The first weekend of Uptown parades closes out Sunday (Feb. 20) with three crowd-pleasing daytime parades.
The sun is expected to shine on Femme Fatale, Carrollton and King Arthur. The National Weather Service promises near-perfect parade weather with highs in the upper 60s.
The official beginning of parades is at Napoleon Avenue and Prytania Street, but krewes line up well in advance. The line-ups will affect traffic and parking from St. Charles Avenue to Tchoupitoulas Street. Uptown residents need to plan accordingly.
Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale
The Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale, the first parading krewe founded by and for African-American women, will honor women in the media with its eighth parade. The grand marshal is WDSU-TV news anchor Gina Swanson. And nationally syndicated radio host DeDe McGuire is riding with the krewe.
Start: 11 a.m.
Theme: “Mystic Krewe of Femme Fatale Presents Ladies First”
Look for: The Caramel Curves Motorcycle Club and Buffalo Soldiers parade with the Femme Fatales.
Catch it if you can: The krewe’s signature throw is a bejeweled mirrored compact that “symbolizes a constant inward and outward reflection.”
Krewe of Carrollton
The all-male Krewe of Carrollton, the fourth oldest parading Carnival organization in the city, is part of New Orleans’ tradition of neighborhood parades. It was founded by a group of Oak Street businessmen in 1924 as the Seventh District Carnival Club and became the Krewe of Carrollton in 1947. Although the krewe no longer parades on Carrollton Avenue, its den remains in the neighborhood where it was founded.
Start: Noon (follows Femme Fatale)
Theme: “Once Upon a Time”
Watch for: The Budweiser Clydesdales march in the Carrollton parade.
Catch it if you can: Decorated shrimp boots are Carrollton’s signature throw.
Krewe of King Arthur
The Krewe of King Arthur, with 1,850 members on more than 50 floats, is the largest krewe to roll during the first Uptown parade weekend and the second largest co-ed parade in the city. King Arthur prides itself on diversity, bringing everyone to the round table. It is also a DIY krewe; the knights make their own floats and costumes.
Start: 12:30 p.m. (follows Carrollton)
Theme: “On the Road Again”
Look for: Tulane’s SoundWave Pep Band performs in King Arthur.
Catch it if you can: King Arthur’s signature throw is a decorated grail.
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 Ave. 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.