Fleur de Lists1913
Last time Mardi Gras was earlier than it is this year.
Back then it fell on Feb. 4, the earliest date it can possibly be.
3
Number of Carnivals since a ball was last held in the Municipal Auditorium.
0
Indications that the auditorium will be ready for next Mardi Gras.
Fleur de ListsBest changes for neighborhoods. 1. Mid-City. Endymion is coming back! 2. Uptown. Endymion is going back to Mid-City. (The St. Charles route is already saturated with parades.)

32
Number of Carnival parades scheduled to march in Orleans Parish this year.

15
Parades in Jefferson Parish

Fleur de Lists3
Number of Carnival ball organizations that have the preposition “of” in their name:
Caliphs of Cairo.
Elves of Oberon.
Prophets of Persia.
Note: Bards of Bohemia is no longer active.
1
Number of parade days on which there will only be one parade in New Orleans: Jan. 30. Ancient Druids, St. Charles route, 6 p.m.
Day Parades
Favorite Carnival acronym
NOMTOC, A name which proclaims this West Bank group to be “New Orleans’ Most Talked of Club.”
Best name for a Northshore Carnival group
How can you top Slidell’s “Mona Lisa & Moonpie?”

Biggest surprise this Carnival season
We can’t tell you or it wouldn’t be a surprise, but if it happens it’ll be good for Mardi Gras.
Fleur de ListsTop parade triple-header days
Mardi Gras, Feb. 5: Rex, Zulu, truck parades.
Sunday, Feb. 3: Okeanos, Thoth, Mid-City.
Top parade triple-header nights
Thurs., Jan. 31: Babylon, Chaos, Muses.
Fri., Feb. 1: Hermes, D’Etat, Morpheus.
Best date to remember
Feb. 24. Mardi Gras, 2009!
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. Mid-City. Visually exciting with Carnival’s only all-foil floats. Feb. 3. St. Charles Avenue. 2 p.m.

3. Thoth. Seemingly getting bigger and better every year. Feb. 3. St. Charles Avenue. 11: 30 a.m.

4. Zulu. Big and brassy, and lately more on time. Mardi Gras. St. Charles Avenue. 8 a.m.

5. Carrollton. First weekend feel-good parade with its own floats and style. Jan. 27. St. Charles Avenue. Noon.

6. Tucks. Not fancy, a bit naughty, but lots of fun. Feb. 2. St. Charles Avenue. 12:30 p.m.

7. Iris. All-gals group is also one of Carnival’s largest. Feb. 2. St. Charles Avenue. 11 a.m.

8. Pontchartrain. Getting better each year. Will improve next year with the return of the signature Grouper float. Jan. 26. St. Charles Avenue. 1 p.m.

9. Okeanos. Good old-fashioned, traditional parade. Feb. 3. St. Charles Avenue. 11 a.m.

10. King Arthur. Nice floats, especially early in the parade. Jan. 27. St. Charles Avenue. 1:15 p.m.

SUPERKREWES
1. Endymion. A virtual three-way tie in this category, we’ll give Endymion the edge because of the excitement caused by its return to Canal Street. Feb. 2. Canal Street. 4:30 p.m.
2. Bacchus. First of the superkrewes and still the most revered. Feb. 3. St. Charles Avenue. 5:15 p.m.
3. Orpheus. Carnival’s prettiest parade and one of the biggest. Lundi Gras. St. Charles Avenue. 5:45 p.m.

NIGHT PARADES
1. Proteus. Carnival’s only surviving old-line, nighttime, 19th century parade is something to behold for its design and its tradition. Lundi Gras. St. Charles Avenue. 5:15 p.m.

2. Chaos. With deeps roots to the old-line krewes, Chaos provides satire in the spirit of the former Momus parade. Jan. 31. St. Charles Avenue. 6:30 p.m.

3. Le Krewe d’Etat. Easily one of Carnival’s hottest krewes; good design and satire. (See. Pg. 54.) Feb. 1. St. Charles Avenue. 6:30 p.m.

4. Hermes. This 1930s era parade introduced neon lighting to floats and is still very visually exciting. Feb. 1. St. Charles Avenue. 6 p.m.

5. Muses. Witty all-female krewe is a must-see. One of Carnival’s hottest. Jan. 31. St. Charles Avenue. 7:30 p.m.

6. Babylon. Old style parade undergoing a design upgrade – a Carnival classic. Jan. 31. St. Charles Avenue. 5:45 p.m.

7. Sparta. Good, smart procession; best of the first weekend’s parades. Jan. 26. St. Charles Avenue. 6 p.m.

8. Ancient Druids. Weather hasn’t been kind to this group but it’s hard to keep a good Druid down, especially one made up of other parade bosses. Can be very good. Jan. 30. St. Charles Avenue. 6 p.m.

9. Morpheus. Change to second Friday slot has forced this once sluggish group to get ready for prime time. Look for better things. Feb. 1. St. Charles Avenue. 7:45 p.m.

SUBURBAN PARADES
Three-way tie in this category.

Alla. When the float builder was your longtime captain you’ve got to be good. First year without Blaine Kern as Captain. Jan. 27. West Bank. Noon

Caesar. Jefferson’s largest krewe is always visually spectacular. Jan. 26, Veterans Boulevard. 6 p.m.

Zeus. Beginning its second 50 years, this is the krewe that began the suburban parading tradition. Feb. 4. Veterans Boulevard. 6:30 p.m.
Fleur de ListsVery honorable mention
Krewe du Vieux. Not included on this list because its early parade datetakes it outside of the Mardi Gras ordinance regulation. That’s why itgets to parade in the French Quarter. It can be racy and overlypolitical but it clearly captures the spirit of the early Carnivalcelebrations. Jan. 19. French Quarter. 7 p.m.