Fleur de Lists
Carnival ‘10 in Numbers and Notes
Rex’s theme this year, more particularly “Fables of Fire and Flame.”
The Greek god who stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals is expected to be prominent in this year’s Rex theme.
Amount of grant money Rex’s Pro Bono Publico Foundation has raised for charter schools and public education.
Number of parades that annually have satirical themes: Muses, Chaos, Le Krewe d’Etat. (Krewe du Vieux and Tucks are both parades in which satire is often expressed on an individual float basis rather than part of a unified theme.)
Number of times that the Jefferson City Buzzards march throughout the year:
1. Practice march on the third Sunday before Mardi Gras.
2. Mardi Gras.
3. Metairie St. Patrick’s day parade.
Number of all-female organizations that parade in New Orleans – Iris, Muses, Cleopatra (West Bank).
Years since the Mistick Krewe of Comus last paraded.
Anniversary for Muses, which will roll this year with 26 floats
Years since the Mistick Krewe of Comus last paraded.
Best date to remember.
March 8: Mardi Gras, 2011.
That date is the latest that Mardi Gras can possibly be.
Number of years since a ball was last held in the Municipal Auditorium.
Indications that the auditorium will be ready by next Mardi Gras.
parade triple-header nights
Thursday, Feb. 11: Babylon, Chaos, Muses.
Friday, Feb. 12: Hermes, D’Etat, Morpheus.
Parade triple-header days
Mardi Gras, Feb. 16: Rex, Zulu, truck parades.
Sunday, Feb. 14: Okeanos, Thoth, Mid-City.
(Bacchus follows that evening.)
Year that the Lundi Gras celebration was created. (Next year will be the 25th anniversary.)
Note: Rex arrived by boat on the day before Mardi Gras until 1917, though that event was never known as “Lundi Gras:” a term which encompass a series of events including the arrivals of Rex and Zulu as well as fireworks.
Number of walking clubs whose Mardi Gras route includes St. Charles Avenue:
Jefferson City Buzzards, Lyons Carnival Club, Corner Carnival Club, Mondo Kayo and Pete Fountain’s Half-Fast Marching Club, left.
Number of the above clubs whose route terminates with dancing on Frenchmen Street:
Mondo Cayo, right.
Justice, Faith and Power as the most common, after the fact incorrect explanation of what the Carnival colors – purple, green and gold – mean. The justice, faith and power explanation came from an 1892 Rex parade in which the theme was the meaning of colors. That however was 20 years after Rex, and the colors, were created. The real reason is more complicated and has to do with laws of ancient heraldry.
Carnival’s Top 25 Parades (arranged by category)
1. Rex. Tradition, style, elegance; a classic New Orleans-style Carnival parade. Mardi Gras., St. Charles Avenue, 10 a.m.
2. Thoth. Getting bigger and better every year. Ambitious Uptown neighborhood route. Feb. 14, St. Charles Avenue, noon.
3. Mid-City. Visually exciting with Carnival’s only all-foil floats. Feb. 14, St. Charles Avenue, 11:45 a.m.
4. Zulu. Beginning its second century, Zulu is big and brassy and lately, especially last year, more on time. Mardi Gras, St. Charles Avenue, 8 a.m.
5. Carrollton. First weekend feel-good parade with its own floats and style. Feb. 7, St. Charles Avenue, noon.
6. Pontchartrain. Look for the Super Grouper float and, lately, whimsical themes. Feb. 6, St. Charles Avenue, 2 p.m.
7. Tucks. Has an Animal House feel. Not fancy, a bit naughty and lots of fun. Feb. 13, St. Charles Avenue, noon.
8. Iris. This all-gals group is also one of Carnival’s largest. Feb. 13, St. Charles Avenue, 11 a.m.
9. Okeanos. Good old-fashioned traditional parade. Feb. 14, St. Charles Avenue, 11 a.m.
10. King Arthur. Nice floats, especially early in the parade. Feb. 7, St. Charles Avenue, 1:15 p.m.
A three-way tie. Endymion is the biggest. Orpheus is the prettiest. Bacchus has the history.
Bacchus. Feb. 14, St. Charles Avenue, 5:15 p.m.
Endymion. Feb. 13, Canal Street, 4:15 p.m.
Orpheus. Lundi Gras, St. Charles Avenue, 6 p.m.
1. Proteus. Forget about the throws, look at the floats – and the history. 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. Easily one of Carnival’s hottest krewes, with good design and satire. Feb. 20, St. Charles Avenue, 6 p.m.
3. Hermes. Visually exciting. There are whispers that this year’s parade will be the most glamorous ever. This 1930s-era parade introduced neon lighting to floats. Feb. 12, St. Charles Avenue, 6 p.m.
4. Muses. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this witty all-female krewe is a must-see. One of Carnival’s hottest with great marching groups between floats. Feb. 11, St. Charles Avenue, 6:15 p.m.
5. Chaos. With deeps roots to the old-line krewes, Chaos provides satire in the spirit of the former Momus parade.
The group suffered an unfortunate, and time-delaying, breakdown last year; here’s hoping that order can be restored to Chaos this year. Feb. 11, 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. Feb. 11, St. Charles Avenue, 5:45 p.m.
7. Sparta. Good, smart procession, best of the first weekend’s parades. Feb. 6, St. Charles Avenue, 6 p.m.
8. Ancient Druids. This is the only New Orleans parade to have a night to itself, the Wednesday before Carnival.
This group, made up of parade bosses from other krewes, can be very good. Feb. 10, St. Charles Avenue, 6:30 p.m.
9. Morpheus. A change to the second Friday slot has forced this group to be ready for prime time. Look for better things at the end of a long parade night. Feb. 12, St. Charles Avenue, 7 p.m.
10. Pygmalion. Having moved from first Friday evening to first Saturday, in the slot formerly occupied by Pegasus, this parade has better presence. Look for Carnival-related theme. Parade at least has a presence to get things started.
Feb.6, St. Charles Avenue, 6:45 pm.
BEST SUBURBAN PARADES
Alla. Best of the West Bank. Pride of float builder captain emeritus Blaine Kern. Feb 6, West Bank, 10:45 a.m.
Caesar. Jefferson’s largest krewe is always visually spectacular. Look for a time theme as the krewe stages its 31st parade. Feb. 6, Veterans Boulevard, 6 p.m.
Zeus. Now in its 52nd year, this is the krewe that began the suburban parading tradition. Feb. 15, Veterans Boulevard, 6:30 p.m.