The all-day Lundi Gras festivities culminate with two spectacular parades, one a study in old-world elegance and another in contemporary opulence.
The official starting point for the Uptown parades is 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.
National Weather Service tells us to expect a clear night for the Lundi Gras parades, with a low in the upper 40s.
See below for details on the parades, the route and more.
Krewe of Proteus
Presenting the second oldest parade in the Carnival lineup, the Krewe of Proteus adheres to tradition just it adheres to the chassis it has been using since the 1880s, when it was formed as an offshoot of the mystic krewes of Momus and Comus. It stopped parading for six years in the 1990s, returning to the streets again 1999.
Proteus was a primordial deity in Greek mythology, the protector of the seas, rivers and other bodies of water. According to Homer, he was the master and herdsman of sea monsters and sea animals. He could foretell the future, but would change his shape to avoid having to; he answered only to those capable of capturing him.
Starts: 5:15 p.m.
Theme: “Divine Tricksters”
Watch for: The king rides in distinctive seashell float. The U.S. Marine Corps Band adds to the Proteus sound track.
Catch it if you can: Throws include LED flambeaux and plush crowns.
Krewe of Orpheus
When the superkrewe of Orpheus first paraded in 1994, its 700 riders was a New Orleans Carnival record. Now you can expect about 1,500 male and female riders on 40 floats; one float alone, the eight-unit Smoky Mary, holds 230 riders. Orpheus is consciously nonexclusive.
A musical krewe co-founded by Harry Connick Jr., Orpheus is named for a mythical figure whose lyre-playing was so beautiful the trees bent to hear it. Luckily, the branches of the live oaks along St. Charles Avenue are naturally bent.
Starts: 6 p.m. (follows Proteus)
Theme: “Glacial Tomes & Conflagrations”
Look for: “Game of Thrones” star Finn Jones, singer and actor Nicole Scherzinger, and wrestler Tyrus will reign over the Orpheus parade. The krewe’s signature floats include Leviathan, Trojan Horse and the Smoky Mary.
Catch it if you can: Riders will throw hand-decorated tambourines.
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.