Feb 242020
 

A flambeaux lights the way during the 2019 Proteus parade. (Uptown Messenger)

The all-day Lundi Gras festivities culminate with two spectacular parades, one a study in traditional elegance and another in contemporary opulence.

After the weekend’s parade-perfect weather, the National Weather Service has rain in today’s forecast. A slight chance during the day goes up to 60% at night. Temperatures will be pleasant, however, with low tonight of around 58 degrees.

The first parade is named for a prophetic sea-god known in Greek mythology as the shepherd of the oceans. Let’s hope he can shepherd tonight’s parades through the streets without any water falling from the sky.

Krewe of Proteus

The Krewe of Proteus “Oshun” float rolls on Napoleon Avenue in 2018. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Proteus’ exquisite floats, along with the flambeaux, give this parade an old-world aura. The second oldest parade in New Orleans Carnival lineup, Proteus adheres to tradition just it adheres to the chassis it has been using since the 1880s, when it was formed as an offshoot of the mystic krewes of Momus and Comus. It stopped parading for six years in the 1990s, returning to the streets again 1999. The theme this year is “Feasts and Libations.”

Watch for: A replica of the king’s float from 1882.

Catch it if you can: New throws include LED flambeaux and plush crowns.

START: 5:15 p.m. at Napoleon Avenue and Magazine Street
Proceed on Napoleon
Right on St. Charles Avenue
Proceed on St. Charles around Lee Circle
Right on Canal Street
END: Marriott Hotel, 555 Canal St.

Krewe of Proteus’ route. (via ready.nola.gov)

Krewe of Orpheus

The “Treasure of One-Eyed Willie” float rolls down St. Charles Avenue in 2019. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

When the superkrewe of Orpheus first paraded in 1994, it had a record number of riders: 700. Now you can expect about 1,500 male and female riders. The krewe’s 38 floats will multiply this year with the separation of its spectacular tandem floats — including the eight-unit “Smoky Mary.” They will roll with the theme “Beastly Kingdoms of Orpheus.”

A musical krewe co-founded by Harry Connick Jr., Orpheus is named for a mythical figure whose lyre-playing was so beautiful the trees bent to hear it. Luckily, the branches of the live oaks along St. Charles Avenue are naturally bent.

Look for: Actor Bryan Cranston, who played Walter White on “Breaking Bad,” is the 2020 monarch along with  Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis from “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” and country musician Lauren Alaina.

Catch it if you can: Extra large doubloons honor Orpheus’ 2020 Music Legend, Art Neville.

START: 6 p.m. Tchoupitoulas Street and Napoleon Avenue
Right on Napoleon Avenue
Right on St. Charles Avenue
Proceed on St. Charles Avenue around Lee Circle.
Right on Canal Street
Right on Tchoupitoulas Street
Left on Julia Street
Right on Convention Center Boulevard
Left on Henderson Street
END: Hall J, Ernest M. Morial Convention Center

Krewe of Orpheus’ route. (via ready.nola.com)

Safety, parking, transportation

As always, take care in large crowds and report suspicious activity to public safety officials. See additional information about Mardi Gras parades at ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras or text MARDIGRAS to 888777 for updates from the city of New Orleans.

Parking is restricted along parade routes two hours before and after parades to be sure parade elements and sanitation crews can access the street. Parking personnel will be monitoring for illegal parking. Call 504-658-8100 for parking enforcement. See additional Mardi Gras parking information.

Depending on the parade route, parking may be prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after parades. Follow all posted signs.
• Tchoupitoulas from Jackson to Nashville
• Napoleon from Tchoupitoulas to South Claiborne
• St. Charles from Napoleon to Canal
• Tchoupitoulas from Poydras to Calliope

Before parades begin or when crowd size warrants, the New Orleans Police Department will close the route to vehicles. Plan ahead and avoid streets that intersect with parades. Additional intermittent closures will be necessary as parade elements travel across the city. Track the lead and tail of parades as they roll with the parade tracker at routewise.nola.gov.

All RTA service alerts, updates, and detours can also be accessed by downloading the RTA’s GoMobile app. To learn more, visit www.norta.com or call Ride Line at 504-248-3900.

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