcar Route
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2019
Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus: Saturday 2/9, 7pm, Marigny/Bywater
UPDATE: Chewbacchus normally rolls on the first Saturday of parades but this year will roll two weeks earlier thus expanding the parade season by a week. The Krewe of 'tit-Rex, which normally rolled before Chewbacchus, will roll on Sunday 2/17.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2019
Krewe Boheme: Friday, 2/15, 7pm, French Quarter and Marigny
It’s a new walking Krewe for the French Quarter and Marigny which grabbed a coveted parading spot on an open Friday night. It’s comprised largely of expatriates from the Krewedelusion and should be a fun way to kick off the parading season although if I don’t get a song parody based on Rent’s “La Vie Boheme” I will leave unfulfilled.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2019
Krewe of Bilge: Saturday, 2/16, 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 Poseidon: Saturday, 2/16, 6pm, Slidell
Sorry, Poseidon. It’s Krewe du Vieux night.
Krewe du Vieux: Saturday, 2/16, 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 2/16, 7pm, follows Krewe Du Vieux, maybe.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2019:
Krewe of Little Rascals: Sunday, 2/17, noon, Metairie
I took my daughter to this last year 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 2/17, 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 2/17, 1pm, Pearl River
Krewe of ‘Tit-RƏx: Sunday, 2/17, 4:30pm, Marigny: NEW DATE and TIME!
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). This is a new date and time for Tit-Rex so maybe it'll catch the Krewe du Vieux stragglers from the night before.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2019:
Krewe du Kanaval: Friday, 2/22, 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 2nd year krewe has a new date and for some reason nothing to do with actor Bobby Cannavale. Here's more info.
Krewe of Cork: Friday, 2/22, 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 2/22, 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, 2/22, 6:30pm, Uptown
Krewe of Eve: Friday, 2/22, 7pm, Mandeville
Krewe of Excalibur: Friday, 2/22, 7:30pm, Metairie
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23, 2019:
Krewe of Paws: Saturday, 2/23, 10am, Slidell
There's also a Krewe of Paws in Monroe, apparently, so check your Google map otherwise it's a much longer drive.
Mystic Knights of Adonis: Saturday 2/23, 11:45am, West Bank
Alternate title: Krewe of I Am That I Am.
Krewe of Tchefuncte: Saturday, 2/23, 1pm, Madisonville
It's another boat parade!
Knights of Nemesis: Saturday, 2/23, 1pm, Chalmette
Krewe of Pontchartrain: Saturday, 2/23, 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 2/23, follows Pontchartrain
Krewe of Freret: Saturday, 2/23, follows Choctaw
Parading on the first Saturday, Freret hires our friend Professor Carl Nivale every year to call the parade from Gallier Hall and last year he invited us to join the Freret group on the reviewing stand. Plus when we did the parade broadcasts Freret graciously sent us their entire parade script. Five stars.
Knights of Sparta: Saturday, 2/23, 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, 2/23, follows SpartaKrewe of Caesar: Saturday, 2/23, 5:30pm, Metairie
As far as Metairie parades go, Caesar's the one to catch.
Krewe of Olympia: Saturday, 2/23, 6pm, Covington
Krewe of Titans: Saturday, 2/23, 6:30pm, Slidell
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 24, 2019:
Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale: Sunday, 2/24, 11am, Uptown
Krewe of Carrollton: Sunday, 2/24, 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, 2/24, 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 so by the end you're ready to call it a day but you can't because...
Krewe of ALLA: Sunday, 2/24, follows King Arthur
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 Hyacinthians: Sunday, 2/24, 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 Claude: Sunday, 2/24, 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, 2/24, follows Claude
Krewe of Barkus: Sunday, 2/24, 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, 2/24, 5:30pm, Metairie
Hey, it's a new Metairie parade! 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 27, 2019:
Krewe of Druids: Wednesday, 2/27, 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, 2/27, 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 28, 2019:
Knights of Chaos: Thursday, 2/28, 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, 2/28, 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, 2/28, 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, MARCH 1, 2019:
Krewe of Bosom Buddies: Friday, 3/1, 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...
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, 3/1, 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.
Krewe of Centurions: Friday, 3/1, 6:30pm, Metairie
Original Orpheus: Friday, 3/1, 7pm, Mandeville
Original Orpheus, Orpheus and Morpheus participate in a Battle of the Network Stars type event. Just throwing that out there.
SATURDAY, MARCH 2, 2019:
Krewe of Iris: Saturday, 3/2, 11am, Uptown
Krewe of Tucks: Saturday, 3/2, 11am, Uptown
Sorry Iris and Tucks, it's a big king cake day for us plus we're hunkered down in Lakeview getting ready for Endymion. But can we chill on the toilet paper that stays in the trees forever?
Krewe of NOMTOC: Saturday, 3/2, 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.
Krewe of Endymion: Saturday, 3/2, 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 Isis: Saturday, 3/2, 6:30pm, Metairie
(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.)
Krewe of Rosethorne: Saturday, 3/2, 12pm, Lafitte
Sadly, there was not a Saturday morning kids show called Rosethorne.
SUNDAY, MARCH 3, 2019:
Krewe of Okeanos: Sunday, 3/3, 11am, Uptown
Krewe of Mid-City: Sunday, 3/3, 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, 3/3, 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.
Box of Wine Parade: Sunday, 3/3, 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, 3/3, 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.
Krewe of Athena: Sunday, 3/3, 5:30pm, Metairie
Krewe of Pandora: Sunday, 3/3, follows Athena
LUNDI GRAS, MONDAY, MARCH 4, 2019:
Krewe of Proteus: Monday, 3/4, 5:15pm, Uptown
Krewe of Orpheus: Monday, 3/4, 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.
MARDI GRAS, TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2019:
Start your morning early with the marching krewes!
Jefferson City Buzzards: Uptown Route, 7:30am
Mondo Kayo: Uptown Route, French Quarter, Marigny
Pete Fountain's Half-Fast Walking Club: Uptown, French Quarter
Societe de Saint Anne: Marigny and French Quarter
Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club: Tuesday, 3/5, 8am, Uptown
8am? Really? When has Zulu ever actually rolled at 8am?
Rex: Tuesday, 3/5, 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 3/5, 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 3/5, 10am, Metairie
Mardi Gras in Metairie. It's a thing. Hey what happened to Grela?
Krewe of Lyra: Tuesday, 3/5, 10am, Covington
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.
For more information, pics and links on the Mardi Gras 2019 parade schedule, visit 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!