Five parades are scheduled to roll Friday evening: Hermes, D’Etat and Morpheus in Uptown, Centurions in Metairie and Selene in Slidell.
Hermes is credited with infusing new life into the celebration when it debuted in 1937 as the nation emerged from the Depression. The captain leads the parade on a white horse, followed by a scepter-waving Hermes on his ornate throne. Flambeaux and masked lieutenants on horseback surround the club’s 29 floats, which are constructed by Blaine Kern Artists in collaboration with designer Henri Schindler.
The 714 male maskers will wear lighted costumes that are color-coordinated in a manner that befits the individual floats.
Throws include plush H’s, themed medallion beads and doubloons in four colors. “The Ballets Russes” is the theme of this year’s parade.
The 500 men of Le Krewe D’Etat present a 24-float satirical procession titled “Fri’Etat the 13th.” Two new floats debut — the Dictator’s Royal Navy and the Dictator’s Guard.
The Candy Wagon and the Dictator’s Banana Wagon also are featured, both pulled by mules. Check out the Dancing Dawlins and the New Orleans Nymphs marching clubs.
The fabled Skeleton Walking Krewe will hand out wooden nickels and the club’s Carnival bulletin, which depicts and describes each float. Other throws include plush “dictators,” blinking flambeaux beads, high priests beads and skull beads. D’Etat was the first krewe to introduce the blinking bead as a Mardi Gras throw.
The Krewe of Morpheus features more than 550 male and female members. “Freaky Friday” is the theme of the 15th annual parade, which rolls with a 20-float procession. Eighteen marching bands from Louisiana and four other states will participate.
Throws include plush black sheep and doubloons in three colors.
In its 36-year history, Centurions has moved its parade from Harahan to Metairie and changed its parade night three times before becoming a fixture on the Friday before Fat Tuesday.
This year, “Centurions Explore the World of Emotions” is the theme of the 21-float parade featuring a neat title float. Marching bands will participate in the Rhythm on the Route band contest. Signature items to be tossed by the krewe’s 300 members include lighted bracelets and megaphones.
One of St. Tammany’s most successful parading organizations is the 17-year-old Krewe of Selene, which is composed of 350 businesswomen. This year’s 16-float procession is titled “This Is How We Roll.” Handmade elaborately decorated purses are Selene’s top throws.
Marching bands include some from around Louisiana and Mississippi.