Tonight is Jeudi Gras, for many a highlight of the parade season, and it normally draws large crowds. The Knights of Babylon kick it off, followed by the satirical Knights of Chaos and closing with the superstar Krewe of Muses.
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.
The night will be mostly cloudy with a low around 57 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.
Knights of Babylon
The Knights of Babylon adheres faithfully to Carnival traditions. The floats have the same basic designs and dimensions that they did at the krewe’s inception in 1939. The krewe owns its floats as well as the den that houses them. The traditional flambeaux carriers continue to accompany the parade, and the king’s float, Sargon, is mule drawn.
The all-male krewe has more than 300 riders on 27 floats. You won’t know the theme until you watch the parade.
Start: 5:30 p.m.
Look for: Signature floats include the Carrollton streetcar, the Gates of Ishtar, the Babylonian Barge, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Jesters Float.
Catch it if you can: Originally the Jesters Club, this krewe throws lighted jesters on a stick.
Knights of Chaos
The Knights of Chaos, founded in 2000, parades on what was once known as “Momus Thursday,” before that revered old-line krewe left the streets in 1992. In Greek mythology, Chaos is the void from which the universe is created.
Chaos carries on the old-line tradition with a satirical parade using the 16 Momus floats lighted by flambeaux carriers. The 200 knights are all Carnival veterans, and the identity of the king, called No. 1, remains a secret. So does the theme; past themes include “Chaos in the Streets,” “Chaos Theory,” “Chaos Says N.O.” and “Looking Forward to Chaos.”
Start: 6 p.m. (follows Babylon)
Look for: The captain and lieutenants ride on horseback.
Catch it if you can: Riders throw decks of cards with intricate drawings of the floats, so you can relive the parade.
Krewe of Muses
In Greek mythology, no festivity in Olympus was considered complete without the joy-inspiring presence of the nine Muses, whose names are also commemorated in Uptown streets.
Since its first ride in 2001, the Krewe of Muses has inspired joy with its witty floats; its lineup of dance troupes and bands; and its sought-after throws — especially the artful hand-glittered shoes.
The first all-female night parade has transformed local traditions, popularizing women’s krewes and hand-decorated signature throws.
Start: 6:45 p.m. (follows Chaos)
Look for: The 2022 Honorary Muse is NBA executive and gold medal Olympian Swin Cash of the New Orleans Pelicans. Muses’ signature floats include the Shoe and the Bathtub, plus the seductive Sirens float that closes out the night of parades.
Catch it if you can: This krewe has excellent quality control over the items that fly from its 26 floats. Even if you don’t snag a Muses shoe, you’re likely to find something to treasure in its “re-Muse-able” throws. New for 2022: Muses members will throw take-home Covid tests.
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.