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Carnival Post Super Bowl

And now the parades continue

Krewe of Rex

Syndey Byrd photograph

For the rest of the nation the final play of the Super Bowl means merely that football season is over. In New Orleans it means that we can return to having our parades. Here are our picks of the top remaining parades.


Day Parades

1. Rex. Look for a theme admiring “All Creatures, Great and Small.” Rex is about tradition, style and elegance, a classic New Orleans-style Carnival parade. Mardi Gras, St. Charles Avenue, 10 a.m.

2. Thoth. Great Egyptian motif among first few floats. In terms of size, this is becoming one of Carnival’s major parades – big and festive. The ambitious Uptown neighborhood route passes several health institutions. Sun., Feb. 10, St. Charles Avenue, Noon.

3. Mid-City. Forget about the beads and admire one of Carnival’s prettiest parades. The parade is visually unique with Carnival’s only all-foil floats. On a sunny day floats can be dazzling. Sun., Feb. 10, St. Charles Avenue, 11:45 a.m.

4. Zulu. Now in its second century, Zulu is big and brassy and lately, more on time. Look for the African motif on the early floats and the top-heavy hierarchy, including not just Zulu but the Big Shot, Witch Doctor and more. It is one of Carnival’s favorites. Mardi Gras, St. Charles Avenue, 8 a.m.

7. Tucks. This started as a college parade and still has a fraternity house feel – and we mean that in a good way. Not fancy, highly satirical, a bit naughty, but lots of fun. Sat., Feb. 9, St. Charles Avenue, Noon.

8. Iris. This all-gals group is also one of Carnival’s largest. Troubled by rain in recent years, a new captain deserves sunshine. Theme is forced into available floats, nevertheless look for feathery maids costumes. Sat., Feb. 9, St. Charles Avenue, 11 a.m.

9. Okeanos. Nothing flashy, but a good, old fashioned, traditional parade. Sun., Feb. 10, St. Charles Avenue, 11 a.m.

Super Krewes
A three-way tie. Endymion is the biggest. Orpheus is the prettiest. Bacchus has the history.

Bacchus. This venerable krewe had some internal issues this year, but nothing can take away its place in Carnival history as the first of the super krewes.

Still big and visually spectacular. Expect Bacchus to return to its total grandeur. Sun., Feb. 10, St. Charles Avenue, 5:15 p.m.

Endymion. The only parade to march along Canal Street, the parade’s coming is a weekend long social event in Mid-City. Look for the debut of the new seven-part tandem float depicting the former Pontchartrain Beach amusement park. Carnival’s longest float will have 250 riders. (See related story on pg. 76) Sat., Feb. 9, Canal Street, 4:15 p.m.

Orpheus. This parade has the size of a super krewe and the design elements of the old-line groups. Look for Smokey Mary tandem float, Trojan horse and magnificent Leviathan. Great walking units, too. Lundi Gras, St. Charles Avenue, 6 p.m.

Night Parades
1. Proteus. Forget about the throws, look at the floats – and the history. Nautical-themed King’s float is one of Carnival’s best. Carnival’s only surviving nighttime 19th-century parade is something to behold, for its design and its tradition. Lundi Gras, St. Charles Avenue, 5:15 p.m.

2. Le Krewe d’Etat. The throws are excellent, but pay attention to the humor, some of it biting, on this satirical parade. This is one of Carnival’s most popular krewes, with its good design and well presented satire. Fri., Feb. 8, St. Charles Avenue, 6 p.m.

3. Hermes. Visually exciting, this is always one of Carnival’s most glamorous parades done in the tradition of the old-style krewes. This 1930s-era parade introduced neon lighting to floats. Fri., Feb. 8, St. Charles Avenue, 6 p.m.

4. Muses. This witty all-female krewe is a must-see. Look for the signature high-heel shoe float. This is one of Carnival’s hottest groups with great marching groups between floats. Thurs., Feb. 7, St. Charles Avenue, 6:30 p.m.

5. Chaos. With deep roots to the old-line krewes, Chaos provides satire in the spirit of the former Momus parade. Take time to read what’s written on the floats. Thurs., Feb. 7, St. Charles Avenue, 6:30 p.m.

6. Babylon. This old-style parade with smaller floats beds, like they used to be, and a theme that tells a story, is a Carnival classic. Look for the Captain riding in a buggy. Thurs., Feb. 7, St. Charles Avenue, 5:45 p.m.

7. Ancient Druids. This group, made up of parade bosses from other krewes, can be very good. Riders are dressed like Druids. Instead of a King there’s a High Priest. Wed., Feb. 6, St. Charles Avenue, 6:30 p.m.

8. Morpheus. Anchors a long parade night on the Friday evening before Mardi Gras. Fri., Feb. 8, St. Charles Avenue, 7 p.m.

9. Nyx. This all-female krewe made its debut last year but had to dodge raindrops. The second year will be a good test of its future. Worth the experience. Wed., Feb. 6, St. Charles Avenue, 7 p.m.

Best Suburban Parade
Zeus. Now in its 54th year, this is the krewe that began the suburban parading tradition. Mon., Feb. 11, Veterans Blvd., 6:30 p.m.

Best date to remember: March 4: Mardi Gras 2014.

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