Mardi Gras: Parade Schedule 2012 (Updated)

Rex Dukeā„¢ previews Carnival's big weekend

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The second weekend of Carnival parades draws revelers into the streets throughout the New Orleans area. There are more marching bands, costumed krewes, beautiful and outrageously funny floats, monarchs and special guests to please us all. The lineup includes old-line krewes like Rex and Proteus, the Carnival debut of the all-female Krewe of Nyx and prominent anniversaries for suburban krewes, including Zeus' 55th and Iris' and Argus' 40th, while the Krewe of Thoth celebrates its 65th year.

My previews include information about themes, throws, honored riders and more. Watch for my reviews once Carnival concludes. But most of all, enjoy!

Mardi Gras Parades
Week 2

Wednesday, Feb. 15

6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 20
Archdruid: secret
Throws: acorn footballs, medallion beads, cups and doubloons
The secretive Druids announce their typically witty theme the day of the parade and never reveal the identity of the Archdruid. The krewe will introduce a new signature float this year, and the U.S. Marine Corps band will be among the dozen bands in the procession.

7 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 20
Goddess Nyx: Gigi Saak
Throws: boas, cups, headbands, doubloons, light-up rings
The all-female Krewe of Nyx makes its Carnival debut. Nyx is the Greek goddess of the night. WWL -television anchor Karen Swensen serves as grand marshal, and marching groups include the NOLA Cherry Bombs, Roux La La and a tricycle group. There will be a band competition, with the winner announced at the end of the parade. Throws include hand-decorated items.

Thursday, Feb. 16

5:45 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 20
Sargon: secret
Queen: announced day of parade
Throws: jester hats, jester beads, LED Babylon streetcar, LED tambourines
For more than seven decades, the Knights of Babylon have maintained old-line Carnival traditions of announcing their theme at parade time and not revealing the identity of their monarch. One can always expect to see the signature floats Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Temple of Marduk. The krewe throws an array of signature jester items and light-up baubles.

6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 15
King: secret
Throws: stuffed swords and shields, light-up swords, cups for individual floats
The Knights of Chaos maintain traditional Carnival secrecy and ride old-style wooden-carriage floats. The satirical theme allows the krewe to poke fun at topical issues. The krewe is introducing several new throws, including stuffed swords and shields and a three-color light-up sword. A popular throw is a deck of cards with the parade narrative detailed float by float.

6:30 p.m. (follows Chaos)
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 26
Throws: rhinestone bracelets, diamond rings, light-up parade balls, boxes of adhesive bandages, krewe pens
Honorary Muse Patricia Clarkson rides the fiber-optic shoe float. The satirical krewe doesn't announce its theme until the day of the parade, but signature floats include the Bathtub and Sirens. The Greek muse Clio adorns the cup designed by a local student. Muses is known for throwing a wide array of unique throws, glittered shoes and an annual shoe medallion bead.

Friday, Feb. 17

6 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 28
King: secret
Queen: announced day of parade
Throws: plush winged H, plush bears and snakes, jeweled cup and light-up cups
The Krewe of Hermes follows old-line Carnival traditions, generally choosing themes from literature or mythology, not revealing the name of its monarch and marching with mounted officers and flambeaux carriers. Krewe members throw an array of plush items, including the winged H from its insignia.

6:30 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: announced day of parade
Floats: 21
Dictator: secret
Throws: blinking logo bracelets, blinking bopper headbands, blinking skull, gargoyle and high priest beads
The satirical krewe combines elements of traditional Carnival, including flambeaux and a ruler whose identity is not revealed, and contemporary topical humor. Floats address local and national topics, and the Dictator's Dancing Dawlins' work out a routine and satirical theme as well. Signature floats include the High Priest Float and the Dictator's Banana Wagon.

7 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Louisiana Treasures
Floats: 20
King: Paul Leman
Queen: Anita Garrett-Roe
Throws: stuffed moons, light-up wands, doubloons, LED logo items
Morpheus celebrates Louisiana's bicentennial, and floats will depict the LSU Tigers, New Orleans Saints, festivals and Acadians. Morpheus has a solid lineup of marching bands from local schools including St. Mary's Academy and O. Perry Walker, Sarah T. Reed and L.W. Higgins high schools. The procession also includes a group of Mummers from Philadelphia.

7 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Games Centurions Play
Floats: 23
King: Rudy E. Johnson
Queen: Ashton Elizabeth Frilot
Throws: "Comicus" the Centurion stress doll, logo cups, light-up medallion beads, swords, coozies, footballs, throwing discs
Centurions celebrates board games with floats decorated like Clue, Monopoly, Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. The Archbishop Rummel High School marching band leads the procession, and there is a battle of the bands for those participating in the parade. The U.S. Navy band also marches, along with fire trucks, motorcycle and horse-riding clubs and others.

Saturday, Feb. 18

Endymion (TBD)
5:30 p.m.
Location: Mid-City
Theme: Happily Ever After
Floats: 35
King: George B. Lafargue Jr.
Queen: Erica Marie D'Aquin
Throws: medallion beads, plush toys featuring the Endymion man sitting on top of the Superdome, krewe teddy bears, yard glasses, throwing discs
The superkrewe rides with musical guests Maroon 5 and Big and Rich. Former Lt. Gov. James "Jimmy" Fitzmorris rides as a special guest. The theme celebrates children's stories and fairy tales, with floats depicting The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel.

7:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: 40 and Fabulous: A Few of Our Favorite Things
Floats: 16
King: Kevin Bourgeois
Queen: Mary Bourgeois
Throws: Isis tambourines, plush roses, Chee Wees
Iris celebrates its 40th anniversary with a look back at some of the captain's favorite parades. Floats recall themes including the "It's Our Party" parade from 1994, "Did You Ever Say...?" from 2009 and "Broadway Heritage" from 1976. Revived throws include a plush rose instead of the silk roses the krewe previously tossed. Riders also will distribute signature decorated flip-flop beads.

Sunday, Feb. 19

9:00 a.m.
Location: West Bank (UPDATE: WILL ROLL UPTOWN)
Theme: A Mythological Nightmare
Floats: 18
King: Bernard H. Robertson Jr.
Queen: Kristen Elizabeth St. Martin
Throws: canteens, light-up medallion beads, throwing discs
The krewe's theme combines signs of the zodiac and nightmarish creatures. There are floats depicting astrological signs like Cancer and Gemini as well as frightening figures such as Frankenstein's monster, the Hunchback and evil clowns. Guest riders include co-grand marshalls LeBron Joseph from WGNO's News With a Twist and 106.7 FM's Kelder Summers, and Landry High School alum Lance Louis, who plays football for the Chicago Bears. Plastic canteens are a new throw.

10 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Iris: Messenger of the Gods
Floats: 33
King: John Joseph "JJ" Short
Queen: Cheryl Cottingham Short
Throws: plush flowers, ceramic beads, flower bopper headbands, bracelets, goddess figurines
Iris celebrates messages and communication with floats depicting conch shells, smoke signals, computers and fax machines. The all-female krewe also is introducing a new captain's float, a new plush iris flower throw, and beads with a cloisonne medallion designed by a local artist. Signature throws include hand-decorated sunglasses.

11 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Gone But Not Forgotten
Floats: 20
King: Dr. Kenneth E. Misch
Queen: Kelsey Leigh Matthews
Throws: plush seahorses, throwing discs, doubloons, krewe emblem crawfish trays
Grand marshal Vince Vance leads a procession celebrating lost icons. Floats depict Pontchartrain Beach, Schwegmann's supermarkets, K&B Drugs, Smith Records and other beloved former businesses and institutions. In addition to local high school marching bands, the British Kilts of Many Colours bagpipe unit joins the procession.

11:45 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Apocalypso: Party at the End of the World
Floats: 17
King: Jeffery Guy Smoyer
Queen: Lori Virginia Rabe
Throws: footballs, coozies, bags of potato chips, doubloons, stress dolls
The Mayan apocalypse may be foiled, but the Krewe of Mid-City parties like it's 2012 with floats featuring native dances from around the world such as the hula from Hawaii and China's ceremonial Dragon Dance.

Location: Uptown
Theme: Streets of New Orleans
Floats: 46
King: Ricky Rowell
Queen: Hannah McIntyre
Throws: footballs, medallion beads, sunglasses, coozies, light-up beads, doubloons
On its 65th anniversary, the Krewe of Thoth pays homage to famous streets, including a new float depicting the krewe's unique parade loop Uptown, which traditionally went by several children's hospitals, including Henry Clay Avenue and Tchoupitoulas and Magazine streets. The krewe introduces four new floats, and the Loyola Avenue float features a train for the streetcar extension. Chalmette High School will lead the procession for the 25th straight year.

5:15 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Bacchus Celebrates the Louisiana Bicentennial
Floats: 32
Bacchus: Will Ferrell
Throws: plush pelicans, footballs, glow-in-the-dark throwing discs, doubloons, light-up grape bunches
Bacchus celebrates Louisiana history with floats depicting the War of 1812, the Louisiana Purchase, the Mississippi River and aspects of local culture. Signature floats include the Bacchawhoppa, Bacchagator, Bacchasaurus, Bacchatality and the trio of King, Queen and Baby Kong.

5:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: A Dose of Reality
Floats: 23
Emperor: Blake Ricouard
Empress: Meagan Fontenot
Throws: gold doubloons, cups, theme medallion and individual float medallion beads
Napoleon gets real with a theme celebrating reality TV. There are floats depicting Pawn Stars, American Idol and Swamp People, which will carry stars Troy Landry, Jacob Landry and 12 other members of their family. The procession includes the U.S. Marine Corps band and signature elements, such as the confetti cannons mounted on the Waterloo float and the horse-drawn maids' floats.

Monday, Feb. 20

3:00 PM
Location: Uptown
Theme: Tucks Gets Culture
Floats: 30
King: John Young
Queen: Mary Ann Yazgi
Throws: Tucks tattoos, paddleball boards, squirting toilets, plungers, toilet paper
The Krewe of Tucks shows its refined side with floats depicting the "Pristine Chapel" and "Da Moner Lisa." The pirate float will be manned by a contingent of U.S. Navy veteran guest riders. Besides throws indulging in the krewe's toilet humor, vuvuzela-like trumpet airhorns will be distributed.

5:15 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Mythologica Aquatica
Floats: 20
King: secret
Queen: announced day of parade
Throws: LED tridents, LED medallion beads, plush seahorses
The nautical-themed Krewe of Proteus launches a traditional parade with flambeaux and officers riding horses. Throws include LED rubber Proteus figures, a variety of medallion beads and figures of both the title float and the 1882 fish float.

6 p.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Nonsense and Tomfoolery
Floats: 30
King: Bret Michaels
Queen: Cyndi Lauper
Throws: LED windmills, LED glitter balls, LED head boppers, music legend doubloons
The music-inspired krewe conjures whimsical and exotic spaces and literary fancy. Floats depict Jabberwocky, Man From the Land of Fandango, the Land of Bumbly Boo and more. YA/YA students created the design for the title float. Signature floats include the Trojan Horse, Smoky Mary, Leviathan, Dolly Trolley and the Calliope.

6:30 p.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: Zeus Celebrates 55
Floats: 15
King: William Brescher
Queen: Katie Mercer
Throws: thunderbolts, cups, drachmas (the krewe's version of doubloons)
The Krewe of Zeus celebrates its 55th anniversary, and floats will depict former themes from each of the five decades the group has paraded in Metairie. Special units include horse-drawn chariots and the horse-drawn antique calliope. Jarrett Lee and T-Bob Hebert of the LSU football team ride as grand marshals.

Tuesday, Feb. 21

8 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: From Zulu With Love
Floats: 28
King: Elroy James
Queen: Dr. Tanyanika Phillips
Throws: Zulu coconuts, medallion beads
Zulu parades with honorary grand marshals former mayor and current Urban League President Marc Morial and former Atlanta mayor and United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young.

10 a.m.
Location: Uptown
Theme: Lore of the Ancient Americas
Floats: 27
King: announced Lundi Gras
Queen: announced Lundi Gras
Throws: stuffed plush Boeuf Gras, purple Rex crown pillows, folding throwing discs
Rex introduces a new signature float, the Butterfly King, inspired by the enduring image from the 1882 Rex Ball invitation. The colorful procession explores the mythologies and folklore of Latin America, including figures from many Native American tribes, Aztecs, Mayans and other ancient civilizations.

10 a.m.
Location: Metairie
Theme: The State We Are In
Floats: 22
King: Sheriff Newell Normand
Queen: Ashlee Marie Krantz
Throws: plush alligators, pelicans and crawfish, footballs, medallion beads
The Krewe of Argus celebrates its 40th anniversary with a parade marking Louisiana's 200th. Painter George Rodrigue rides on the Blue Dog float.


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