The five parades scheduled to roll Sunday move the city toward Fat Tuesday in a big way. And starting today, some parade lovers won’t leave their spots along the Uptown route until Ash Wednesday.
It all starts in the morning with Okeanos, whose 65th procession “Celebrates the Holidays.” Included in the 20 floats are some saluting Halloween, Thanksgiving, Easter and Valentine’s Day. New this year is the Okeanos River Boat of Royalty float. Okeanos presents its past king, queen and maids within the parade. The 250-member club tosses crawfish trays and special 10-gauge high-relief doubloons in five colors. The Prime Time Brass Band from New York and Vince Vance return as special guests.
Though the club no longer parades through its namesake neighborhood, the Krewe of Mid-City remains a fan favorite. The 18-float parade, designed by New Orleans artist Ricardo Pustanio, sports the theme this year of “50 Shades of Green” and features a new signature float. Floats will depict such subjects as “It’s All Green to Me,” the Green-Eyed Monster, Little Green Men and the Green Goddess. The krewe’s 210 male and female members throw vinyl stress figures, jester hats, potato chips, T-shirts, logo beads and doubloons in several colors.
Thoth has a membership of nearly 1,500 men, and the parade, with more than 140 units, has become one of Carnival’s most anticipated events. With the Academy Awards set for tonight, the 40-float procession is titled “Thoth Rolls Out the Red Carpet.” Float subjects include movies such as “The Godfather,” “Patton,” “Around the World in 80 Days” and “Jaws.” A new float will transport Thoth’s first grand marshal, Louis Prima Jr., who will perform with his band, the Witnesses. Krewe-logo items to be featured include nearly a dozen doubloons in several colors, sunglasses, four different polystone beads, vinyl frisbees and two new items: fedora hats and compressed towels. Thoth should be commended not only for its wonderful parade but also for its community outreach as it brings Carnival joy to shut-ins along the parade route.
Bacchus, which changed Mardi Gras when it debuted in 1969, now has a membership of 1,400 men. Bacchus XLVI, actor Hugh Laurie (“House”) and 26 riding lieutenants lead the krewe’s colorful procession titled “Bacchus Explores Our Sportsman’s Paradise.” Among the floats that best portray the theme are Louisiana Whitetail Deer Hunting and Deep Sea Fishing in the Gulf.
Also included in the 34-float procession are 30 bands, the Budweiser Clydesdales, the expanded Bacchagator float and several legendary floats: the Bacchasaurus, Bacchawhoppa, Baccha-Amore, the 120-foot Bacchatality and the Kong Family menagerie. Among Bacchus’ many logo items are rubber ducks, duck calls, lighted chalice beads, lighted bouncy balls and doubloons in six colors. The 100-plus-unit parade ends inside the Morial Convention Center, where the Bacchus Rendezvous will feature the band Styx.
In Metairie, the 300 male and female members of the Corps de Napoleon celebrate the club’s 34th anniversary with a 25-float parade titled “Louisiana Legends and Landmarks.” Floats depict such Bayou State icons as the State Capitol, Morgus, West End and “Swamp People.” The parade features nearly 90 units, including horse-drawn carriages. The floats of the emperor, empress and captain are all horse-drawn. Waterloo, a 65-foot tandem float, features confetti-shooting cannons and smoke. Marching bands will participate in the Rhythm on the Route band contest.