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Mardi Gras Parade Schedule 2019

For the best views in the city, consider purchasing grandstand tickets to this year’s parades from New Orleans Parade Tickets.

New Orleans Mardi Gras

One of the best parties in the world is here! The Carnival season kicked off on January 6, known as Twelfth Night or the Epiphany, with three parades. It will culminate as usual on Mardi Gras Day, which this year falls on March 5.

Here’s the rundown of this year’s parades that will roll in February and through Fat Tuesday in the city of New Orleans.

Some parades keep their themes, throws and royalty secret until the day the parade rolls but we did our best to include this year’s announced themes along with the updates on the newcomers, date changes, this year’s featured throws, and other news. And, for the best views in the city, consider purchasing grandstand tickets to this year’s parades from New Orleans Parade Tickets.

Saturday, February 9

Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, 7:00 PM (Bywater, Marigny)

The sci-fi inclined Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus will walk-n-roll with a “Space Farce” theme and the usual menagerie of the mythical creatures, space monsters, movie characters, and lots and lots of Princess Leias. The krewe hasn’t capped the membership, at least not yet, so expect a long procession of walking sub-krewes (there are over 150 to date with over 1,000 members) with out-of-this-world floats and other creatively decorated contraptions that include bikes, trailers, and even shopping carts. The krewe eschews using petroleum products, preferring greener methods to power their floats. Most throws are also handmade, including the custom bead medallions, stuffed animals, and the Sacred Drunken Wookiee stickers. Chewbacchus starts and ends in the Bywater, on Press and Chartres streets, spending the bulk of the parade walking down the 11 blocks of St. Claude Ave.

Friday, February 15

Krewe Bohème, 7 PM (Bywater, Marigny, French Quarter)

This new marching parade rolls though the Bywater, Marigny and French Quarter with a theme of “La Vie Bohème,” led by a Green Absinthe Fairy (in place of the usual king and queen) and followed by several inner krewe marching clubs, including Krewe of Goddesses, the Merry Antoinettes, the Bayou Babes, and Glambeaux. The presiding fairy this year is performer Vinsantos Defonte.

Saturday, February 16

Krewe du Vieux, followed by Krewedelusion, 6:30 PM (Marigny, French Quarter)

Note: These parades may not be suitable for children.

Krewe du Vieux (KDV) is infamous for its biting political satire, adult themes and irreverent takes on the city’s daily struggles. Its 17 sub-krewes are mostly the walking kind, interspersed with the small-scale floats and some of the best brass bands in the city. The beloved local musician Walter “Wolfman” Washington is Krewe du Vieux’s 2019 King. KDV rolls in the Marigny and the French Quarter and has some of the carnival’s most creative handmade throws.

The relative newcomer krewedelusion follows KDV along the same route starting at 7 PM. This satirical parade krewe is comprised of “inner krewes” including the Guise of Fawkes, Krewe Dat 504 and Krewe du Seuss. The krewe’s slogan is “The People Shall Rule — Until a Suitable Replacement Can Be Found.” The theme is kept secret till the day of the parade; Lois Andrews Nelson, a social aid and pleasure club veteran and mother of musicians Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and James Andrews, is this year’s Queen. Her entourage will include the Gold Diggers Baby Dolls and members of The Baby Dolls Sisterhood. The new inner krewe, The Trashformers, will collect unwanted beads, cans, plastic cups and other parade debris in the attempt to reduce the parade’s already pretty small carbon footprint.

Sunday, February 17

‘tit Rəx, 4:30 PM (Bywater, Marigny)

Note: New date and time; the route remains the same.

This micro-krewe parade is unique in a way that it takes an opposite approach to the super krewes competing to set records for the extravagance as well as the number of floats, riders and throws. Instead, this walking parade capped its float number years ago and focuses on all things small-scale.

All floats (around 30) have shoeboxes as their base, similar in concept to what the local kids make for school projects, but to a much more advanced degree of artistry. There were elaborate double-deckers in the past years, as well as puppets and even a helium balloon-powered float. The floats are hand-pulled by about 90 unmasked, formally dressed members. All throws are handmade and tend to be miniature in size (the bead throws, for example, are usually the size of a bracelet or smaller).

Over the years, the parade had acquired a loyal following, with the spectators setting up miniature scenes of dolls partying on ladders along the route. The parade is generally kid-friendly, although there’s an occasional raunchy take on the theme, and always a lot of political satire. This year’s theme is “A Modicum of Decency.” The parade rolls in the Bywater and the Marigny, starting by the St. Roch Tavern and ending at the AllWays Lounge for the annual ball.

Friday, February 22

Krewe of Cork, 3:00 PM (French Quarter)
Oshun, followed by Cleopatra, 6:00 PM (Uptown)

The Krewe of Cork is a spirited walking parade contained to the French Quarter and dedicated, as you probably guessed, to wine and revelry. Krewe members don wine-themed costumes and dole out throws bearing the krewe’s grape logo. The “wine police” rides along in golf carts, and the parade’s Grand Marshal is a different vintner ever year.

The Krewe of Oshun is named for the Yoruba goddess of love and has 20 floats, led by the captain aboard a peacock float down the traditional Uptown parade route. The Baby Dolls march along, and throws include peacock figures and mugs.

Another Uptown parade on that day, the all-female Krewe of Cleopatra has 1,000 members and stunning floats. The Queen of the parade travels in her royal barge, and the parade is flanked by the pre- and post- celebration extravaganzas. This year’s theme is “Cleopatra’s Animated Adventures.”

Saturday, February 23

Pontchartrain, followed by Choctaw and Freret, 1:00 PM (Uptown)
Sparta, followed by Pygmalion, 5:30 PM (Uptown)

Things will be heating up on that Saturday with no less than five parades, all rolling Uptown and starting with the memorable floats of Krewe of Pontchartrain, including a huge crawfish named Mr. Mudbug and the giant fish named The Super Grouper. The Krewe of Choctaw’s 2019 theme is “A Celebration of Life.” Each of the parade’s 19 floats will portray past royalty and important New Orleans citizens. The co-ed Krewe of Freret, resurrected in 2011 since the mid-1990s thanks to some enthusiastic Loyola alumni, will again feature hand-decorated masks the members create themselves.

The Knights of Sparta, an all-male krewe, is known for the elaborate masks and Spartan helmets. Look for out for the medallion beads, doubloons, and the annual mystery throw. Sparta’s theme for 2019 is “Beyond the Sea.” The last parade, Pygmalion, consists of 250 male and female riders and features enchanting floats steeped in Greek mythology. Post-parade, the party goes on at the Pygmalion Fest at Generations Hall. It’s open to the public and features the Ying Yang Twins, who are also the parade’s celebrity Grand Marshals.

Sunday, February 24

Femme Fatale, followed by CarrolltonKing ArthurAlla, 11:00 AM (Uptown)
Barkus, 2:00 PM (French Quarter)

This year’s theme for the Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale is “Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale Presents Story Time.” Come catch their signature throw, a mirrored compact, along with the 2019 theme bead, Femme dolls, stuffed lips and lipsticks. The 2019 theme for the Krewe of Carrollton is “Treasures of the Seas.” This parade features 26 floats with titles like the Mermaid, the Atlantis, and the Hidden Treasure Chest. Special throws include medallion beads, decorated shrimp boots, sand pails, and blue fedoras.

In honor of the Academy Award ceremony which takes place on the same night, the theme of the 2019 King Arthur parade is “And The ARTHUR Goes To.” The 50-plus float parade will feature the krewe’s first ever three-tandem float. Throws will include hand-decorated grails, King and Queen medallion beads, and the King Arthur Toy Army. Alla‘s theme for 2019 is “Are We There Yet?“, featuring floats portraying different destination themes. They will be throwing hand-decorated genie lamps again this year.

The Mystic Krewe of Barkus belongs to the man’s best friend, with a focus on the seemingly endless procession of costume-clad, mostly well-behaved dogs escorted by their humans. The king and queen are, naturally, canine: The king is usually a purebred, and the queen is traditionally a rescue. This year’s theme is “The Big Bark Theory: Barkus Goes to Comic Con.” Let your imagination run wild.

Wednesday, February 27

Ancient Druids, followed by Nyx, 6:30 PM (Uptown)

The Ancient Druids pay homage to the priests of ancient Celtic societies and is led by the king, the Archdruid. It’s a unique parade in a way that its 200 members belong to other Carnival organizations, so it’s a parade-only krewe. Member identities are never revealed, and the krewe doesn’t have the traditional royalty.

The Mystic Krewe of Nyx is one of the city’s largest all-women’s Mardi Gras krewes and most diverse. The parade’s signature colors are hot pink and black, and you might be lucky enough to catch the signature throw, a hand-decorated purse. Past Nyx Goddesses includes New Orleans’ notable women like Chef Susan Spicer, Peggy Lee and Irma Thomas, the Soul Queen of New Orleans.

Thursday, February 28

Knights of Babylon, followed by Chaos and Muses, 5:30 PM (Uptown)

The Knights of Babylon go back to 1939 and honor the Carnival traditions by using the flambeaux and the floats with the same designs as decades ago. The king’s float is still drawn by a mule. Babylon’s 200 knights are led by their king, Sargon, whose identity is not revealed to the public. Babylon’s theme is also kept secret till the day of the parade. Similarly, the satirical Chaos also don’t reveal the king’s identity or the parade theme ahead of time. The all-male krewe counts 200 members.

The Krewe of Muses is one of the Carnival’s most popular parades thanks to its dazzling floats, top-notch marching bands, and bitingly humorous themes. The cup throw bears the design of the annual contest winner among the local school children. The winner also gets to ride as a guest of the krewe. Look for the iconic shoe float with this year’s honorary muse, the Louisiana native and actress Patricia Clarkson. And see if you can catch one of the most coveted throws of the Carnival season, the hand-decorated Muses shoe. Each shoe is a one-of-a-kind piece of art, and some parade-goers would stop at very little to score one.

Friday, March 1

Krewe of Bosom Buddies, 11:30 AM (French Quarter)

Hermes, followed by d’Etat and Morpheus, 6:00 PM (Uptown)

The Krewe of Bosom Buddies & Breast Friends is a walking krewe that parades in the French Quarter on the Friday before Mardi Gras. The parade starts and ends on Bourbon St., and the krewe is usually dressed in tutus, bras and hats that reflect that year’s theme. The signature throw is a hand-decorated bra. The parade is raucous fun for sure, so we won’t call it 100 percent kid-friendly.

The Knights of Hermes has been around since the Great Depression and was one of the first parades to mobilize after Katrina. About 700 male riders are led by their captain clad in full regalia and riding white horse. The satirical Le Krewe d’Etat traditionally follows Hermes with 21 floats plus its Captain and officers on horseback. The theme is secret until parade day. Look for members of the krewe dressed as walking skeletons handing out the D’Etat Gazette and wooden doubloons. The Gazette has illustrations and descriptions of the floats and is only available during the parade. Another covetable throw is the blinking logo skull bead. The Krewe of Morpheus parade is a jaw-dropping spectacle with about 500 riders and beautifully illuminated floats.

Saturday, March 2

Iris, followed by Tucks, 11:00 AM (Uptown)
Endymion, 4:15 PM (Mid-City, Downtown)

Amazingly, the Krewe of Iris has been around since 1917, making it the oldest female Carnival organization for women. Iris’ 1,500 members wear white gloves and masks, and the parade features such unique throws as king cake babies and hand-decorated sunglasses. The Krewe of Tucks was started in 1969 by a group of Loyola students and is named after of the now-gone Uptown pub. Tucks is known for satirical floats and irreverence (one of the signature floats, for example, is a giant toilet).

These days Krewe of Endymion is the only super krewe parade that graces Mid-City, and people camp out for days in advance staking their spots. While we won’t comment on that we certainly understand the reasons for the parade’s immense popularity. With a whopping 3,100 riders and 37 floats (many are tandem units with up to nine sections!), plus celebrity guests and the big-name bands, Endymion is an amazing spectacle. It also helps that the riders are notoriously generous with beads (the krewe’s motto is “Throw ’til It Hurts”), and the event kicks off at noon with a huge block party on Orleans Ave., Samedi Gras. The theme of the 2019 parade is “Wonder Tales of Science Fiction.” Floats will reflect such classics as “Gulliver’s Travels” and “War of the Worlds.” New this year, the floats will be pulled by new tractors with automatic transmissions, to reduce the lurching. Lionel Richie, Flo Rida and Chicago are scheduled to perform. From Mid-City the parade makes its way to Lee Circle, ending up at the Champions Square and finally inside the Superdome for some serious partying at the Endymion Extravaganza.

Sunday, March 3

Okeanos, followed by Mid-City and Thoth, 11:00 AM (Uptown)

Box of Wine (following Thoth and preceding Bacchus, sometime between 3 and 5 PM; Uptown)
Bacchus, 5 PM

Founded in 1949, the Krewe of Okeanos was originally a neighborhood parade on St. Claude Ave. but eventually moved to a traditional Uptown/Downtown route on St. Charles Avenue. Okeanos has about 250 male and female riders. Notably, instead of the traditional bal masque the krewe hosts a coronation ball where the king is presented and the queen is selected by random draw.

The Krewe of Mid-City also dates back a while, to 1933, and consists of 300 all-male members. The parade has a unique look featuring tinfoil as well as animation, and is known to rock themes irresistible to children. The king and queen are kids selected each year from the local Ronald McDonald House.

Thoth, founded in 1947, had been following its own parade route designed to pass several healthcare institutions that care for people with disabilities and illnesses (thus bringing the Carnival to those who otherwise wouldn’t be likely to see the parades rolling elsewhere). The krewe is known to throw generously, and has 1,600 riders on its 50 floats. It’s one of the highlights of the Carnival.

Box of Wine is a walking parade that rolls between Thoth and Bacchus, whenever the police escort gives a green light, from a secret location that changes every year. It follows the Bacchus route but you won’t mistake it for any other Uptown parade. It is decidedly its own animal, in all its artsy, bohemian glory. Satire and the god of wine rule; and the joyful, rowdy procession of revelers clad in some of the most creative costumes you’ll see during the Carnival generously pours from boxes of wine the participants all carry for the onlookers lined up to see Bacchus – into the cups, or straight into the mouths.

The last treat of the Sunday before Mardi Gras is the unmatched super-krewe parade, Bacchus. Bacchus was the first parade to invite a celebrity king to lead the parade, breaking with the Carnival tradition. Jensen Ackles, star of the CW’s “Supernatural,” will reign this year. Expect spectacular animated super-floats and covetable throws. This year’s theme, “Starring Louisiana,” salutes TV shows and movies set or filmed in the state. Bacchus’ signature floats like its Kong Family and the Baccha-gator will be also dedicated to the certain Hollywood South films. Throws include a lighted Bacchus Oscar and a Baccchawhoppa whale hat featuring a fiber optic water spout. The massive parade ends at the Convention Center for its annual black-tie Rendezvous party.

Monday, March 4 (Lundi Gras)

Proteus, followed by Orpheus, 5:15 PM (Uptown)

Red Beans/Dead Beans, 2 PM (Marigny/Bayou St. John, Tremé)

The Krewe of Proteus is the second-oldest krewe in Carnival history, founded in 1882. Unbelievably, the floats still use the original chassis. The identity of the king of the parade is never revealed to the public. The kings traditionally rides in a giant seashell float; throws include pearl bead necklaces and plastic tridents.

Krewe of Orpheus was co-founded by musician/actor Harry Connick, Jr. and his father, Harry Connick, Sr., former New Orleans district attorney. It was the first super krewe to include both male and female riders, and it’s considered one of the most beautiful parades of the season. The floats are elaborately designed and decorated with over-sized flowers and fiber optic lighting. Covetable throws include light-up medallion beads and stuffed dragons. This year be on the lookout for the commemorative doubloon featuring the late Neville Brothers saxophonist Charles Neville. Like Bacchus, Orpheus ends at the Convention Center for its black-tie ball, and invites celebrities to reign as parade royalty. This year’s theme is “Orpheus Imaginarium.” The King is “Extra TV” host and former “Saved By the Bell” star Mario Lopez.

A family-friendly, quirky Red Beans parade of revelers clad in costumes that are decorated with (and sometimes, made of) dried red beans started in 2008 and traditionally rolls on Lundi Gras. There’s also a slew of outfits that celebrate Louisiana folklore and food. This highly participatory walking parade of about 150 members wends from the Marigny into the Tremé, where it meets up with the newcomer Dead Beans. Formed in 2018 as a Red Beans spin-off, Dead Beans walks from Bayou St. John.

Tuesday, March 5

Zulu, 8:00 AM (Uptown, Tremé)

Rex, followed by Elks, and Crescent City, 10 AM (Uptown)

Society of St. Ann/Society of St. Cecilia, 9 AM (Bywater/Marigny/French Quarter)

 The Krewe of Zulu parade begins bright and early on Mardi Gras Day at S. Claiborne and Jackson avenues, weaving its way down St. Charles Ave. to Lee Circle, then to Canal St. and ending up at Broad and Orleans streets. It’s probably best to watch it towards the end of the parade, in Tremé. Wherever you end up, however, Zulu is not to be missed. One of the oldest Carnival parades in the city, Zulu dates back to the early 1900s. Louis Armstrong reigned as its King in 1949.

Zulu’s traditional honor guard, the Soulful Warriors, has a roster of characters that make an appearance each year, including Big Shot, Witch Doctor, Ambassador, Mayor, Province Prince, Governor, and Mr. Big Stuff. One of the most covetable throws of the Carnival is Zulu’s hand-painted, glitzed up coconut. The King for 2019 is a Zulu member George V. Rainey. The parade is preceded by the coronation ball on March 1 at the Convention Center.

Rex, the King of Carnival, is the mothership of many Mardi Gras traditions, like doubloon throws and even the official Carnival colors of purple, green and gold. The parade was founded in 1872, apparently to impress the visiting Grand Duke Alexei Alexandrovich of Russia. Today the parade traditionally follows Zulu on Fat Tuesday, and consists of 600 male riders. The king’s identity is kept secret until Lundi Gras, and it’s usually a civic leader and important citizen of New Orleans. Traditionally, the city mayor hands Rex a symbolic key to the city on Lundi Gras, and Rex royalty meets the Zulu royalty.

The Krewe of Elks-Orleans, the oldest and largest of all the truck float krewes, follows Rex down St. Charles Ave with 50 individually designed truck floats carrying 4,600 male and female riders. The last parade of the Carnival, the Krewe of Crescent City, is also a truck parade. It follows Elks, signaling the beginning of the end of the Carnival.

If you want to see some very impressive costumes look for the Society of St Anne walking parade. The members gather in the Bywater around Piety St. and Burgundy St., and usually roll around 9 AM or so, through the Marigny and the Quarter to the Mississippi River, with many stops on the way. They don’t follow a set route but you can look for them around 10 AM by Mimi’s; the R Bar is also a regular stop.

Since the parade’s inception in the late 1960s the members would pay tribute to those who had passed away in the preceding year at the river, by depositing their ashes in the water, making offerings, and so on. Along the lines of the St. Anne Society, the Society of St. Cecilia, which started marching in 2007, also walks from the Bywater around the same time to the river. The two processions inevitably merge at some point, then scatter, and are organically joined by the fellow revelers. Both parades are a fabulous sight and are among some of the best things about Mardi Gras in New Orleans.