Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve cut down on the parades on the North Shore, West Bank, Metairie, etc. I focus on the myriad of parades in my own backyard, Orleans Parish, my home since I was a Senior at Cornell. Here’s the schedule for Orleans Parish-
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10th
- Krewe of Cork at 3pm in the French Quarter
- Krewe of Oshun Uptown 6:00pm
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 11th
- Krewe of Pontchartrain Uptown 2:00 p.m.
- ‘tit Rəx Bywater 5:30 p.m.
- Knights of Sparta Uptown 6:00 p.m.
- Krewe of Pygmalion Uptown 6:45 p.m.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 12th
- Krewe of Carrollton Uptown 12:00 p.m.
- Krewe of King Arthur Uptown 1:15 p.m.
- Mystic Krewe of Barkus French Quarter 2:00 p.m. This parade is all for dogs.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 15th
- Krewe of Ancient Druids Uptown 6:30 p.m.
- Krewe of Nyx Uptown 7pm
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 16th
- Knights of Babylon, Uptown 5:45
- Krewe of Chaos, Uptown 6:30
- Krewe of Muses, Uptown 6:30
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 17th
- Divine Protectors of Endangered Pleasures or DIVA French Quarter 1:30 p.m.
- Knights of Hermes Uptown 6:00 p.m.
- D’Etat- Uptown, 6:00 p.m.
- Krewe of Morpheus Uptown 7:00 p.m.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 18th
- Iris – Uptown, 11:00 a.m.
- Tucks – Uptown, 12:00 p.m.
- Endymion – Mid City, 4:15 p.m.
- Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus, Central City and CBD, 5:00 p.m.
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 19th
- Okeanos – Uptown, 11:00 a.m.
- Mid-City – Uptown, 11:45 p.m.
- Thoth – Uptown, 12:00 a.m.
- Bacchus- Uptown, 5:15 p.m.
LUNDI GRAS, FEBRUARY 20TH
- Proteus- Uptown, 5:15 p.m.
- Orpheus – Uptown, 6:00 p.m.
- Lundi Gras Celebration
MARDI GRAS, FEBRUARY 21st
- Zulu- Uptown, 8:00 a.m.
- Rex – Uptown, 10:00 a.m.
- Elks Orleans – Uptown, 11:30 a.m.
- Crescent City – Uptown, follows Elks
Mardi Gras preparations are in full swing! My krewe marches 2.5 miles around the Marigny in under 2 weeks!! I’m very excited to say the least!!
All of Krewe du Vieux’s floats are mule-drawn. All the bands, and each float has their own live marching band- are brass bands. While the krewe throws a krewe cup and wooden nickel, each float generally has their own throw central to that float’s theme.
KdV is the most ribald by far of all the satirical parades. Large paper mache genitalia -6 feet tall in some cases- decorate many floats. Each has their own take on the krewe theme, for 2012 the krewe theme is ‘Crimes Against Nature’.
What is Krewe du Vieux? Thanks to Krewe du Vieux for some of the content below.
The Krewe du Vieux is a New Orleans Mardi Gras or Carnival krewe, originally and more fully known as the Krewe du Vieux Carre (“Vieux Carre” being another term for the city’s French Quarter). It is one of the earliest parades of the New Orleans Carnival calendar, and is noted for wild satirical and adult themes, as well as for showcasing some of the best Brass and Jazz Bands in New Orleans. Originally, KdV was the Krewe of Clones, and was sponsored by the Contemporary Arts Center. It was very wild, as the person in charge of letting the floats out of the CAC den and onto Camp Street would get plastered. After one year as a member, we figured out that we could dress up our old VW van as an elephant or giraffe and just join the krewe as part of the procession. This was a really fun event for the few years it lasted.
Deon Haywood named Queen of Krewe du Vieux 2012
It takes a special kind of person to be the Queen of Krewe du Vieux. It also takes a special kind of person to devote herself to fighting for the rights of some of our society’s most neglected members: women, primarily of color, poor, often not well educated, sometimes addicted to drugs, many of them sex workers, no small number the victims of abuse.
This kind of work requires vision – which happens to be a specialty of Deon Haywood, Executive Director of Women With A Vision and the Queen of Krewe du Vieux 2012.
“I’m truly honored and excited to be the Queen,” quoth she. “What better Krewe to roll with? Krewe du Vieux is the only group of people that can truly make fun of the screwed-up kinds of laws we have in this state.” (Not to mention violate large numbers of those laws at the same time.)
Here’s my Krewe of Underwear float from 2010-
Mardi Gras Around the World Series
Mardi Gras festivities are open to families, offering the perfect alternative. Celebrating Mardi Gras since 1874, Pensacolians host four parades every year featuring masked characters, fun throws and elaborate floats that sail along the area’s beaches. And, with temperatures typically in the mid 60s, there is plenty of Florida sunshine to go around.
This Mardi Gras season, visitors and locals are invited to attend the newest parade in the Pensacola Bay Area – the Mardi Gras March Off. On Jan. 21, more than 30,000 people are expected to hit the streets of downtown Pensacola for not only an extremely competitive marching band contest, but also to break the Guinness World Record for largest line dance.
This new family-friendly parade, created by Pensacola Mardi Gras Inc., will bring nine high school marching bands to Pensacola to show off their musical talents in the heart of downtown. After the bands march down Palafox Street, they will stop in a designated performance area to perform for professional adjudicators who will score them on their sound, look and crowd appeal for a chance to win more than $10,000 in prizes. Among the marching bands will be 25 of Pensacola’s best-decorated Mardi Gras floats and krewes tossing great throws and having a great time.
Around 3 p.m., the parade will come to a temporary halt as the crowd attempts to break the current world record for largest line dance. The record is currently held by Atlanta, where 17,500 people have participated in one massive line dance.
If you happen to miss the march off, be sure to attend the Mardi Gras Mall Ball at Cordova Mall on Jan. 28. On this night, the mall will be completely transformed into a massive ballroom, as attendees enjoy live music, delicious snacks from local restaurants and a silent auction in each wing. This annual bash is hosted by the Krewe of Les Petits Enfants (the order of the small children) and has generated more than $2 million in proceeds to the kids at Sacred Heart Hospital. This event is for the 21 and older crowd – sorry kids!
So, grab the family and head downtown to be a part of the first-ever Mardi Gras March Off and a record-breaking line dance, or put on your gowns and tuxes, and enjoy a night of festivities, music and treats at the annual Mall Ball.
- Wind Creek 12th Night Mardi Gras Kick Off Celebration. Jan. 6. At 7 p.m., join Pensacola Mardi Gras crews and their kings and queens for a big celebration and locally made king cakes. Free admission. www.pensacolamardigras.com
- Mardi Gras Marching Madness Parade. Jan. 21. Beginning at 2 p.m., enjoy the sounds of marching bands as they parade downtown, stopping at the corner of Garden Street and Palafox Place to perform for judges. Bands will be competing to win more than $10,000 in prizes. Free admission. www.pensacolamardigras.com
- Cordova Mall Ball. Jan. 28. This annual bash hosted by the Krewe of Les Petits Enfants (the order of the small children) benefits the kids at Sacred Heart Hospital. Cordova Mall is transformed into a ballroom at this event open to the public. Tickets are $50. (850) 416-4660, www.sacred-heart.org/mallball
- Mardi Gras Boat Parade Flotilla. Feb. 4. Join the Pirates of Lost Treasure at 10:30 a.m. on Perdido Key as the Mardi Gras Flotilla makes its way from Hub Stacey to the Perdido Key Oyster Bar and back to the Flora-Bama for live music, a best-decorated boat contest and happening after-party. Free admission. (850) 492-4660, www.visitperdido.com
- Mardi Gras Kid and Kritter Krawl. Feb. 11. Bring your children and favorite four-legged friends out to Pensacola Beach for a lively walking parade. Free Admission. (850) 932-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com
- Snowbird’s Mardi Gras Lunch. Feb. 15. Snowbirds are invited to enjoy a breakfast of coffee and beinets or a lunch of red beans and rice at Seville Quarter in downtown Pensacola. Registration is required. Free admission. (850) 434-1234, www.visitpensacola.com/snowbirds
- Mardi Gras Downtown Illuminated Parade. Feb. 17. Starting at 8 p.m., admire the gorgeous lighted floats as they make their way down Palafox Place and through historic downtown Pensacola. Free admission. www.pensacolamardigras.com
- Pensacola Downtown Grand Parade. Feb. 18. With most of the area’s krewes participating, you won’t want to miss the largest, and most popular, parade in downtown Pensacola beginning at 2 p.m. For even more fun, follow the masked characters down to Seville Quarter for a festive after-party. Free admission. www.pensacolamardigras.com
- Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras Parade. Feb. 19. Starting at 2 p.m., line the streets, dip your toes in the sand and listen to the waves crash on the beach behind you as this parade cruises along Via De Luna Drive on Pensacola Beach. Free admission. (850) 438-1500, www.pensacolabeachchamber.com
- Fat Tuesday Priscus Procession. Feb. 21. Revelers of all ages enjoy the last parade of the Mardi Gras season before lent begins. Located on Palafox and Government Streets. Free admission. www.pensacolamardigras.com
The local newspaper has run a little king cake contest this week, and three of the five ‘winners’ have the same last name!
Randazzo, Randazzo, Randazzo, Haydel’s and Sucre made the cut when the votes were tallied. This creates the impression the contest is sponsored by Randazzo’s. I doubt it was, but the impression is real.
In a former Mardi Gras life, I wrote a series of columns ranking king cakes in the New Orleans metro area. I bought a lot of king cakes in those days, as I saw many Metairie, West Bank and New Orleans East parades back then and picked up the cakes while I was there.
Was it a legitimate ranking? Probably not, but I bought each cake I talked about. Less stores sold them in those days, and McKenzie’s was the 600 pound king cake gorilla. They had the first filled king cakes for sale. Back then, the supermarkets and pharmacies and convenience stores didn’t sell king cakes. Only bakeries had them.
Back to the TP’s contest. All the Randazzo locations seem different, though some claim online that their recipe is the family’s. They have their own web sites and Face Book pages. There’s Randazzo’s Camellia City in Slidell, Manny Randazzo King Cakes in Metairie, and Nonna Randazzo Bakeries in Chalmette and Covington.
I had trouble finding any price for a picked up king cake at any of the Randazzo’s web sites. All included shipping that I could find.
To the contest’s credit, five other reader nominated bakeries in the poll were listed as ‘wildcard’ choices. They received at least 300 votes each. These wonderful bakers are Dianne’s King Cakes in Harahan, Gambino’s Bakery in Gretna and Metairie, La Dolce Nola, Metairie, Rouse’s Supermarkets all over town, and Tastee Donuts‘ McKenzie’s around town.
King cakes are HUGE in New Orleans. From January 6 until Mardi Gras Day, February 21, 2012- All this time is king cake time!! NOLA King cakes feature more sugar than most.
Historically, king cakes have been around Europe for centuries before New Orleans was settled. We had plain king cakes for a long long time in NOLA. Then McKenzie’s Bakeries started filling their king cakes, and charged like $9.95 for a medium filled one. This was back in late 1970s as I recall.
Pretty soon, filled king cakes had created a whole new king cake economic model, based on a more expensive king cake. Then the mail order model was created, and hundreds of thousands of king cakes are shipped worldwide. Haydel’s sells 60,000 king cakes, and that’s how they survive as a top bakery in 2012.
Who makes the best filled and unfilled king cakes in the NOLA metro area? There are a lot of entrants, since the shipping/local markets have exploded over the last three decades.
http://bit.ly/emh7cl is a King Cakes of the World article I found while researching this post. The blog is entitled- A Malaysian in France.
In the Christian faith, the coming of the wise men bearing gifts to the Christ Child is celebrated twelve days after Christmas. This is known as the Feast of the Epiphany or Little Christmas on the Twelfth Night. This is a time of celebration, exchanging gifts and feasting. Today, the tradition continues as people all over the world gather for festive Twelfth Night celebrations. A popular custom was and still is the baking of a special cake in honor of the three kings called a King’s Cake. In these early cakes, a pea, coin or bean was hidden inside the cake. Now, King Cakes contain a tiny plastic ‘baby’. The person whose piece contains the baby has to throw the next King Cake party. King Cake parties are enjoyed by the young and old all over the region and the world via the internet.