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New Orleans….the mere mention of the name conjures up pictures of floats, maskers, beads, doubloons and the pure joy of Mardi Gras. From the family atmosphere of St. Charles and Napoleon Avenues, to the party feel of the downtown and French Quarter areas, there is a place to parade watch for everyone of every age and size. The celebration that is Mardi Gras is deeply rooted in the French tradition of New Orleans.
The celebration that is Mardi Gras is deeply rooted in the French tradition of New Orleans. Begun as a "New World" carryover from the pre-Lenten Parisian Mardi Gras, the New Orleans festivities evolved from private balls to foot parades to float parades (started in the mid 1800s) to the extravaganzas of today. The organizations that provide the Mardi Gras parades and balls are called "krewes". All do so at their own expense, thus providing what has many times been called the "Greatest Free Show on Earth". The Mardi Gras celebration begins on January 6 (Feast of the Epiphany also known as Kings Day) and continues through Mardi Gras Day (the day before Ash Wednesday). The traditional "king cake" is associated with and eaten during the entire Mardi Gras season. Also during this time, most carnival krewes have their balls or supper dances. Formal parades in New Orleans and the surrounding parishes begin about two weeks before Mardi Gras Day. The festivities reach a crescendo on the weekend before Mardi Gras Day and that level continues through Fat Tuesday. Houses, lampposts, people, and even horses are dressed in the colors ofMardi Gras-purple, green and gold. New Orleans for a brief time each year is transformed into a place where the everyday world is cast aside. Beads, doubloons, cups, and numerous other krewe throws are tossed to thousands of happy parade goers shouting,
"Throw me something, mister. "
Laissez les bon temps rouler
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Important Mardi Gras 2010 Parade Information

Preliminary schedule for Mardi Gras 2010, Parade times and routes are subject to change.

Schedules, Routes and Pictures
color indicates where parade rolls
  Wednesday, JANUARY 6TH
Phunny Phorty Phellows - New Orleans
Claude - Slidell 1:00 p.m.
Slidellians - Slidell 1:00 p.m.
Krewe du Vieux - French Quarter 6:30 p.m.
Bilge - Slidell 12:00 p.m.
Little Rascals - Metairie 12:00 p.m.
Perseus - Slidell 1:00 p.m.
Pearl River Lions Club - Pearl River 1:15 p.m.
Oshun - Uptown 6:00 p.m.
Excalibur - Metairie 7:00 p.m.
Atlas - Metairie 7:30 p.m.
Cleopatra - Westbank 6:30 p.m.
Eve - Mandeville 7:00 p.m.
Hercules - Houma 6:00 p.m.
Pontchartrain - Uptown 2:00 p.m.
Shangri-La - French Quarter 2:00 p.m.
Sparta - Uptown 6:00 p.m.
Pygmalion - Uptown 6:45 p.m.
Caesar - Metairie 6:00 p.m.
Chocktaw - Gretna 11:00 a.m.

Adonis - Westbank 11:45 a.m.
Push Mow - Abita Springs 11:00 a.m.
Olympia - Covington 6:00 p.m.
Mona Lisa & Moon Pie - Slidell 7:00 p.m.
Tee Caillou - Chauvin 12:00 p.m.
Aquarius - Houma 6:30 p.m.
Carrollton - Uptown 12:00 p.m.
King Arthur - Uptown 1:15 p.m.
Barkus - French Quarter 2:00 p.m.
Rhea - Metairie 1:00 p.m.
Centurions - Metairie 5:30 p.m.
Alla - Westbank 12:00 p.m.
Knights of Nemesis - St. Bernard 1:00 p.m.

Dionysus - Slidell 1:30 p.m.
Hyacinthians - Houma 12:30 p.m.
Thor - Metairie 7:00 p.m.
Ancient Druids - Uptown 6:30 p.m.
Babylon - Uptown 5:45 p.m.
Muses - Uptown 6:15 p.m.
Chaos - Uptown 6:30 p.m.
Knights of Chaos, 2005 Mardi Gras
photo by
 FRIDAY, February 12th
Hermes - Uptown 6:00 p.m.
Krewe d'Etat - Uptown 6:00 p.m.
Morpheus - Uptown 7:00 p.m.
Selene - Slidell 6:30 p.m.
Orpheus - Mandeville 7:00 p.m.
Aphrodite - Houma 6:30 p.m.
 SATURDAY, February 13th
Iris - Uptown 11:00 a.m.
Tucks - Uptown 12:00 p.m.
Endymion - Mid-City 4:15 p.m.
Isis - Metairie 6:30 p.m.
NOMTOC - Westbank 10:45 a.m.
Bush - Bush 9:00 a.m.
Salt Bayou - Slidell 2:00 p.m.

Mardi Gras - Houma 6:30 p.m.
 SUNDAY, February 14th
Okeanos - Uptown 11:00 a.m.
Mid-City - Uptown 11:45 a.m.
Thoth - Uptown 12:00 p.m.

Bacchus - Uptown 5:15 p.m.
Corps de Napoleon - Metairie 5:30 p.m.
Grand Isle Independent- Grand Isle 5:30 p.m.
Tchefuncte - Madisonville 2:00 p.m.
Terreanians - Houma 1:00 p.m.
Montegut - Houma 2:00 p.m.
 MONDAY, February 15th
Proteus - Uptown 5:15 p.m.
Orpheus - Uptown 6:00 p.m.
Zeus - Metairie 6:30 p.m.
Cleopatra - Houma 6:30 p.m.
 MARDI GRAS DAY, February 16th 2010
Zulu - Uptown 8:00 a.m.
Rex - Uptown 10:00 a.m.
Elks Orleans - Uptown11:30 a.m.
Crescent City - Uptown after Elks
Argus - Metairie 10:00 a.m.
Elks Jefferson - Metairie after Argus
Jefferson Trucks - Metairie after Elks
Lions - Covington 10:00 a.m.
Covington - Covington, after Lions
Grela - Gretna 11:00 a.m.
Bes - Gretna 12:00 p.m.
Houmas - Houma 12:00 p.m.
Kajuns - Houma follows Houmas
Bonne Terre - Houma 3:00 p.m.
Skunks - Lacombe 1:00 p.m.
Chahta-Ima - Lacombe 1:30 p.m.

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Mardi Gras Krewes of New Orleans and Parade Krewes

Phunny Phorty Phellows
Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club
Krewe of Saturn
Krewe of Bacchus
Krewe of Mid-City
Krewe of Rex
Krewe of Endymion
Krewe of Pontchartrain
Krewe of Tucks
Krewe of Orpheus
Krewe of Elvis (Marching Club)
Krewe of Pegasus
Krewe of Morpheus
Krewe d’etat
Krewe du Boo (Marching Club)
Krewe of Shangri-la
Knights of Sparta
Krewe of Thoth
Krewe of Muses
Mystic Krewe of Barkus
Krewe of King Arthur
Ducks of Dixieland (Marching Club)
Krewe du Vieux
Krewe of Oshun
Krewe of Pygmalion
Krewe of Carrollton
Ancient Druids
Knights of Babylon
Krewe of Chaos
Krewe of Hermes
Krewe of Iris
Krewe of Okeanos
Lords of Leather
Krewe of Proteus
Elks of New Orleans
Crescent City
Krewe of Armenius

Outside New Orleans
Mardi Gras Parade, Metairie Krewes

Krewe of Mercury
Krewe of Zeus
Elks of Jefferson Parish
Krewe of Jefferson
Krewe of Hercules
Krewe of Isis
Krewe of Thor
Krewe of Little Rascals
Krewe of Cleopatra
Krewe of Atlas
Krewe of Aladdin
Krewe of Rhea
Krewe of Aquila
Knights of Jason
Corps of Napoleon
Krewe of Centurions
Krewe of Triton
Krewe of Alla
Krewe of Argus
Krewe of Caesar
Krewe of Excalibur

Westbank Parade Krewes
Krewe of Grela
Mystic Knights of Adonis
Elks of Gretna
Krewe of Poseidon
Krewe of Ulysses
Krewe of NOMTOC

Northshore Covington Mandeville Mardi Gras Parade Krewes
Krewe of Lions
Krewe of Folsom
Krewe of Tchefuncte
Krewe of Bush
Krewe of Eve
Krewe of Olympia
Original Krewe of Orpheus

Saint Tammany Mardi Gras Parade Krewes
Krewe of Skunks (Lacombe)
Krewe of Chahta-Ima (Lacombe)
Krewe of Slidellians (Slidell)
Millenium Krewe (Slidell)
Krewe of Selene (Slidell)
Krewe of MCCA (Bogalusa)
Krewe of Dionysus (Slidell)
Krewe of Aphrodite (St. Bernard)
Krewe of Bilge (Slidell)
Mystik Krewe of Perseus (Slidell)

2010 Mardi Gras Parade Schedule 2010


Mardi Gras Parade



Comus or Komus is the god of festivity, in Greek mythology, he revels and nocturnal dalliances. Comus represents anarchy and chaos. During his festivals in Ancient Greece, men and women exchanged clothes. Visually, Comus was depicted as a young man or youth on the point of unconsciousness from drink. He had a wreath of flowers on his head and carried a torch that was in the process of being dropped. Unlike the purely carnal Pan or the more purely drunken Bacchus, Comus was a god of excess. He is a son of Dionysus and Circe.

Prior to the advent of Comus, Carnival celebrations in New Orleans were mostly confined to the Roman Catholic Creole community, and parades were irregular and often very informally organized. In December of 1856 a number of New Orleans businessmen, mostly uptown Protestant Americans from other parts of the United States, gathered to found the organization to produce a parade and ball on Mardi Gras night. The inspiration for the name came from John Milton's Lord of Misrule in his masque Comus. Part of the inspiration for the parade was a Carnival group in Mobile, Alabama called the Cowbellions.

The first Comus parade was held on Mardi Gras 1857, and this became an annual event. Other organizations sprung up in New Orleans in the 19th century inspired by the Comus model and also came to be known as "Krewes".

Retrieved from

Comus was New Orleans first parade actually planned around a Mardi Gras theme and used flambeaux carriers to light the parade procession.
Rex was organized by New Orleans business men in part to put on a spectacle in honor of the New Orleans visit of Grand Duke Alexis of Russia during the 1872 Carnival season. Also in the minds of the founders of Rex was the desire to lure tourism and business to New Orleans in the years after the American Civil War.
The Rex parade is put on by an organization called The School of Design. The organization is related to the private New Orleans men's club The Boston Club.
One member of the Rex Organization is each year chosen to be the monarch of the organization; he is often incorrectly referred to by the (technically redundant) phrase "King Rex". The correct title is simply "Rex". The identity of Rex is made public on Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras. Rex is always a prominent person in the city, one who is usually involved in several philanthropic and civic causes. Being chosen Rex is one of the highest civic honors a person can receive in New Orleans. The Mayor of New Orleans traditionally hands over a symbolic Key to the City of New Orleans to Rex for Mardi Gras Day.
A consort is also chosen each year for Rex, and she is titled the "Queen of Carnival". The queen is almost always a debutante, attending college. Like Rex, the queen is chosen in the spring of the previous year, and must keep her identity secret until Lundi Gras.
While historically restricted to people of European ancestry for most of its history, Rex had no trouble complying with the 1991 anti-segregation ordinances which ended the parades of the Mystick Krewe of Comus (see). The first Rex (businessman Louis Solomon) was Jewish, although for a number of years in the early 20th century Rex prohibited entrance into the organization of any new Jewish members.
Rex has held more parades in New Orleans than any other organization. It's official song is "If Ever I Cease to Love", a quirky tune from the 1870s musical "Bluebeard". This was adopted because the Grand Duke Alexis of Russia had a fondness for the actress who sang the song in the musical, which was playing in New Orleans at the time of the first Rex parade in 1872. It has stuck around since then and is played often during Carnival.
Rex is categorized as one of the four New Orleans "Super Krewes" for the very large size of the parade; the others (Endymion, Bacchus, and Orpheus) were all founded in the 2nd half of the 20th century and parade during nights in the days leading up to Mardi Gras. Rex is the only 19th century krewe and the only "super krewe" to parade during the daytime.
The Rex parade has long been known for very finely and artistically built floats. Many consider the Rex parade to be the highlight and most beautiful sight of New Orleans carnival. If one looks closely at some of the Rex floats, they are built on old cotton wagons, their wooden wheels leaving scratch marks on the pavement.
In addition its famous parade, the Rex Organization also holds a private ball for its membership and invited guests on Mardi Gras night. In the 1950s, this ball made headlines when the Duke and Duchess of Windsor bowed down to Rex and the Queen of Carnival.
In recent decades, the Rex ball is held on one side of the Municipal Auditorium, while on the other half of the building at the same time, the Mistick Krewe of Comus (the oldest krewe), holds its ball. A rich tradition is that Comus (the monarch), extends an invitation to Rex and his queen to join him and his consort at the Comus ball. This is called the "Meeting of the Courts", and when the monarchs have all made their exits, the Captain of Comus literally closes the curtain on the Carnival season. This event is televised live locally (and to selected areas outside of the city) - and many New Orleanians stay up to watch - despite their weariness - the very end.

Naming Krewe kings and queens at Mardi Gras balls has been a tradition of the krewes ever since. Another tradition began with that royal visit: the Romanoff house colors—purple for justice, green for faith, and gold for power—became the official colors of New Orleans Mardi Gras.
New Orleanians have since formed a lot of secret societies that have served many charitable and social functions. They often help unite the city with their parade's political themes. In 1877, after a brief interruption from the Civil War and the unrest that followed, the Krewe of Momus held a parade with the theme "Hades, a Dream of Momus" to ridicule President Grant and his Administration. During the Persian Gulf War, the theme for many parades and costumes was patriotism.
Mardi Gras can even poke fun at itself. The blacks of New Orleans mocked the snobbishness and exclusivity of Rex with their own parade. In 1909, William Storey wore an old tin can for a crown instead of the more elaborate crown Rex used. William was crowned "King Zulu" that year, and was proceeded by "Provident Prince" and the "Big Shot of Africa."
The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club (founded 1916) is a New Orleans Carnival Krewe which puts on the Zulu parade each Mardi Gras Day. Zulu is New Orleans' largest predominantly African American carnival organization.
The Zulu parade grew out of an older small working-class African American marching club called The Tramps in 1916. The members decided to satirize the conventions of white New Orleans Mardi Gras, particularly the Rex parade. Zulu also satirized white society's attitudes towards and stereotypes of blacks.
While Rex arrived at the foot of Canal Street in a yacht, the early versions of King Zulu arrived on Carondolet Canal in a coal barge, wearing a tin crown made from a lard can and holding a ham-bone, in parody of Rex's jeweled crown and scepter. Members of the Zulus used black and white makeup on their face in an even more highly exaggerated style than the blackface makeup of the minstrel show performers of the era.
The Zulu court wore grass skirts. Back when the New Orleans police force was exclusively white, a contingent of Zulus paraded wearing accurate duplicates of New Orleans police uniforms.
Zulu was not the first African American carnival organization in New Orleans, however it was the first to stage a sizable public parade. Older "colored" organizations restricted themselves to private balls and small marching clubs. In its early years, the membership of Zulu was largely working class, and often looked down on by more well to do and educated New Orleans blacks. In addition to the carnival parade, Zulu also arranged for funerals with a brass band for deceased members.

However, in 1991, the New Orleans City Council introduced a parade organization anti-discrimination ordinance; As a result; some of the oldest private clubs;Momus; Comus and Proteus, no longer parade the streets. (Comus is returning year 2000.) The most recently developed parade organizations are open and not secretive: Endymion, Bacchus, Zulu, and some Metairie parades feature superstars on their floats -- and all take place within the few days before Mardi Gras.

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