Rolling today: Zulu, Rex, truck parades

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.

‘Beastly Kingdoms of Orpheus’ was theme of Uptown parade (photo gallery)

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.

Proteus brings ‘Feasts and Libations’ to Uptown crowds (photo gallery)

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.

‘There will be some changes’: NOPD chief to meet with krewe captains on safety

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.” During the Nyx parade on Wednesday, Belinda ‘Puggy’ Carmouche, 58, was run over and killed by the second section of tandem float on Magazine Street. Then, on Saturday night, Joseph Sampson, 58, was fatally struck when he got between two units of a three-section Endymion float at South Galvez and Canal Street. After Sampson’s death, the mayor and public safety officials outlawed tandem floats for the rest of the season, sending krewes scrambling to break up floats and find additional tractors and drivers.

Rolling tonight: Proteus and Orpheus

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.

Bacchus takes a wild, wild ride through Uptown (photo gallery)

“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. Singer, songwriter and “Masked Singer” judge Robin Thicke reigned as Bacchus LII, 32 years after his father, the late actor Alan Thicke, served as Bacchus XX in 1988.