We’ve made it to the Big Day, which deserves a blog post all its own!
Four parades take place Uptown, starting at S. Claiborne and Jackson Avenue at 8am with the Krewe of Zulu parade. Krewe of Zulu will be fresh from their 21st annual Lundi Gras Festival, and the parade promises to be fabulous with its many characters such as Zulu Big Shot and Witch Doctor. The Zulu’s “golden nugget”, or coconut, throw is a very highly sought-after and collectible item.
At noon, the most famous and traditional Krewe, Rex, starts at Napoleon Avenue and S. Claiborne Ave. Rex has been around since 1872 and has rolled more parades than any other Mardi Gras Krewe. Their king, called Rex, has as his colors the purple, green and gold, the official colors of Mardi Gras. The floats roll on wooden wagons with wood-spoked wheels, and among the throws are the coveted Dubloons. This year’s theme is “Gods of All Ages”.
Following Rex are Krewe of Elks Orleanians, the oldest and largest of all the truck float krewe, with 4600 riders and over 50 uniquely designed truck floats, and then Krewe of Crescent City, a truck parade which signals “the beginning of the End” of carnival season.
At 10:00 am on the Westbank, the Krewe of Grela (first three letters of Gretna, and the abbreviation for Louisiana, LA) begins at the intersection of Stumpf Blvd. and Whitney Avenue. This Krewe had its first parade back in 1947, and has continued on since then with the only parade on the Westbank on Mardi Gras.
Heading over to Metairie? You are in luck! Starting at 10 am, three parades roll, starting with Krewe of Argus, following the Veterans Memorial Blvd, with 600 riders, 30 floats and marching bands, including the favorite, “George Rodrigue’s Blue Dog,” which throws stuffed Blue Dogs. The Grand Marshall for 2014 is Rob Ryan, defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints.
After Argus comes Krewe of Jefferson, with 75 truck floats and over 3000 riders, known for its good throws and very family friendly. After Jefferson comes the sister-krewe to the Krewe of Elks Orleanians, The Krewe of Elks-Jeffersonians. With 4,000 male and female riders and featuring more than 90 trucks, it is the oldest and largest of the all the truck krewes.
Finally, Krewe of Lyra rolls in Covington at 10am. The co-ed krewe, whose mission is “Fun, Friendship and Festivity,” will ride “Fire and Reign.”
And for last minute news, it’s just been announced that New Orleans Saint Roman Harper will join Deuce McAllister and Will Smith as celebrity knights on the Knights of Nemesis parade, February 22. Also on February 22, at 5pm, Krewe of ‘tit Rex (‘tit is short for petite, the French for small), which features tiny, toy-sized floats pulled by krewe members in formal dress handing out miniature throws. The theme is “Wee the People.”
1896 O’Malley House