As a cold front moves in, thunderstorms and rain showers are predicted for this evening (Feb. 16), so the city will be carefully watching the weather for tonight’s parades. The latest word from City Hall is that the parades will roll as scheduled.
Check for any updates, and come prepared for a wet and chilly night. Temperatures could dip into the mid-40s, according to the National Weather Service. If you witness lightning along the parade route, seek shelter by getting inside a building or car.
In 2020, when parade weather included dangerous winds, the three Jeudi Gras parades were moved to Friday or Sunday, when they rolled with floats only.
The city issued a statement Thursday morning that it is monitoring the weather, with this explanation:
The primary weather concerns for postponing any scheduled parades would be high winds and lightning near the parade route, both which have low chances of occurring for the New Orleans area at this time. Scattered showers and thunderstorms are likely throughout most the afternoon today ahead of an advancing cold front. Light to moderate rain is possible, so the City is asking krewe members and the parade goers to take any necessary precautions before heading to the parade route.
Even with less than desirable weather, Jeudi Gras is 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 three parades follow the traditional St. Charles Avenue route, but only Muses can be enjoyed on Magazine Street. It starts on Magazine and Jefferson Avenue and rolls along Magazine before turning on Napoleon. The first two parades begin on Magazine and Napoleon.
Knights of Babylon
The Knights of Babylon adhere 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 is mule drawn. The king is called Sargon, from a legendary Babylonian ruler; his identity is never revealed.
The all-male krewe has about 325 riders on 27 floats. You won’t know the theme until you watch the parade.
Start: 5:30 p.m. at Napoleon Avenue and Magazine Street
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) at Napoleon and Magazine
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. Other throws include helmets and LED swords.
Krewe of Muses
In Greek mythology, no festivity in Olympus was 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 inspiring more hand-decorated signature throws.
Start: 6:45 p.m. (follows Chaos) at Magazine and Jefferson
Look for: Muses’ signature floats include the Shoe and the Bathtub, plus the seductive Sirens float that closes out the night of parades. Muses is also known for its dance troupes, including the Camel Toe Lady Steppers, the Bearded Oysters, the Pussyfooters and the 610 Stompers.
Catch it if you can: This krewe carefully curates 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.
This report was updated after posting to include the city’s statement on the parade weather.