The Krewe of King Arthur parade rolled Sunday (Feb. 16) with 1,750 male and female members riding on more than 50 floats. The theme of the 43rd parade was “20 Years in Downtown New Orleans.” The krewe was organized in 1977 as a West Bank group, moving their parade to New Orleans in 2001. William Linzy reigned as King Arthur XLIII and Jennifer Frazier as Queen Guinevere XLIII. High school marching band and walking clubs, including the Amelia Earhawts, the NOLA Cherry Bombs and Ain’t Misbehavin’ Social Club. The coveted throw of the parade was a hand-decorated grail, especially the one-off It also gives away the Grail of Grails, especially the commissioned jeweled metal chalice.
The Krewe of Carrollton rolled through Uptown Sunday (Feb. 16) with floats decorated in a rainbow of colors representing this year’s them “Color My World.” The captain and lieutenants led the parade on horseback with the 575-member male krewe riding 27 floats. High school marching bands and dance groups, including the infamous 610 Stompers and Pussyfooters, participated in the parade, which is one of the oldest to roll in New Orleans. Erik Youngblood and Katherine Wood reigned as King and Queen Carrollton XCVI. Some of the coveted throws were coloring books, playing cards, Carrollton medallion beads and the ever-popular decorated shrimp boot.
The Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale’s seventh annual parade rolled almost an hour late Sunday (Feb. 16) to avoid the worst of the rain. A loyal crowd dressed in rain gear lined the route as over 750 female krewe members tossed coveted Cherchez La Femme signature beads, sunglasses, light wands and lip-shaped flasks. The most sought-after throw was the bedazzled mirror compact. Floats followed the love songs parade theme with float titles such as Lovebug, Higher Love, Vision of Love and Endless Love. Grand Marshalls were New Orleans’ renowned vocalist Wanda Rouzan and City Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen.
Rain came down Sunday morning as krewes, marching groups and parade aficionados prepared for the final day of the first weekend of Uptown parades. The National Weather Service put Sunday morning’s precipitation chance at 100% — not the best odds. But there is hope — the rain is expected to clear out in the afternoon, with warmer temps and a remaining chance of isolated showers only.
The Krewe of Pygmalion rolled Uptown Saturday (Feb. 15) with 550 male and female members aboard 25 floats. “Viaggia In Italia” (Travel to Italy) was the theme of the 21st annual parade which also included marching bands and dance groups. Cary Oswald and Kalli Mercer reigned as King and Queen Pygmalion XXI. Float riders tossed lighted themed logo beads, wands, Venetian masks, roses and bracelets.
The Knights of Sparta rolled Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “On the Street Where You Live.” The 300 knights rode 17 floats named after famous streets such as Via Veneto in Rome, Avenue de Champs Elysees in Parish and St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. The captain and officers rode horseback. Fabian Errol Miller and Shannon Barbara Garrety reigned as King and Queen. The most sought after throw was an LED Spartan helmet. Other throws tossed to the crowd were krewe medallion beads, koozies, warrior necklaces and rings.
The Krewe of Freret rolled their seventh parade Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “The Music of New Orleans.” The 18-float parade featured a dozen super floats, including one with a two-story Trombone Shorty figure with a moving slide. The 500-member male and female club plans for a gradual transformation into a superkrewe. Float riders tossed their signature hand-crafted masks along with blinking logo beads, black and gold sunglasses and tambourines. Hans Gerwitz and Holly Alvendia reigned as king and queen.
The Krewe of Choctaw rolled Uptown Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “Party Like It’s 1999.” The krewe’s 85th parade featured 16 floats, marching bands and walking clubs. The 275 men, women and children riding floats tossed Choctaw’s collectible doubloons, plush spears and tomahawks, logo beads, cups and the coveted, painted wooden tomahawks decorated by krewe members. Chief Choctaw Ricky DeCastro Jr. and his Princess Kristen DeCastro Sepulveda reigned this year.
The Krewe of Pontchartrain’s 45th annual parade rolled Saturday (Feb. 15) with the theme “Pontchartrain Blues.” The 17-float parade included a special float for the Captain Emeritus and founder Sam Scandialiato, who served from 1976 through 2017. Floats included the Blue Plate Special, Blue Man Group and Blue Suede Shoes. Steven John Daigle reigned as King Pontchartrain and Kera Colleen Aparicio as Queen. The 400 men and women riding tossed the krewe’s medallion beads along with 38-inch pearl mini-grouper beads, blue straw hats and crawfish trays.
The first Saturday is very full parade day, with five krewes and their accompanying bands and dancers keeping the Uptown route lively from early afternoon until late evening.
The National Weather Services promises a sunny day with highs around 65. Clouds are expected to move in during the evening, when the temperature is not likely to dip below 55 degrees.
The Krewe of Alla rolled through Uptown ons Friday (Feb. 14) for the first time in their new Friday night parade slot. The krewe’s 88th annual parade featured 22 floats decorated in the theme “Friday Night Flicks & Fun,” with a special salute to America’s military and first-responders in partnership with the Legion of Mars. Dr. Marc Matrana and Heather Green Matrana reigned as King and Queen Alla LXXXVIII.
The Krewe of Cleopatra‘s 47th annual parade rolled through Uptown on Friday (Feb. 14) with the them “Cleopatra’s Vixens and Valentines.” The 70 units included 21 floats, marching bands and walking clubs. The all-female krewe has 1,500 member with Amanda Roudolfich reigning as Queen Cleopatra XLVII. Signature throws included lighted heart items such as sunglasses, rings, wands, head boppers and hula hoops. Medallion beads and Cleopatra dolls were also tossed to the crowd.
The Krewe of Oshun traveled the Uptown route Friday (Feb. 14) with the theme “The Message is Love.” The group’s 24th annual parade featured 18 floats decorated with hearts and flowers to recognize Valentine’s Day.
Marching bands, walking clubs and dance troupes, including Baby Dolls, were part of the nearly 50 units that made up the parade. Around 300 male and female member tossed handmade fans, theme beads, peacock krewe beads, lighted batons and lighted peacock rings. Reigning as Shango was Cordell Chambliss, and Queen Oshun XXIV was Joan Ann Brown.
By Nicholas Reimann, Uptown Messenger
It’s become one of the postcard images of Carnival in New Orleans — beads and other debris lining trees along the Uptown parade route, some to the point of being hardly recognizable.
But parade-goers this season on the Napoleon Avenue portion of the route won’t take in any sights that like there — at least if the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has its way.
Love is the air for Friday evening, and not only because it’s Valentine’s Day. The krewes of Oshun, Cleopatra and Alla will show their love for the community and get plenty in return. These krewes herald the Carnival parade season along the Uptown route.
The National Weather Service forecasts a good night for parades, with clear skies. It will be chilly, however, with a low of around 44.