The final week of the Carnival parade season starts with a big doubleheader Wednesday night in Uptown New Orleans.
First up will be the 15th annual Druids parade, which is shrouded in mystery but always delivers bawdy satire.
The Druids debuted in 1998 to fill an empty slot on the Tuesday parade calendar (later moving to Wednesday). This unique club is made up of members of other parading krewes who wished only to ride in a parade and not deal with the traditional ball, queen and court routine. The identity of the Arch Druid — the king — is never made public, and his jester speaks for him at the mayor’s toast at Gallier Hall.
Druids features 260 men dressed in priestlike robes. Signature throws include umbrellas, light-up wands, medallion beads and light-up Druid “wizard” hats. For the first time, gold-plated and silver-plated bronze Druids doubloons will be handed out.
Expect some good-natured fun to be poked at the Krewe of Nyx, which returns the favor in a parade that includes 35 floats and a good dose of satire. All riders wear costumes that display the club’s name. The parade will feature a band competition and more than 130 units.
Nyx has produced nearly 40 logo throws this year, including hand-decorated purses and decks of cards, as well as doubloons for the krewe, the captain and officers.
Nyx is a true success story that followed in the footsteps of Muses. Many doubted there was room for another female krewe that would parade midweek in New Orleans.
Despite the fact that Nyx did not get a parade permit until October 2011, the krewe’s first parade in 2012 was a huge hit and rolled in the rain with 534 members. Four years later, the club set a membership record of 1,511, the largest ever for a female krewe and third only to Endymion and Thoth in total membership. The New Orleans City Council recognized this accomplishment with a special certificate of commendation.