Fat Tuesday has finally arrived, and wall-to-wall parades are scheduled. Starting things off at 8 a.m. is the Zulu parade, titled “Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation.” Look for 10 brand-new floats that bear Zulu’s legendary characters — the Big Shot, Witch Doctor, Ambassador and Governor.
Other special floats include “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Mayor” and “Province Prince.” Zulu’s 28 maids also are 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 135th parade, titled “Royal Gardens.” The 27-float parade will be led by the U.S. Marine Corps Band and the Ross Volunteers of Texas A&M. The “Butterfly King” float returns along with the iconic king’s float, jesters float and “Boeuf Gras” float.
New throws tossed by the 455 riding members include float-specific plush pillows, cups and medallion necklaces. The parade features a band contest.
In Metairie at 10 a.m., retiring WVUE-TV meteorologist Bob Breck rides as guest grand marshal in the 44th annual Argus parade, which features more than 600 men, women and children. The club owns all 20 of its floats.
This year’s theme is “#argusluvsmillennials.” The maids’ costumes will illustrate such subjects as Facebook and Twitter. Neat throws this year include the first in a series of cups that depict historic icons of Jefferson Parish.
Don’t look for Grela in Gretna this year because it is out of business.
If you simply cannot say goodbye to Carnival, stick around for the truck parades that follow Rex — the Elks Orleanians and Crescent City — and Argus: the Elks Jeffersonians and the Krewe of Jefferson.
Then start making plans for Mardi Gras 2017. Fat Tuesday will be Feb. 28.