Mardi Gras Week One Routes & Schedules: I Love a Parade

Rex Duke™, the world's first and foremost parade critic, invites you to join him paradeside



With Valentine's Day falling this weekend, there's more than a little excitement in the air. But I, Rex Duke™, am most fond of parades, and we can all warm to a weekend filled with Carnival processions and camaraderie. What's not to love?

  My parade previews for the first weekend include information on krewes, floats, honored royalty, guest riders, signature throws, routes and more. Be sure to note that Carnival organizations on the West Bank will follow a new route from Algiers to Gretna.

  The first weekend of parades is truly the beginning of something wonderful. Enjoy.

Friday, Feb. 13


6 p.m.

Location: Uptown

Theme: Story Time Rhymes

Floats: 17

King Shango: Reneé Thomas

Queen Oshun: Dominique Alexandra Thomas

Throws: Medallion beads and logo cups

The Krewe of Oshun's parade theme "Story Time Rhymes" provides families with good childhood memories. With floats including "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" and "Old King Cole," the city's first float parade of the season will please both young and old souls.


6:30 p.m.

Location: West Bank

Theme: It's Five O'Clock Somewhere

Floats: 16

Queen Cleopatra: Dana Hock Blondiau

Throws: Signature Cleopatra dolls, plush animals, sunglasses, Queen's cups and light-up mugs

Members of this all-women krewe know, as their theme suggests, "It's Five O'Clock Somewhere," and they waste no time kicking off the Carnival revelry on the West Bank. Liquor will roll through the streets in the form of several drink-inspired floats like "White Russian," "Pink Lady" and "Mai Tai."


7 p.m.

Location: Metairie

Theme: A Knight in Camelot

Floats: 22

King: Phil Fricano

Queen: Sandra Guarisco

Throws: Fiber-optic logo beads, plush swords, stuffed castles, doubloons and logo cups.

The Krewe of Excalibur doesn't want anyone to forget "once there was a spot known as Camelot," so it has chosen the famous musical as the theme for its eighth annual parade. Excalibur's Broadwayesque costumes pair well with floats carrying the titles of show tunes, including "The Lusty Month of May," "Camelot" and "If Ever I Would Leave You."



7 p.m.

Location: Uptown

Theme: It's Been Ten Years Dawlin' and We Love N'awlins

Floats: 16

King: Robert Leblanc

Queen: Terry Lyle Mcintosh

Throws: Light-up silicon logo beads, light-up medallion beads, doubloons and signature cups

With age comes forgetfulness, so when it takes to the streets this season the Krewe of Pygmalion — founded in 2000 — wants to remind parade-goers of the innumerable offerings in our city. Among the many beloved New Orleans traditions commemorated on floats: "Snoballs and Roman Candy," "City Park Trains" and "The New Orleans Saints."



7:30 p.m.

Location: Metairie

Theme: Atlas Takes a Vacation

Floats: 20

King: Lynn Brehm

Queen: Melissa Billiot

Throws: Krewe medallions, bobble-head dolls.

Atlas is gambling that revelers will love its choices of high-rolling vacation spots like Las Vegas, the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, N.J., and Louisville's Kentucky Derby for its floats. Other fun spots on floats include the coast of Maine and Washington, D.C.




Saturday, Feb. 14



11 a.m.

Location: West Bank

Theme: The Mardi Gras of Love

Floats: 18

Chief: John A Dugas Sr.

Princess: Rachel Parson Dugas

Throws: Heart-shaped plush spears, logo heart beads, Frisbees and cups

Choctaw's 300 men, women and children start their 18 float procession in Algiers this year to bring love and beads to the West Bank on Valentine's Day. On its 74th anniversary, its new and longer route begins on Gen. DeGaulle Drive. "The Mardi Gras of Love" features Choctaw's signature "Dink" float along with its colorful "Chief's" float.



11:45 a.m.

Location: West Bank

Theme: Love, Adonis Style

Floats: 15

King: Dreux Blank

Queen: Faith Calix

Throws: Logo cups and koozies

The Mystic Knights of Adonis will take parade-goers on a whirlwind honeymoon exploring the many different cultural interpretations of the universal language of love. "Besame Mucho" explores Spanish amor, "The Queen of Hearts" surveys British affection, and "French Kiss" alludes to the passionate symbol of the Francophile.



2 p.m.

Location: Uptown

Theme: Can You Name That Love Song?

Floats: 14

King: James G. Caridi

Queen: Deslonde Leonce Valley

Throws: Plush roses, signature heart-medallion beads, Frisbees, footballs and logo cups

Knowledge of love-inspired music will be put to the test during the Krewe of Pontchartrain's parade, which will feature several fill-in-the-blank float titles, including " _Me Tender," "I Just Called to Say I _ You" and _Potion N0.9." The parade also includes a special appearance by the U.S. Naval Drum and Bugle Corps from Annapolis.



6 p.m.

Location: Metairie

Theme: Caesar's Got Game

Floats: 30

King: Bernard L. Bonin

Queen: Gabrielle Himbert

Throws: Fiber-optic heart beads, parade-theme beads, plush spears and 30th anniversary doubloons.

Although it rolls on Valentine's Day, the Krewe of Caesar won't play with people's hearts. Its theme, "Caesar's Got Game," is inspired by popular video games. "Halo 3," "Guitar Hero" and "NCAA '09" are a few of its game-inspired floats. American Idol runner-up David Archuleta is this year's grand marshal.



6 p.m.

Location: Uptown

Theme: The Empire of the Sun

Floats: 14

King: Secret till day of parade

Queen: Megan Elise Ducote

Throws: Plush Sparta roses, hand-strung medallion beads, plush horses, "mystery" throw

Revelers can expect an out-of-this-world experience when the Knights of Sparta presents its "The Empire of the Sun" parade. Eight of the 14 floats are inspired by planets of our solar system, and while Pluto was kicked out of the club in 2006, the dwarf-planet is expected to make a special appearance. This will be the second year for a Sparta "mystery" throw, which remains a secret, even to its members, until the day of the parade.



6:45 p.m.

Location: Uptown

Theme: Celebrating New Orleans

Floats: 15

King: Bradley Daniel Smith

Queen: Shelley Kenning Hoddinott II

Throws: Plush horses and plush horseshoes

The Krewe of Pegasus continues its long history of parading with a return to basics — celebrating the city of New Orleans past and present. "Mardi Gras," "Audubon Zoo," "St. Charles Avenue Streetcar" and "Ponchartrain Beach" are just a few of the nostalgic sights and sounds that will roll down St. Charles Avenue.



Sunday, Feb. 15




Location: West Bank

Theme: Alla Tells Tall Tales

Floats: 30

Maharaja: Toni Reaves

Maharanee: Samantha Ann Taylor

Throws: Mini alligators with bobbling heads, plush roses and red hearts, doubloons in various colors, Captain's wooden nickel, an array of items with krewe emblems

Alla explores myths and folk tales with floats like "The Headless Horseman," "Johnny Appleseed" and "The Legend of Bloody Mary." The procession includes signature floats including "Allagator" and "Coon Ass" as well as guest riders Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys, Saints players and Saintsations.




Location: Uptown

Theme: A Fair To Remember

Floats: 22

King: Leonard Joseph Rizzo

Queen: Erin Marie VanGeffen

Throws: Logo beads, silver doubloons and plush dolls of Seymour d'Fair

Seymour d'Fair and the 1984 Louisiana World Exposition make a return to New Orleans for this year's Krewe of Carrollton parade. Those who had an opportunity to see the 1984 World's Fair will remember the exhibits that inspired this year's floats, including "The Louisiana Pavilion," "China" and "The German Beer Garden."



1 p.m.

Location: St. Bernard

Theme: N/A

Floats: 24

Royal Knight: Billy Showalter

Goddess: Karen Fecke

Throws: T-shirts, cups, Frisbees and FEMA trailer beads.

The Knights of Nemesis aren't seeking retribution, they're hoping to bring back some joy and fun to St. Bernard. The relatively young krewe rolls this year with 24 floats, including "Rock 'N' Roll Music," "The Masters Golf Tournament" and "The Battle of Vicksburg." Named after the remorseless Greek goddess, the Knights of Nemesis will lampoon FEMA with a special FEMA trailer bead.



1 p.m.

Location: Metairie

Theme: Rhea Knows What it Means to Miss New Orleans

Floats: 22

King: Ryck Henry Soto II

Queen: Victoria Anna Walters

Throws: Lighted medallion necklaces, flexi flyers, fleur de lis spirit sticks and cups.

The Krewe of Rhea proves it "Knows What it Means to Miss New Orleans" with floats titled "Jazz Fest," "St. Joseph Altars" and "Beignets and Cafe Au Lait." The Jefferson krewe also knows how important family is to the Carnival season, and four generations of the krewe's founding family, the Sotos, will ride in this year's procession.


King Arthur

1:15 p.m.

Location: Uptown

Theme: MedEVIL Times Enquirer

Floats: 22

King: Joshua A. Bitoun

Queen: JoAnn A. Merse

Throws: Plush dragons, logo beads and Merlin the Magician bobble heads

The Krewe of King Arthur makes headlines this year by parading with a fictional Camelot newspaper as its theme. Its floats bear the names of articles in the paper, including one from the Religion section, "The Mass has Ended," and one from Sports titled "We are tired of Saying, 'Next Year.'" The forecast predicts a good chance of raining beads, with occasional plush dragons.



5:30 p.m.

Location: Metairie

Theme: Centurions' 30th USA Adventure

Floats: 22

King: Herbert LeBlanc

Queen: Kimberlee Ann Robinson

Throws: Cups, koozies, logo beads and doubloons

The floats in the Krewe of Centurions' 30th annual parade will take riders and revelers on a cross-country adventure, stopping to smell a "Yellow Rose of Texas" before getting its kicks on "Route 66" and finally seeing some old friends at "Disney World." Traveling with the krewe will be a float of "Jefferson Heroes."



Uptown Parades

  • Uptown

Oshun 6 p.m. Friday

Pygmalion 7 p.m. Friday

Sparta 6 p.m. Saturday

King Arthur 1:15 p.m. Sunday

Pegasus 6:45 p.m. Saturday


Carrollton noon Sunday

  • Carrollton

Pontchartrain 2 p.m. Saturday

  • Pontchartrain

Metairie Parades

  • Metarire

Excalibur 7 p.m. Friday

Atlas 7:30 p.m. Friday

Caesar 6 p.m. Saturday

Rhea 1 p.m. Sunday

Centurions 5:30 p.m. Sunday

West Bank Parades

  • Westbank

Cleopatra 6:30 p.m. Friday

Choctaw 11 a.m. Saturday

Adonis 11:45 a.m. Saturday

Alla noon Sunday

Nemesis 1 p.m. Sunday

  • Nemesis
  • Pegasus

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