A group of New Orleans artists have imagined new face-makeup designs for riders in the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club’s parade to replace the group’s traditional blackface that hearkens back to racist minstrelsy displays, activists said Monday night at a panel discussion about the issue.
The Rex parade stopped at the Morris-Downman House at 2525 St. Charles Ave. during the parade on Mardi Gras, as it has since 1907. This time the toast was more poignant. The mansion, historically significant to the Rex organization and to New Orleans Mardi Gras, was devastated by a seven-alarm fire in February. It has been home to many Rex members, including Billy Grace, a former king of Carnival, who shared a toast with Rex.
The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club kicked off the Mardi Gras Day parades in grand style, exuding warmth despite the morning chill. King George V. Rainey and Queen Kailyn L. Rainey reigned over the 42-float parade with the theme “Zulu Celebrates Fantasy and Adventure.”
A trombone player bellows out a note behind the Zulu Tramps, the krewe’s own walking troupe. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)
The Golden Eagles Mardi Gras Indians took to the streets of Uptown on Tuesday, showing off their new hand-made suits. This year was different for their Big Chief, Monk Boudreaux. Before they marched, Boudreaux married the Big Queen of the Golden Eagles, Chellene Bailey.
Orpheus was one of two parades to roll Monday. The krewe, founded by Harry Connick Jr. and Sr. in 1993, rolled with the theme “The Orpheus Imaginarium.” The parade featured celebrities like actor Mario Lopez, singer Trace Atkins and a few members of the New Orleans Saints – Marshon Lattimore, P.J. Williams, Michael Thomas and more.
The sun is expected to shine over Mardi Gras, but costumes will need to an extra layer to ward off a chill. The National Weather Service is predicting temperatures in the low 50s.
Proteus, among the city’s oldest Mardi Gras krewe dating back to 1882, explored the past for their 137th parade. The floats depicted The Silk Road — the ancient trade route connecting east to west.
Bacchus rolled on Sunday with the theme “Starring Louisiana.” The themed floats depicted movies or TV shows that took place or were filmed in Louisiana. These included “NCIS,” “King Creole,” “JFK,” “Interview with a Vampire” and more. The rain had passed through the area by the times the bands started up, so the parade could showcase local marching bands in all their glory.
The rain has cleared out for Lundi Gras, though some clouds may linger, the National Weather Service reports. Temperatures are expected to drop to the lower 40s tonight, so winter gear will be required to watch last night parades of the season, Proteus and Orpheus.
Story & Photos by Camille Barnett
Due to the threat of rain and thunderstorms, Uptown’s Sunday morning parades began an hour early. Marching bands and most walking krewes did not parade for Okeanos, Mid-City, or Thoth. Fortunately, the rain held up and skies stayed clear on St. Charles and Napoleon for all three krewes.
Photos by Camille Barnett
The sun was bright Saturday morning (March 2), making a beautiful ride for the Krewe of Tucks. This year’s theme was “Tuck Gets Sick.” Following tradition, 37 themed-floats rode down St. Charles Avenue under tissue paper dangling from oak trees.
Photos by Camille Barnett
On Saturday morning (March 2), the Krewe of Iris gave a look “through a child’s eyes.” Detailed, extravagant floats were decorated to center around the theme of nostalgic characters. Despite talks of potential showers, the rain held up for all 33 floats.
With severe thunderstorm threatening the New Orleans area, today’s daytime parades will roll one hour earlier than originally scheduled. So that they can move out ahead of the storms, only the floats will parade. No bands or dance troupes will perform in Okeanos, Mid-City or Thoth. Bacchus currently remains as scheduled.
Okeanos will now roll at 10 a.m. (originally scheduled for 11 a.m.). Mid-City will now roll at 11 a.m. or following Okeanos (originally scheduled for noon). Thoth will now roll at 11 a.m. or following Mid-City (originally scheduled for noon).
The Krewe of Morpheus rolled with the theme “Dream Destinations” on Friday, March 1. Morpheus, named from the Greek god of dreams, celebrates illusion and fantasy.