Mardi Gras parade
There is nothing like Carnival in New Orleans. We have more parties, balls, parades, and events than any other Carnival City in the world. Therefore, following a few common sense rules will help all enjoy the festivities all the more.
1. Watch parking around parades Parking legally is more important than ever, as meter maids track parades big time and ticket on both sides of the parade. Neutral ground parking, which works when it rains real hard, doesn’t fly for parades.
2. Drinking and Mardi Gras Booze and Carnival are certainly kissing cousins. Beer, wine, and hard booze are all featured each and every day of the Carnival season. Those that imbibe a bit much should call a cab! It’s way cheaper than a DUI.
3. Parade Watching Most parades, especially the Super Krewes, have very large crowds. Acting mature is the secret; no one meant to run into you while jumping for a neat throw. Keeping your cool and a good attitude is paramount for maximum enjoyment. Stomping on anyone in pursuit of a hot throw is verboten.
4. Special Parade Cases The old, very young, infirm and handicapped all love parades as much as anyone. If they sit in the front to watch the parades, please give them some space.
5. Getting Lost Prevent it by making certain that everyone has a common meeting place, and has the funds and instructions for getting there or getting home. Pin name, address and phone number tags on small children. Police routinely gather up small children and take them to a central area, usually a mobile unit on Canal Street or St. Charles Avenue.
6. Bathrooms There is money in the bathroom business during Carnival parade season. On Napoleon Avenue and St. Charles Avenue, where most parades line up, there are a number of schools along the route uptown that offer indoor bathrooms or neat port-o-lets for a buck a session, or 5 or 10 bucks for the day/evening. Sophie B. Wright Charter sells fish/chicken plates with bread, macaroni & cheese, peas, and cake. They also have indoor bathrooms for a buck a time.
7. Grandstand Parade Viewing Area The City of News Orleans annually sells Grandstand tickets for most parades. Seating for parades as shown in the map below can be purchased through Ticketmaster.
Parking in New Orleans can be challenging, considering the millions of visitors who visit by car every year. Even local residents find the parking rules of the city daunting.
The many commercial lots in the French Quarter can usually accommodate enough visitors on a given day. At a few locations within the French Quarter, Early Bird specials are available to motorists ranging from $7.00 to $10.00 all day. With Early Bird deals, however, the driver needs to park by 9:00 A.M. and leave by 6:00 P.M. and cannot leave the parking lot before 3 PM.
After 9:00 a.m., prices rise considerably: hourly rates can run as much as $10.00 in some areas. Please check the hourly rate before deciding where to park.
More daring motorists willing to troll for a space on the street should remember the most important rule of parking in New Orleans: READ PARKING SIGNS CAREFULLY! Rules can change from neighborhood to neighborhood, and some violations can be very costly.
Violations range from $20 at an expired meter and $40 for parking too close to a corner, to $75 for parking on the median (called a “neutral ground” in New Orleans), $200 for parking on the sidewalk in the French Quarter, and $500 for parking boats or trailers in unauthorized areas (which is almost everywhere in the city limits).
- Blocking driveways or fire lanes
- On sidewalks or neutral grounds
- Near fire hydrants (within 15 feet)
- On corners and crosswalks (within 20 feet)
- In loading and service zones (buses and cab zones too)
- On a parade route within two hours of a parade
- During rush hours (7-9 a.m., 4-6 p.m.) on major streets
- On street cleaning days (usually Tuesdays and Thursdays, 6 a.m. – Noon)
- At bagged meters (during special events) and broken meters
- Near railroad crossings (within 50 feet)
- On-street for more than 24 consecutive hours
- Vehicles longer than 22 feet overnight in the Central Business District
- On a narrow street without allowing 10 feet of unobstructed roadway
- More than 18 inches from the curb
- Having 3 or more unpaid parking violations.
If your car is towed away (we’re sorry, but it happens), contact the Claiborne Auto Pound at (504) 565-7450.
The city has modernized many of its parking meters, and some now accept dollar bills and credit cards which give you a printed receipt to place on your car dashboard. AS OF MARCH 2010, REGULAR TWO-HOUR METERS COST $1.50/HOUR AND LONG-TERM METERS (UP TO 10 HOURS) COST $1.00/HOUR. BOTH TYPES OF METERS ARE ENFORCED FROM 8 A.M. – 6 P.M. MONDAY – SATURDAY. Parking is prohibited at meters in designated rush hour zones from 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. Please read the meters before you park! Also know that broken meters are not free passes. They are technically off-limits and could land you a ticket!
Don’t park in Handicap Zones without an official handicapped license plate. Drivers in rental cars may obtain a special handicapped placard by calling (504) 483-4610.
Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.
Many downtown businesses and department stores offer free or discounted parking with minimum purchases. Be sure to get your parking stamp, pass or receipt with your purchase.
Two Central Business District shuttles routes are available. Please call for rates and shuttle information.
Park N Ride
900 Howard Avenue
There are two Howard Ave Park and Ride shuttles that run every 6 minutes between 6am – 9:30am and 4pm – 6:30pm. The shuttle driver is also on call between 9:30 am – 4 pm at 504-307-5726.
The shuttle leaves from the lot at 922/932 Howard, next to WDSU Channel 6, and costs $4/day or $75/month (monthly passes can only be purchased at the beginning of the month). It makes 3 stops:
- O’Keefe and Poydras
- St. Charles and Poydras
- Girod and St. Charles
Fulton Street Garage
901 Convention Center
Drivers can also park outside the downtown area preferably near a Streetcar route, either at parking lot for a fee or on the street, and ride the Streetcar to their destination.
Parking is free on “meter” holidays observed by the City of New Orleans:
- New Year’s Day
- Independence Day
- Martin L. King, Jr. Day
- Labor Day
- Mardi Gras Day (the day before Ash Wednesday)
- Thanksgiving Day
- Memorial Day
- Christmas Day
Louis Armstrong International Airport offers plenty of safe, affordable, covered parking connected directly to the main terminal. For rates and more information, visit: ezparker.com.
Numbers to Know
General Parking Questions & Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Administrative Hearing Center: (504) 658-8004, (504) 658-8005
Booting: (504) 565-7451
Towing Information/Auto Pound: (504) 565-7451
Parking Enforcement: (504) 658-8200
Thanks to New Orleans online for the above More Parking Information.
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
This is the biggest 12th night weekend in the history of NOLA, there’s no doubt about that. 12th night is always a bit of a big deal, it’s the true launch of the Carnival Season. Add the Saints big playoff game against Detroit tomorrow and the HUGE BCS Championship Bowl on Monday in the Super dome featuring #1 undefeated LSU against #2 AL, with 1 loss against LSU 9-6.
Add to this the next parade, the 45-member Krewe de Jeanne D’Arc parade rides and strolls in its fourth annual parade to honor the Catholic saint.
- THIS YEAR JOAN AND HER SWORD WILL BE BLESSED IN FRONT OF ST LOUIS CATHEDRAL BY MONSIGNOR KERN AT APPROXIMATELY 6:15 P.M.
- CITY PROCLAMATION ISSUED BY KRISTIN GISLESON PALMER’S OFFICE WILL BE READ BY AN ACTOR PORTRAYING THE FOUNDER OF NEW ORLEANS, JEAN-BAPTISTE LE MOYNE, SIEUR DE BIENVILLE, BEFORE THE PARADE DEPARTS
- SIX JOANS ON HORSEBACK: OUR MAID OF HONOR, OUR WARRIOR JOAN, OUR “JOANIE ON THE PONY” PORTRAYED BY KRISTIN GISLESON PALMER, AND THREE ADDITIONAL JOANS ON WHITE HORSES WILL HONOR JOAN’S 600TH YEAR!
- KING CAKE CEREMONY FOLLOWING THE PARADE WITH SPEECHES IN FRENCH AND ENGLISH BY KREWE KING DAMIEN REGNARD AND KREWE MAID AGGIE BELL AND KING CAKE DONATED BY SUCRE (BUT AS ALWAYS, THE PUBLIC IS ENCOURAGED TO BRING KING CAKES TO EAT AND SHARE!)
The 4th installment of the 2012 Mardi Gras Forecast will be forthcoming in the next few days, after the super exciting weekend!
The past year has seen a few upheavals in the topsy turvy world of Carnival. Blaine Kern Sr was knocked out of action by his son in the Louisiana Court of Appeals, you can thank Sr’s new bride for much of Mr Mardi Gras’ problems.
It doesn’t appear that any of the Kern’s major Mardi Gras float building accounts have moved on. Rex, Bacchus, Orpheus, Muses, Alla, Endymion are all built by Kern enterprises for decades.
Jefferson Parish began the slow process of upgrading their parades. This is a very good idea, as their parades had slid considerably since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
For 2012, Gretna loses their most historic Mardi Gras Day parade, Grela, the West Bank’s only local celebration on Fat Tuesday.
Gretna stopped funding Mardi Gras in April when officials had to choose between paying for Mardi Gras activities and giving money to the Gretna Heritage Festival.
Yes, Gretna Fest has grown into a really nice festival, but Grela is Jefferson Parish’s oldest Carnival krewe. Gretna Fest has a huge budget with the dozens of bands that play the several day festival. They have corporate funding, charge a cover charge to enter the Festival, and sell a lot of food, drinks, and beer. They certainly could have covered the $30,000 much much easier than Grela could, and this is an obvious fact the Council should have seen a mile off.
Therefore, a Carnival Jeer goes out to the Gretna City Council for backing the total wrong horse with this poor decision in April 2011. The krewe was founded in 1947 as a men’s club, but it changed its name to Grela, an acronym for Gretna, La.
Earlier this year Rhea, another Jefferson Parish krewe, called it quits. Rhea was formed in 1969, making this parade over 40 years old! It began as an all woman parade, but became coed in later years. Rhea was the first Jefferson parade to roll down Veterans Boulevard, and the one of the few Jefferson parades to hold their ball in the Municipal Auditorium in New Orleans.
One relatively new, local, and all male marching group, the 610 Stompers, marched in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Wow! The Stompers’ over the top dance routines flabbergasted Matt Lauer and Al Roker, it was a real New Orleans moment in New York City on national TV. They also appeared on the Hoda & Kathie Lee Show. That’s a lot of national attention for our homegrown group, and it’s well deserved!
From whereyat.com’s article on the Stompers-
What makes these men so special is not only their uncanny ability to entertain crowds, but also the motivation behind the uniforms. What started as a plan to start an all male dance school to help pay for their Saints season tickets in their namesake section 610, has turned into an incredible medium to have fun while help others. Underneath those mustaches of manliness lie men with hearts larger than most. Since their formation in 2009, the 610 Stompers have raised and donated over $100,000 to charity. They were asked to be this year’s “Corporate Chair” of the Light the Night Walk for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Louisiana and Mississippi, released a Stomp Out Breast Cancer video with Touro Infirmary, and have partnered with over 13 local and national foundations where their dance moves have helped those less fortunate. They have mastered having fun with making a difference. At this year’s 610 Ball they gave $610 to each of over 20 local charities, which at first glance doesn’t seem like a lot. However, these grants more often doubled the charities’ operating budgets making a profound impact on our citizens and local community.
The first new full-fledged Carnival parade in Orleans Parish since before Hurricane Katrina, Nyx won approval from the City Council on a 6-0 vote to amend the 2012 calendar and schedule Nyx after the Druids parade on the Uptown route the Wednesday before Mardi Gras.
The city’s last new parading krewe was Morpheus in 2002, a year after Muses and the Knights of Chaos made their debuts.
From their web site:
“Three native New Orleans women always loved the traditions, pageantry, and fun of Mardi Gras. For years they admired the floats and loved the bands. They enjoyed how much the kids’ faces would light up when they caught stuffed or beaded treasures. The women adored how the crowds screamed to the riders “Throw me something!”
2012 forecast will continue with part 3 in the near future.