Ahh, the most blessed time of the year: Mardi Gras. The time of year where urination rules are suspended, drunken escapades are encouraged and it becomes perfectly acceptable to push a kid out of your way for some plastic beads you will literally wear for a few hours and then never see again.
Anyways, here at Red Beans and Life, we like to share our unique take and advice on New Orleans and nothing is more New Orleans than Mardi Gras. So get your coolers filled, get the Camelback loaded and let’s head out to the parades!
This week will feature the following Krewes rolling through the city:
(While I love Metairie and the Westbank, in this article I will just mention the O.G. East Bank parades)
Wednesday, February 11: Druids @ 6:30 // Nyx @ 7
Thursday, February 12: Babylon @ 5:45 // Chaos @ 6:15 // Muses @ 6:30
Friday, February 13: Hermes @ 6 // D’Etat @ 6:30 // Morpheus @ 7
Saturday, February 14: Iris @ 11 // Tucks @ 12 // Endymion @ 4:15 //
Sunday, February 15: Okeanos @ 11 // Mid-City @11:45 // Thoth @ 12 // Bacchus @ 5:15
Lundi Gras : Proteus @ 5:15 // Orpheus @ 6
Mardi Gras: Zulu @ 8 // Rex @10
Description: Nyx was a goddess so awesome that even the powerful Zeus feared her. So screaming obscenities at these ladies might result in a plastic toy to the face FYI. New Orleans’ newest all female Mardi Gras krewe is rolling this Wednesday, so gentlemen, this is your moment! Look alive! Most say that Mardi Gras really begins with this parade, so we’re always happy to see these ladies roll by.
Where It’s Going: Beginning in the same spot that most Uptown parades begin, Nyx will begin at Magazine and Jefferson, up Napoleon, across St Charles, round Canal and end on Tchoup and Poydras.
Where You Want to Be: So many good spots to choose from at Uptown parades. Stand at the beginning and get all the good throws, stand in the middle at Lee’s Circle and get to any part of town you want to afterward, or hang in the Quarter and watch the amazing clean-up afterwards. It’s really your choice folks! As long as you’re not in front of me!
What You Want: A Purse! The ladies of Nyx makes beautiful hand decorated purses and if you are lucky enough ladies (or gentlemen, no judgement) hold on to it, it’s a keepsake for sure!
Description: Muses is a very special parade for the city because it really kicks off that the week of Mardi Gras. Muses is legendary for inspiring you to have a good time. Last year I drank my weight in tequila, caught a shoe and lost a shoe (story to follow). The Krewe of Muses gains their name from the 9 female Muses of Greek mythology.
Where It’s Going: Muses begins at Magazine and Jefferson, goes up Napoleon to St. Charles, turns on St. Charles, goes down Canal and then turns again on Tchoupitoulas.
Where You Want to Be: Either Magazine or St. Charles, (the best bars are on those streets). The Superior Grill restaurant is the traditional meet up spot for most residents. Lee’s Circle is a harder choice because if your friend is on the other side, it can take you forever to get over there.
What You Want: A shoe! A prized Muses shoe! The Krewe of Muses is an all-female Krewe that hand decorates beautiful shoes to show off the femininity of the Krewe. You’ll never get a pair together, but I’d fight a bitch for one of them.
Description: Morpheus is the god of dreams and watching after this parade, you’re never going to want to wake up. The Krewe of Morpheus began in 2000 and now has over 500 riders and a fleet of “Super Floats.” These floats are gigantic, beautiful and usually packed with those good throws.
Where It’s Going: The floats will begin at Jefferson and Magazine, go up Napoleon to St. Charles, cross Poydras and then turn down Canal, and ending on Tchoupitoulas.
Where You Want to Be: St. Charles right after Lee’s Circle. You’re still uptown but close enough to downtown if your friends want to head that way too.
What You Want: Moon Beads! And Moon Pies!
Description: Endymion was one of the rulers of Olympia and the name is fitting considering Endymion is one of the biggest parades of the Mardi Gras season. With over 2700 riders, Endymion is one of three “Super Krewes” of the Mardi Gras season. This year, country star Luke Bryan will be the Grand Marshals of Endymion. Swoon.
Where It’s Going: Beginning at City Park, traveling down Orleans Avenue toward Carrollton. Then onto Canal, all the way down to St. Charles, round Lee’s Circle, up Loyola until it reaches the Superdome. Its a long parade but one of the best.
Where You Want to Be: If you want to stay in Mid-City, I’d recommend any place on Orleans between City Park Avenue and Carrollton. For more of the downtown area, try Canal or St. Charles for the best view.
What You Want: Everything! Endymion is a huge parade with so many goodies to catch. You’re going to leave with a neck full of beads and a bag full of goodies. If you’re game, try to get a spear!!
Description: Bacchus is the Greek god of wine and having a good time and the Bacchus parade provides both. The Krewe of Bacchus, founded by the Brennan’s family, was the first to open up their ranks to tourists and is now considered one of the “Super Krewes.” Prior to that, Mardi Gras Krewes and balls were selective in their membership and closed to tourists. Riding with 1400 people this year, Bacchus reminds you to be a reveler and a participant during the Carnival season. Comedian and actor John C. Reilly will be the Monarch for Bacchus 2015.
Where It’s Going: Bacchus begins on Tchoupitoulas and Napoleon, goes down St. Charles, down Canal Street, and ends at the Convention Center.
Where You Want to Be: I would personally recommend standing on Napoleon or at the beginning of St. Charles so you can get all the good stuff and see the dancers before they get too tired.
What You Want: Get some Bacchus cups. They always have the best illustrations and you can use them for years. My cabinets are FILLED with Bacchus cups. The only acceptable way to drink wine out a plastic cup.
Description: Founded in ’93 by Harry Connick, Jr. Orpheus is another one of the “Super Krewes.” A musical krewe, this parade is one that will get you dancing in the crowd while you scream your face off and chug beer. This year’s Monarch of Orpheus is comedian Ron White and reality maven Lisa Vanderpump.
Where It’s Going: Beginning at Tchoupitoulas and Napoleon, down St. Charles, up and around Canal, and finishing at the Convention Center.
Where You Want to Be: I like to be around Canal for the Super Krewes, they need bigger roads and there are plenty of places to eat and grab more beer.
What You Want: A stuffed dragon! Levianthan is one of the premier floats of Orpheus, a beautifully decorated, 3-unit Chinese dragon and the stuffed dragons are the miniature versions of this beautiful float.
Description: If you manage to wake up for the 8 AM riding of Zulu, you will not be disappointed. The first African-American Krewe of Mardi Gras, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club is one of the oldest Krewes in the city. Wearing their grass skirts and painted faces, the Zulu parade is one that shows that Mardi Gras is not a holiday for one specific group, it is a holiday for the city and anyone that wants to join. Plus if you’re still alive after partying through Mardi Gras week then you deserve to see it through the end.
Where It’s Going: Beginning at South Claiborne and Jackson, going down St. Charles, up Canal, finishing on Broad and Orleans Ave.
Where You Want to Be: I say hang on Canal. It will take them a little while to get there, so you don’t have to wake up so early.
What You Want: A coconut! A Zulu coconut is like Mardi Gras gold. The original Krewe members were working class guys and didn’t have too many funds to throw the best things, so they hand-paint coconuts called “golden nuggets” and throw them along with necklaces. If you get a coconut, prepare to fight for that shit. I might you fight you for one. So bring your A-game.
P.S. I would mention the Rex Parade that follows Zulu but most people are passed out drunk or just barely alive by the time it rolls. If you’re still standing, go for it and enjoy.
That’s our guide for the parade season for Mardi Gras 2015. Go ahead and apologize to your liver, duct tape your phone to your body, load the beer and King Cake and get excited for the best week of the year! Happy Mardi Gras!
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