Carnival's official parade calendar begins Friday night with the krewes of Oshun and Cleopatra rolling on the Uptown route, a first for the all-female krewe of Cleopatra. There also are parades in Metairie and on the West Bank. Parade previews here.
There also are a host of special niche krewes marching this weekend.
- The wine-worshipping Krewe of Cork parades in the French Quarter beginning at 3 p.m. Friday.
- The microkrewe ’tit Rex holds its parade of artfully decorated shoebox floats Saturday beginning on St. Roch Avenue at 5 p.m. It winds up at the AllWays Lounge & Theatre, where floats are presented to Gallier Small and the krewe's Ping Pong Ball is held. Catch tiny bracelets and painted acorns along the route.
- The sci-fi-loving Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus also marches in the Marigny on Saturday, beginning at 8 p.m. Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in four Star Wars movies will be the krewe's king. The Chewbacchanal follows the parade at Habitat ReStore (2830 Royal St.). Admission is $15, or $10 with costume.
-The canine Krewe of Barkus goes for its annual costumed walk at 2 p.m. Sunday in the French Quarter. The theme is "Tails and Tiaras: Here Comes Honey Bow Wow." The krewe's (humans-only) ball is Friday at the Windsor Court Hotel. Visit the krewe website for details.