Feb 262020

Beads, a symbol of Carnival in New Orleans, have become emblematic of its environmental hazards. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

If you went to even one parade this past Carnival season, you probably have a pile of beads in your house right now. Even if you didn’t, a bag of beads may be lurking in a closet or in the attic.

That means you’ve done your part to keep beads off the streets and out of the drainage system during the parades. Now is the time — unless you haven’t had enough of the glue gun and are planning an art project — to recycle the colorful strands that were so much fun to catch. Continue reading »

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Feb 262020

The Rex “Omens and Auguries” title float rolls Tuesday morning on St. Charles Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Rex, the king of Carnival, closed out the 2020 Mardi Gras season on Tuesday morning with a parade celebrating “Omens and Auguries.” Continue reading »

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Feb 262020

Zulu rolls on St. Charles Avenue on Tuesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club kicked off Mardi Gras Day with a theme of “Zulu’s Book of Love,” showering the Uptown parade route with affection, exuberance and hand-painted coconuts on Tuesday morning. Continue reading »

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Feb 252020

The Southern University band performs with Zulu on St. Charles Avenue in 2019. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The key to a good Mardi Gras Day is getting up early. There is so much fun to be had — don’t miss  a minute.
The National Weather Service predicts areas of dense fog before 9 a.m. Otherwise, mostly cloudy, with a high near 66. Winds will be calm. Sounds nice. Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!

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Feb 242020

One of the super krewe’s four tandem floats, the signature eight-unit Smokey Mary, rolled uncoupled with each unit pulled by a tractor when the Krewe of Orpheus parade rolled Monday (Feb. 24) on Napoleon Avenue. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

The Krewe of Orpheus rolled in Uptown on Lundi Gras with the theme “Beastly Kingdoms of Orpheus.” The krewe of 1,500 male and female members, whose first parade rolled in 1994, rode on 38 floats with titles such as “The Cockatrice,” “The Tree Wyrm” and The Bridge Troll.” Several celebrities reigned as Orpheus 2020 monarchs, including Bryan Cranston, Charlie Day, Mary Elizabeth Ellis and Lauren Alaina. Popular throws included Orpheus collapsible water bottles, LED ram horns, plush gardenias, glitter Orpheus masks and lighted beads.

Orpheus uncoupled its four tandem floats in response to the city’s announcement that tandem floats, multiple floats connected together and pulled by one tractor, will not be allowed for the remainder of this year’s Carnival season. The super krewe’s four tandem floats, including the signature eight-unit Smoky Mary, were uncoupled and each segment was pulled by its own tractor. Continue reading »

Feb 242020

A Proteus float rider shrugs when his target misses the throw. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

The Krewe of Proteus’ 230 male members presented a traditional parade Monday (Feb. 24) with 20 floats, 34 lieutenants on horseback and 48 flambeaux rolling through Uptown. The parade them was “Feasts and Libations” with floats titles such as “Absinthe,” “Feasts of Fools” and “Delicacies of the Deep.” Founded in 1881, Proteus is Carnival’s second-oldest parading organization. The krewe’s most sought after throws included LED flambeaux and plush trident crowns along with lighted beads. Continue reading »

Feb 242020

Floats are parked with riders still on them on Magazine Street where a woman was killed after being struck by a float during the Mystic Krewe of Nyx parade. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Shaun Fergusen said the NOPD will meet with the mayor’s Mardi Gras advisory committee, krewe captains and others to review Carnival safety.

“We lost two lives this Carnival season,” he said during a press conference on Monday. “It’s very disheartening.” Continue reading »

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Feb 242020

Bacchus riders toss beads, trinkets and toys on Napoleon Avenue. (Dinah Rogers, Uptown Messenger)

“Bacchus’ Wild, Wild West” was the parade theme Sunday (Feb. 23) as the Krewe of Bacchus rolled through Uptown with floats titled “Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley,” “Sheriffs and Outlaws” and “Lewis and Clark.” The superkrewe’s famed multi-chassis floats had to be separated, but that didn’t lessen the spectacle. Bacchus LII and 30 lieutenants on horseback led the club’s 1,600 members riding 32 floats. Marching bands included several from out-of-state colleges, part of the 100-plus-unit parade. Continue reading »

Feb 242020

The Knights of Chaos “Im-peach-ment” float rolls on Napoleon Avenue on Sunday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Chaos, rescheduled from its normal Thursday night slot to Sunday morning, sprinted up the Uptown parade route with its satirical entourage after the Krewe of Thoth. Continue reading »

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Feb 242020

The Krewe of Thoth queen’s float rolls on Magazine Street on Sunday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Thoth exercised its global reach on Sunday morning, rolling on the Uptown route with a theme of “As the World Turns.”

The Krewe of Thoth rolls on Magazine Street on Sunday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

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Feb 242020

The Krewe of Mid-City “Heart Breakers and Head Bangers” title float rolls on Magazine Street on Sunday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

The Krewe of Mid-City celebrated “Heart Breakers and Head Bangers” for its 2020 theme, creating imagery that was at times whimsical, satirical and strange on its signature tinfoil floats. Continue reading »

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Feb 232020

The pioneering Bacchagator, one of Bacchus’ signature tandem floats, extends 105 feet. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

After the second fatality of the 2020 Carnival season involving a tandem float, the city Saturday night barred krewes from pulling more than one chassis with a single tractor for the remainder of the season.

The Krewe of Bacchus — known for its long, elaborate tandem floats — has agreed to break up its floats for tonight’s parade in light of the two tragedies. The Krewe of Thoth had planned to debut a three-section train float in its afternoon parade. It too will be split up. Continue reading »

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Feb 232020

Henry Myers gets a boost to catch beads during the 2019 Krewe of Thoth parade. (Uptown Messenger)

Five parades will roll through Uptown today and tonight, with the Knights of Chaos mixing things up by joining the Sunday daytime roster after Thursday’s weather-related cancellation. Bacchus will rule the night, with changes to its famed tandem floats.
Weather should not be a problem today. The National Weather Service forecasts cloudy but dry skies with a high near 64 and winds from 5 to 10 mph.

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