Proteus 02.JPG (copy)

Proteus rides in a seashell float; his identity is never revealed.

Advocate Staff Photo by SOPHIA GERMER

On Lundi Gras, you can watch Zulu arrive by boat and Rex arrive by train near the Riverwalk, and then you can see back-to-back parades that span two centuries of parading history.

Up first is one of the season’s prettiest parades and also one of the oldest. The 230 men of Proteus are led by the captain on horseback and followed by 34 riding lieutenants and 30 flambeaux.

The 20-float procession, the club’s 113th, has an interesting theme: "Graces of the Gods for New Orleans." Royal Artists constructed the floats on chassis that date from the 1880s.

The identity of the gentleman who portrays Proteus is never revealed to the public, but his magnificent seashell float is a thing of beauty. Try to catch the Proteus tridents, their seahorse medallions and the Proteus plush LED flambeaux.

The "Folly of Astroroth" is the theme of the 2018 procession of Orpheus, the krewe that Harry Connick Jr. helped organize 25 years ago. (He is riding this year). Keegan-Michael Key, the actor, writer and producer, will ride atop the Monarch float.

The club of 1,400 male and female members will ride 38 floats, including two new entries: the Mystery and Magic of Carnival and Rhythm, Rhyme & Revelry.

Orpheus' signature floats include the Trojan Horse, Leviathan, Dolly Trolley and the eight-unit Smokey Mary tandem float, which holds 230 riders. Expect a special tribute to the city’s tricentennial.

This year’s most collectible throws are LED Orpheus pillows and special 2½-inch doubloons that salute the late musical legend Pete Fountain. Other neat throws include Orpheus glitter facemasks and lyre wands.

This year's post-parade Orpheuscapade inside the Morial Convention Center, where the parade ends, is named the NOLA 300 Jam Fest and features nine New Orleans acts.