Ten major parades roll in four parishes on Saturday, in addition to the alternative parades ’tit Rex and Chewbacchus, both of which deserve attention.
There are only two parades left on the West Bank, Adonis and NOMTOC. The Mystic Krewe of Adonis rolls at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, presenting a 14-float parade. (NOMTOC will roll Feb. 6.)
St. Bernard Parish’s sole parade, the Knights of Nemesis, rides for the 11th time at 1 p.m. The parade does not have a theme but features 19 Blaine Kern floats and more than 300 riders.
Starting at 1 p.m., five parades roll along St. Charles Avenue, beginning with the Krewe of Pontchartrain’s 41st edition. The theme of the 15-float parade is “Can You State My Name?” Paradegoers must fill in the blanks on the float signs, which pose questions. The parade includes the Big Easy Roller Girls and the Bayou Clydesdales, a band contest and a mule-drawn wagon that showcases icons of local breweries of the past.
Pontchartrain is proof that a krewe does not have to be super in size to put on a good, solid parade. All the riders wear their masks, are well-behaved and throw a lot, considering the size of the parade. Founder and captain Sam Scandaliato deserves credit for continuing to present a well-organized and well-paced parade that provides riders and viewers with a pleasant afternoon experience.
Choctaw’s move from the West Bank to the Uptown route in 2013 has resulted in a growing membership that now totals 378. This year’s theme is “Choctaw’s Alphabet Soup.” Throws include handcrafted wooden tomahawks, which are handed out. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser is the guest grand marshal.
The youthful Krewe of Freret, which borrows its name from a successful club of the past, parades with the theme “For the Third Time.” The 14-float parade will feature custom-made masks and other locally produced throws.
In the evening, the 300-member Knights of Sparta plans a 17-float parade with a theatrical theme, “A Knight at the Tonys.” The captain, his shadow and an honor guard of officers will be on horseback. The parade also features traditional flambeaux and two mule-drawn floats. Krewe-emblemed throws include the Spartan mystery throw.
Pygmalion follows Sparta and presents a 20-float procession with the theme “The Gods of Carnival.” This will be the club’s 17th parade, and the procession traditionally features nearly 80 units. The 325 male and female members will toss Pygmalion dolls and lighted lanyards.
In Metairie, led by the Jefferson City Buzzards, the 550-member Krewe of Caesar, the largest Carnival organization in Jefferson Parish, presents a 25-float procession at 6 p.m. titled “Caesar’s Storybook.” Caesar will showcase its famous signature float, the three-headed, fiber-optic Hydra tandem. The parade also presents “Star Wars” characters. Plush battle axes may be the top throw this year. Caesar’s costumes are second to none.
There also are two parades in St. Tammany Parish on Saturday night. The Mystic Krewe of Olympia parades in Covington with 300 members on 20 floats, plus the Budweiser Clydesdales. A “Wounded Warrior” float also will be presented. Olympia features the season’s longest theme: “Game of Thrones, Season 51, Episodes 1 Thru 15,” in honor of the krewe’s 51st anniversary.
The Mystic Krewe of Titans rolls for the sixth time in Slidell with a procession titled “Dancing in the Streets.” The club’s 275 men and women ride on 12 floats and will throw lighted wristbands and T-shirts.