News

Mardi Gras 2012: The Parades

Rex Duke™ previews the first weekend of Carnival

comment
Click here for printable parade maps:


Rex Duke™, the world's first and foremost parade critic, previews the first weekend of Carnival parades.


The first official parades of Carnival hit the streets this weekend, and Rex Duke™, New Orleans' foremost parade critic, looks forward to a season full of my favorite things: kings, queens, flambeaux, marching bands, lavishly decorated floats and more. The krewes celebrate everything from Louisiana's bicentennial to festivals from around the globe to popular music and more. Below are my previews of parade themes, routes, special throws, reigning monarchs and special guests. Enjoy!



Mardi Gras Week 1


FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10


Oshun


6 p.m. Friday


Location: Uptown


Theme: Child's Play


Floats: 17


Shango: Ronald Joseph Lewis Jr.


Oshun: Deborah Singleton Rogers


Throws: light-up peacocks, krewe medallions


Oshun celebrates children's stories and rhymes in floats such as "Itsy Bitsy Spider," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "A Tisket, A Tasket." Marching bands from O. Perry Walker High School, Warren Easton Charter High School and St. Mary's Academy join the procession. Guest riders include grand marshal Oliver Thomas, DJ Captain Charles and Tulane University football coach Curtis Johnson.


Cleopatra


6:30 p.m. Friday


Location: West Bank


Theme: Cleopatra Tips Her Hat to Mardi Gras


Floats: 15


Cleopatra: Kimberly Buck


Throws: beads with hat charms, cups, yard dogs, footballs


Cleopatra celebrates headgear on the opening night of the official parade calendar. Floats depict everything from Carnival hats to Southern Belles to LSU and New Orleans Saints helmets.


Excalibur


7 p.m. Friday


Location: Metairie


Theme: A Knight in China


Floats: 22


King: Tom Stephens


Queen: Jamie Renton


Throws: chopsticks, fortune cookies, pagoda medallion beads, krewe cups and doubloons


The knights of Camelot and Ladies of Avalon celebrate the Chinese New Year with floats depicting creatures from the Chinese zodiac, including the rooster and the dog. Regular Excalibur floats feature Merlin and Morgana. Guest riders include nine members of LSU's 1958 national championship football team, whose defensive unit was known as the Chinese Bandits. Bag of Donuts band members ride as grand marshals.


Atlas


7:30 p.m. Friday


Location: Metairie


Theme: A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That


Floats: 14


King: David Charles Rollo


Queen: Brandi Lynn Bourgeois


Throws: beads


For nearly 40 years, the Krewe of Atlas has tried to mix it up in Metairie. This year's theme juggles a potpourri of floats depicting everything from smoke signals to computers, jesters to weather.

 


SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11


Choctaw


11 a.m. Saturday


Location: West Bank


Theme: Listen to the Music


Floats: 18


Chief: Bill Bubrig


Princess: Brittany Bubrig


Throws: plush tomahawks and spears, captain's wooden nickels


The Krewe of Choctaw puts on a hit parade. Floats will feature Elvis' "Hound Dog," Madonna's "Material Girl," "Twist and Shout," Garth Brooks' "Rodeo" and KISS's "Calling Dr. Love."


Adonis


11:45 a.m. Saturday


Location: West Bank


Theme: Adonis in Louisiana: 200 Years


Floats: 14


King: Theodore "Teddy" Morgan


Queen: Iliana Maria Morgan


Throws: krewe cups, doubloons and coozies


The krewe celebrates Louisiana's bicentennial. Floats will depict local culture and history. Sample subjects include voodoo, seafood, Lake Pontchartrain, Jean Lafitte, swamps and the maritime industry.


Pontchartrain


2 p.m. Saturday


Location: Uptown


Theme: Where is What Louisiana Festival


Floats: 15


King: Adam William Winningkoff


Queen: Kelsi Marie Dixon


Throws: Footballs, large cups, 3-D grouper medallion beads and new krewe insignia magnets


The Krewe of Pontchartrain continues its puzzling ways with viewers challenged to guess the names and locations of Louisiana festivals depicted on floats. The Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival and French Quarter Festival are a couple of easy ones. They get more challenging. The Big Easy Rollergirls will join the procession. The krewe is introducing a new throw: doubloon-sized magnets depicting its symbol, a grouper.


Caesar


6 p.m. Saturday


Location: Metairie


Theme: Festivals of the World


Floats: 26


Emperor: David Lapuyade


Empress: Ashleigh Glidden


Throws: plush leopards, foam spears, light-up beads, krewe cups and throwing discs


Caesar's family-friendly procession will feature Sesame Street's Elmo and Cookie Monster as grand marshals. Floats will depict festivals from around the globe, including England's Renaissance Festival, Germany's Oktoberfest, Mexico's Day of the Dead, Hawaii's Polynesian Festival and the Chinese New Year. The krewe throws an array of krewe emblem items and light-up beads.


Sparta


6 p.m. Saturday


Location: Uptown


Theme: Le Carnaval des Animaux


Floats: 16


King: announced day of parade


Queen: Erin Elizabeth Patin


Throws: LED medallion beads, krewe cups, coozies, throwing discs and anniversary medallions, the Spartan mystery throw


The Knights of Sparta celebrate their 60th anniversary, and officers will hand out commemorative "Sparta Gazette" posters. The theme is carried out in French with animals and birds, including "Le Loup" (the wolf), "Le Cigne" (the swan) and "Le Chanticleer" (the rooster). Sparta maintains many Carnival traditions and the procession features a mule-drawn king's float, mounted officers and flambeaux.


Pygmalion


6:45 p.m. Saturday


Location: Uptown


Theme: The Name of the Game Is...


Floats: 18


King: Brent Starring


Queen: Dr. Celine Lemieux


Throws: stuffed Pygmammoths, doubloons in many colors, Junior Pygmalion medallion beads


The Krewe of Pygmalion introduces a new signature float: the Pygmammoth. The woolly beast carries 10 riders and is equipped with fiber optic lights. Special throws will depict the creature. Theme floats will feature popular games such as Monopoly, Candy Land, Connect 4 and Hungry Hungry Hippos. St. Augustine's Marching 100 is among the procession's 10 marching bands.

 


SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12


Alla


Noon Sunday


Location: West Bank


Theme: Alla's Astrological Odyssey


Floats: 26


Maharajah: Russell S. Lloyd


Maharani: Christy Marie Lawson


Throws: Plush spears and roses, a variety of cups and doubloons


The Krewe of Alla marks its 80th anniversary by looking to the stars. Signs of the zodiac will be depicted on floats, and the procession includes the Coonass and Allagator signature floats. Jay Paul Molinere and R.J. Molinere from Swamp People will ride as special guests. Alla always has a strong contingent of bands, and participating schools include St. Augustine's Marching 100, O. Perry Walker, West Jefferson High School and the U.S. Marine Corps band.


Carrollton


Noon Sunday


Location: Uptown


Theme: Celebrate Louisiana


Floats: 20


King: Kirk Leonard


Queen: Ashley Michelle Cuccia


Throws: Louisiana state flags, theme medallion beads, a variety of krewe logo beads


The Krewe of Carrollton honors Louisiana's bicentennial. Floats depict aspects of Louisiana history and culture such as riverboats, voodoo and wildlife.


King Arthur


1:15 p.m. Sunday


Location: Uptown


Theme: King Arthur Celebrates the Louisiana Statehood Bicentennial


Floats: 25


King Arthur: Rhett Gonzales


Guinevere: Donna F. Gonzales


Throws: plush dragons and spears


The Knights of King Arthur celebrate their 35th anniversary by saluting Louisiana's 200th. Floats will depict Cajun culture, the French Quarter and LSU.


Thor


2 p.m. Sunday


Location: Metairie


Theme: Rocking with the Oldies


Floats: 17


King: Allen Joseph Boudreaux


Queen: Chelsea Danielle Boudreaux


Throws: long beads and plush animals


Thor features a couple of firsts. The Tulane University marching band will lead the procession in its first Carnival parade in Metairie, and also appearing for the first time at Mardi Gras on Veterans Memorial Boulevard is Chris Owens, who will be dressed as Elvis. The floats cover hit songs from various eras, and they include "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," "Return to Sender" and "Proud Mary." Gibson Guitar will have a float featuring some of its recording artists as parade guests.

Add a comment