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Mardi Gras 2014 Previews (Week Two)

Gambit's foremost parade critic Rex Duke™ previews the second week of Mardi Gras, with krewe themes, maps, throws and more.

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PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber

It's time to put the finishing touches on costumes, stock the parade backpack and break out your most comfortable shoes for four days of parades leading up to the Carnival crescendo of Fat Tuesday. Rex Duke™ is here to help you plan your reveling with parade previews, a Mardi Gras game to play along the parade route, and more.
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Wednesday, Feb. 26

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Druids
6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 23
Archdruid: secret
Throws: lighted Druid hats, wands and medallion beads, Druid umbrellas
The traditional and secretive Krewe of Druids typically has fun with wordplay with its float titles, but doesn't announce its theme until the parade begins. The Phunny Phorty Phellows ride a streetcar float, and the Joan of Arc Society's mounted riders and walking group will join the procession.

Nyx
7 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 35
Goddess Nyx III: Heather Henlon Nichols
Throws: hand-crafted purses, hot pink iPhone cases, wine tumblers, umbrellas, hot pink logo crawfish trays, martini glasses
Susan Spicer will ride as grand marshal in this year's all-women's Krewe of Nyx. Look for 2014 custom purses.

PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber

 

Thursday, Feb. 27

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Babylon
5:45 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 21
Sargon: secret
Queen: announced day of parade
Throws: jester hats, lighted medallion beads, krewe sunglasses, LED krewe crests and streetcars
The krewe celebrates its 75th anniversary and introduces a new float, the "Babylon Barge." For special throws, LED rings mark the anniversary.

Chaos
6:15 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 16
No. 1: secret
Throws: individual float cups, theme cards, lighted swords, plush swords and shields
The Knights of Chaos does not announce its theme in advance, but its satirical parade always tackles local news and politics. Special throws relate to individual floats and the theme.

Muses
6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 26
Throws: strobe theme beads, rhinestone bracelets, lighted Mardi Gras stickers
Julia Reed rides the signature shoe float as 2014's honorary muse, and Muses fans staying to the end of the parade will see the return of the Sirens float. For those obsessed with shoes, this year's shoe bracelet features an orange and teal metallic charm, and extraordinary past glittered shoes have been highlighted in the new Shoe Collection throw. Recipients can carry them home in a "reMusable" tote bag.

PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber

 

Friday, Feb. 28

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Hermes
6 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: The Diamond Jubilee
Floats: 29
King: secret
Queen: announced at krewe ball
Throws: hand-painted lighted medallions, lighted tumblers, cowbells, glitter balls, plush H's, 3-D gel beads
The krewe turns it up to celebrate its 75th anniversary. All krewe costumes light up, and each float throws its own lighted medallion bead. Individual floats honor past parade themes, including 1937's "Melodies," 1964's "Chinese Fairy Tale," 2011's "The Court of the Great Mogul" and "Theatrical Baroque." Throws include many light-up items, including its iconic medical staff, the Caduceus.

d'Etat
6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 22
King: secret
Throws: blinking Dictator and flambeaux beads, Dictator dolls, Candy and Banana Wagon pillows, koozies
Le Krewe d'Etat announces its satirical theme the day of the parade, and it typically addresses local and national news and politics and entertainment. Signature floats include the Dictator's Banana Wagon and the High Priest's Candy Wagon. The Dictator's Dancin' Dawlins and N'Awlins Nymphos march to a satirical theme.

Morpheus
7 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Morpheus Cruises the Streets of New Orleans
Floats: 20
King: Phillip Songy
Queen: Kristina Maria Percle
Throws: Slumber-themed throws including hand-decorated sleep masks, plush logo moons, sheep wearing nightcaps.

Centurions
7 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: And the Beat Goes On
Floats: 20
King: Sterling Keith Larmeu
Queen: Lauryn Elizabeth Henderson
Throws: plush swords, krewe emblem beads
Centurions marches to the beat of different drummers in a parade celebrating popular songs. Floats are based on the tunes "Monster Mash," "Y.M.C.A." and "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling." If the music doesn't get spectators in the mood, they can grab the krewe's signature stress doll, Comicus, the mini Roman.

PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber

 

Saturday, March 1

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N.O.M.T.O.C.
10:45 a.m.
Location: West Bank
Theme: N.O.M.T.O.C. Circus Menagerie
Floats: 21
King: Leonard Hillard Jr.
Queen: Jasmine Marie Roussell
Throws: krewe and king medallion beads
The krewe aims to entertain viewers with a circus theme and floats depictinga flying trapeze, performing seals, a human cannonball and a calliope. New Orleans Saints cornerback Keenan Lewis and WDSU-TV's Camille Whitworth ride as special guests. The krewe's costumed Walking Jugs group leads the procession.

Iris
11 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Iris Rocks
Floats: 35
King: Lawrence Pickett
Queen: Pamela Pickett
Throws: plush irises and king cake babies, flower bracelets, blinking rings
Becky Allen and Ricky Graham, stars of the long-running play And The Ball and All, ride as grand marshals. The theme references music, with floats including "The Rolling Stones," "Punk Rock" and "Jailhouse Rock." The floats also commemorate other types of rocks, including the Flintstones, "Precious Stones" and "Stone Crab." Prized throws include hand-decorated sunglasses and sunglass beads.

Tucks
Noon
Location: Uptown
Theme: Tucks Lives the Sporting Life
Floats: 33
King: Keith Gramling
Queen: Marie Barrios Crews
Throws: toilet paper, plungers, squirting toilets, plush dolls, sunglasses
Of course the irreverent Krewe of Tucks has its own idea of the sporting life. Floats are named for the krewe's favorite pastimes, including "Neutral Ground Staking," "Cross Dressing," "Putting from the Rough," "Head Sucking," "Bead Whoring," "Pole Dancing" and "Walk of Shame." Costumed marching groups include the krewe's Drag Racers unit. Prized throws include hand-decorated toilet brush scepters created by the Magnolia School.

Endymion
4:15 p.m.
Location: Mid-City
Theme: An Evening at the Opera
Floats: 34
King: Ryan Schwankhart
Queen: Alexandra Kern
Throws: LED theme medallion beads and krewe beads, lanyards, limited-edition Pontchartrain Beach medallions
Endymion will debut its new triple-decker float this year, complete with LED lighting. Country music star Carrie Underwood will ride as the parade's grand marshal, along with celebrity guests Norman Reedus of The Walking Dead and Ian Somerhalder of Vampire Diaries.

Isis
6:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: We Go Together
Floats: 19
King: Ryan Lee Danielson
Queen: Brieanne Elizabeth Bourgeois
Throws: purple king's doubloon, krewe beads, cups
The Ponchatoula High School marching band takes its traditional spot leading the parade, and a U.S. Marine Corps marching band joins Isis for the first time. The theme celebrates famous pairs, including Bonnie and Clyde, Lancelot and Guinevere, Lady and the Tramp, Gatsby and Daisy, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker, coffee and doughnuts and wine and cheese. Prized throws include the krewe's hand-decorated flip flops and pink and black sunglasses.

 

Sunday, March 2

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Okeanos
11 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Okeanos Celebrates the Holidays
Floats: 20
King: John Richard McGregor
Queen: announced at ball
Throws: Medallions, plush seahorses
Vince Vance, Prime Time Brass and Kelly Moneymaker will ride as celebrity guests on floats depicting  holidays.

Mid-City
11:45 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Fifty Shades of Green
Floats: 18
King: Scott Essex
Queen: Brooke Corley
Throws: bags of potato chips
The Krewe of Mid-City introduces a new signature float this year, a tribute to New Orleans City Park that matches the theme celebrating all things green. Floats include "Green Goddess" and the "Green-Eyed Monster," and there are turns of phrase, such as "It's All Green to Me." Special throws include plush alligators.

Thoth
Noon
Location: Uptown
Theme: Thoth Rolls Out the Red Carpet
Floats: 40
King: Mike Taylor
Queen: Alayna Adolph
Throws: medallion beads, towels, red and black fedoras, footballs
Mini-floats spewing bubbles and confetti add sparkle to Thoth's celebration of Oscar-winning movies. Floats depict Forrest Gump, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Bridge On the River Kwai and Around the World in 80 Days. Louis Prima Jr. serves as grand marshal and will perform with his band The Witnesses. There are many special throws related to Hollywood and films.

Napoleon
5 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Louisiana Legends and Landmarks
Floats: 26
Emperor: Joshua Morales
Queen: Cheryl Loy
Throws: krewe emblem doubloons, cups, beads
The Corps of Napoleon has no size issues, staging its largest parade ever. The theme celebrates famous Louisiana citizens and landmarks, including artist George Rodrigue, quarterback Terry Bradshaw, the Superdome and the state capitol. The procession also includes a dozen marching bands and the signature Waterloo float with shooting cannons.

Bacchus
5:15 p.m.
Location:Uptown
Theme: Bacchus Explores Our Sportsman's Paradise
Floats: 26
Bacchus: Hugh Laurie
Throws: krewe emblem blinky beads, doubloons, light-up bouncy balls.
Paradegoers won't need to check the floats' license plates to know Louisiana is Sportsman's Paradise. They'll see hunting and fishing pastimes on floats titled "Louisiana Whitetail Deer Hunting," "Tarpon and Bass Rodeo," "Deep Sea Fishing in the Gulf," and "Gator Fishing in the Louisiana Swamps." The procession also includes the Bacchagator, Baccawoppa and King, Queen and Baby Kong. Trophy throws include rubber ducks, duck calls and floating keychains.

 

Monday, March 3

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Proteus
5:15 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: The Ancient Elements of Alchemy
Floats: 20
King: secret
Queen: announced day of parade
Throws: plush tridents, LED whistles and bracelets, footballs, key chain/bottle openers
The old-line krewe keeps things elemental with its theme. Floats depict earth, air and water as well as tin and lead.

Orpheus
6 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: The Enchanted Worlds
Floats: 27
Monarchs: Quentin Tarantino, John Schneider and James Roday
Queen: none
Throws: doubloons honoring musician Coco Robicheaux, LED logo earrings, rings, tambourines, LED lyres, miniature Smokey Mary floats and LED beads, wands and throwing discs
The 1,300-plus members of the Krewe of Orpheus will ride floats depicting mythical things and places. Antoine Domino Jr., son of honorary Grand Marshal Fats Domino, will play his father's music on a float, and a YA/YA float was designed and decorated by students. Signature floats include the eight-car Smokey Mary train that carries 230 riders, and the Dolly Trolley featuring the Dixie Cups.

Zeus
7 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Gentlemen We Have Our Heading
Floats: 17
King: Henry R. Nuss Jr.
Queen: none
Throws: Zeus logo magnets and cups, doubloons
The Ladies of Hera will be special guest riders of Zeus XLVII, and the grand marshal is local military hero Gunnery Sgt. Jeffrey B. Harilson. More than 300 riders will take to floats depicting headings and destinations. Signature components include the king's float, the Tusa Barge and chariots. Five marching bands will provide music.

 

Tuesday, March 4

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Zulu
8 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Zulu Celebrates Nelson Mandela
Floats: 25
King: Garren Thomas Mims
Queen: Georgette Anita Lang-Mims
Throws: Zulu coconuts, medallion beads
Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club honors former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died three months ago. The parade has honored Mandela for years. In 1994, the year Mandela became president, the krewe named a float "Mandela." In 2012, the krewe named a float "Soweto," commemorating the uprisings in townships during apartheid.

Rex
10 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Gods of All Ages
Floats: 27
King: announced March 1
Queen: announced March 1
Throws: streetcar pillows, bracelets, cups, throwing discs, boeuf gras plush dolls
The Rex theme hails deities and immortal beings from around the globe. Floats depict Greek gods Zeus, Poseidon and Athena as well as Amaterasu, the Japanese Shinto goddess of the Sun; Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead; the Hindu god Krishna and others. Each float's riders will throw beads with medallions of its deity.

Grela
10 a.m.
Location: Gretna
Theme: All Hail the King
Floats: 20
King: Jeff Badeaux Jr.
Queen: Rachel Bourgeois
Throws: footballs, throwing discs, baseball caps, slap bracelets
The University of Talladega marching band leads the procession, and there will be king sightings galore. The parade honors all sorts of kings, from the "King of Rock 'n' Roll" and King Tut to King Kong, the "King of Hearts" and king cake.

Argus
10 a.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Argus the Storyteller
Floats: n/a
King: Elton Lagasse
Queen: Diana Lynn Netterville
Throws: A wide assortment of doubloons, theme cups, footballs and stuffed animals, purple and gold glitter top hat headbands and bedazzled water bottles
New Orleans Saints Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan rides as grand marshal.

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