Revelers greet the Butterfly King in the Rex parade on Mardi Gras.


A day full of parades commences at 8 a.m. with the Zulu parade, with its civic-minded theme, "Stop the Violence."

Look for special floats that bear Zulu’s legendary characters — the Big Shot, Witch Doctor, Ambassador, Governor, Mr. Big Stuff, Mayor and Province Prince. Zulu’s 22 maids are also presented in the parade.

The club’s members and their riding guests throw a wide assortment of Zulu-emblemed throws, but the most anticipated catch of the season is the treasured Zulu coconuts, which are handed to lucky parade watchers.

At 10 a.m., Rex‚ the oldest parading Carnival organization, presents its 136th parade, titled "Carnival Fêtes and Festivals." The 27-float parade will be led by the U.S. Marine Corps Band and the Ross Volunteers from Texas A&M University.

The "Butterfly King" float returns, along with the iconic king’s float and the "Jester" and "Boeuf Gras" floats. New Rex throws tossed by the 455 riding members include float-specific plush pillows, cups and medallion necklaces.

The parade also features a band contest. Look for a special salute to the St. Augustine Marching 100 on the 50th anniversary of the school's first appearance in the Rex parade.

In Metairie at 10 a.m., it’s the 44th annual Argus parade, featuring more than 600 men, women and children. The club owns all 20 of its floats.

This year’s theme is "Argus Loves the Beatles." Signature throws will include rubber ducks and special beads for the king and queen.

If you simply cannot get enough of Carnival, stick around for the truck parades that follow Rex — the Elks Orleanians and Crescent City. Truck parades also follow Argus in Metairie — the Elks Jeffersonians and the Krewe of Jefferson.

Then start making plans for Mardi Gras 2018. Fat Tuesday will be Feb. 13.

Contact Arthur Hardy at