Four parades will roll through Uptown today and tonight. The daytime parades will roll under the threat of rain, with a 50 percent chance of showers before 3 p.m. and a near certain chance of cloudy skies with a north wind, according to the National Weather Service. Daytime highs will be around 60. A low of 45 is expected for Bacchus tonight.
Krewe of Okeanos
The Krewe of Okeanos was formed in 1949 to give its downtown neighborhood a Carnival parade of its own. Okeanos rolled on St. Claude Avenue before joining other krewes on the Uptown route. The parade’s 24 floats carry about 350 male and female riders.
The krewe is named for a Greek proto-god who controlled the world’s first oceans and waterways, including a river that encircled the Earth.
Starts: 11 a.m.
Theme: “Love Stories”
Watch for: Several brass bands and the Urban Cowboys Horse Posse are among the groups joining the Okeanos parade.
Catch it if you can: Okeanos riders will be throwing teal crawfish trays.
Krewe of Mid-City
The Krewe of Mid-City‘s 17 floats are decorated entirely in bright tinfoil, just as they were when the krewe first paraded in 1933. It is the only krewe to use this tinfoil technique.
The fifth-oldest continuously parading organization in New Orleans, Mid-City was the first to use animation in float designs. Its early motion was achieved by volunteer Boy Scouts concealed inside the floats working several mechanisms, including pedaling stationary bikes to turn cables and gears on external devices.
Like Okeanos, the Krewe of Mid-City began as a neighborhood parade. It rolled through its namesake neighborhood until 2002, when most Mid-City parades were moved Uptown so the city could consolidate security in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
Starts: 11:45 (follows Okeanos)
Theme: “Entertainment Under the Sea”
Watch for: The signature City Park float pays homage to the krewe’s roots.
Catch it if you can: The krewe throws Elmer’s CheeWees, cheese curds in tinfoil bags.
Krewe of Thoth
This is the first year the Krewe of Thoth will not parade on its traditional individualistic route — designed to pass in front of 14 institutions that care for people who could not otherwise experience a Carnival parade.
When Thoth started parading in 1947, it had 50 members on five floats. It now rolls with more than 2,000 riders on 41 floats, including 16 tandems.
Starts: Noon (follows Mid-City)
Theme: “A Gift for You”
Watch for: Grand marshal Richard “Piano” Scott will perform as he rides.
Catch it if you can: Thoth throws a large assortment of items, including Thoth Sunday T-shirts, Thoth fedoras and Thoth socks.
Krewe of Bacchus
The Krewe of Bacchus is known for its spectacular floats and its celebrity monarchs. Its more than 1,500 members ride in 33 animated super-floats, to the tune of more than 30 marching bands. The krewe’s signature floats include the Bacchasaurus, Bacchagator and Bacchawhoppa. Another, the Bacchatality, carries members of the city’s hospitality industry.
Bacchus has its roots in New Orleans’ hospitality industry. It was the brainchild of restaurateur Owen Brennan Sr., who wanted more visitors included in the city’s Carnival activities. The purveyor of fine wines decided in 1949 to start a krewe named for Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and fertility, and open it to out-of-towners.
Twenty years later, and nearly 15 years after Brennan’s untimely death, Bacchus began rolling on the Sunday before Mardi Gras under the leadership of his son Owen “Pip” Brennan Jr. Breaking ranks with more than a century of Carnival tradition, the krewe has a national celebrity reign over the parade. Its groundbreaking first ride paved the way for the New Orleans superkrewe.
Starts: 5:15 p.m.
Theme: “From the Heart”
Watch for: Actor Josh Duhamel is Bacchus LIII.
Catch it if you can: New logo throws include toothbrushes, bandages, silicone pint glasses, socks, selfie lights and light-up shoelaces.
All parades will follow the same abbreviated route:
Start: Napoleon Avenue and Prytania Street
Proceed down Napoleon
Right on St. Charles Avenue
Proceed on St. Charles Avenue around Lee Circle
Proceed on St. Charles
Right on Canal Street
Right on Tchoupitoulas Street
End: Tchoupitoulas and Poydras Street
You can check on the krewe’s progress in the city’s Parade Tracker. See additional information about Mardi Gras parades at ready.nola.gov/mardi-gras
Safety, parking, transportation
As always, take care in large crowds and report suspicious activity to public safety officials.
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.
Parking will be prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after parades. Follow all posted signs.
- Tchoupitoulas Street from Jackson Avenue to Nashville Avenue
- Napoleon Avenue from Tchoupitoulas to South Claiborne Avenue
- St. Charles Avenue from Napoleon to Canal Street
- Tchoupitoulas from Poydras Street to Calliope Street
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.