The Carnival season is full of surprises in St. Tammany Parish this year. We are minus one parade (Orpheus in Mandeville); we have a Mandeville parade moving to Covington (Lyra); and we have the mayor of Mandeville as captain of the Abita Springs parade (Push Mow). You’ll learn about all of this and more as we take a quick trip through the St. Tammany parade lineup:

Sunday: Slidell will kick off the 2013 Carnival season with the Krewe of Slidellians parading at 1 p.m., presented by the Slidell Women’s Civic Club. The parade follows the traditional Slidell route, which begins in south Slidell at Spartan and Pontchartrain and ends in north Slidell at the intersection of Lindberg and Gause Boulevard. The theme is “Louisiana Legacies.”

Jan. 26: The Krewe of Bilge boat parade starts at Marina Café near Eden Isles in Slidell at noon, parading through the Eden Isles canals with the theme “The Wonderful World of Disney.” Mona Lisa and Moon Pie also parades at 7 p.m. in Olde Towne Slidell, starting and ending on Carey Street with the theme “Dance Mona Dance.”

Jan. 27: The Mystick Krewe of Perseus rolls at 1 p.m. with the theme “You’re Invited, RSVP,” following the traditional Slidell route. Perseus is followed immediately by the Krewe of Dionysus, with the theme “Dionysus Honors Our Friday Night Heroes.”

In Pearl River, the Lions Club of Pearl River will parade at noon starting on La. 41.

Feb. 1: The Krewe of Eve parades in Mandeville on at 7 p.m., starting at the junction of La. 22 and U.S. 190, traveling along West and East Causeway Approach.

Feb. 2: The Krewe de Paws dog parade will hit the streets of Olde Towne Slidell starting at 10 a.m. with the theme “Fais Deux Dogs.” The Mystic Krewe of Titans will parade the same day at 6:30 p.m., starting on Pontchartrain Drive and following the traditional Slidell route.

In Covington, Olympia parades at 6 p.m. starting at the parish courthouse on Jefferson Avenue.

And in Abita Springs, the Krewe of Push Mow adds its unique spin to the festive season, following a route beginning and ending at the Abita Springs Trailhead for a party with costume judging, live music, and food and drinks.

This year’s theme is “We’re Not Mandeville,” and the honorary captain is Mandeville Mayor Donald Villere. The king is Abita Springs Citizen of the Year Bryan Gowland.

The parade rolls at 11 a.m. Registration information is available on parade’s official website,

Feb. 8: The Krewe of Selene will follow the traditional Slidell route, starting at 6:30 p.m., with the theme “Our Naughty Boys.”

In Mandeville, the streets will be quiet for the first time in many years as the Original Krewe of Orpheus takes a hiatus from parading this year. Organizers cited financial issues and declining membership, but emphasized that they plan to be back in 2014.

Feb. 9: Bush will have its family-friendly parade starting at 9 a.m. on La. 40.

Feb. 10: The colorful boats-only Krewe of Tchefuncte cruises the Tchefuncte River, starting at Salty’s Marina, then heads downriver and turns around to dock on both the north and south sides of the La. 22 bridge.

King Neptune’s Marching Society precedes the boat parade by marching down Water Street to the reviewing stand. This year’s theme is “Celebrating Louisiana’s Legends.”

Mardi Gras, Feb. 12: There will be something new to celebrate in Covington as the traditional two-parade celebration grows to three: Lyra, which traditionally paraded after Orpheus in Mandeville, will follow the Covington Lions Club and the Krewe of Covington.

It all starts at 10 a.m. at the Parish Courthouse on Jefferson Avenue and Columbia Street and then winds through downtown Covington.

In Lacombe, the Krewe of Chahta-Ima parades at 1 p.m. The parade follows U.S. 190 north to 17th Street and ends at Lacombe Nursing Home.

Folsom enjoys Mardi Gras with the Krewe of Folsom, rolling at 2 p.m.

This eclectic krewe invites the public to participate in its parade. Entry fees, ranging from $15 to $35, are collected based on the type of vehicle used in the parade. Register at or call Town Hall at (985) 796-5607.

The parade starts on La. 40 near Olive Street.

Although Mardi Gras is the official culmination to the Carnival season, Mandeville’s Krewe of Mardi Paws offers a little lagniappe, parading on the Mandeville lakefront at 2 p.m. Feb. 17 with the theme “Mardi Paws gets DOGGONE Wet!”

Cultural exchange

Louisiana East European Adoptive Families is hosting a cultural exchange party Monday at the Fleur de Lis Event Center, 1645 N. Causeway Blvd., Mandeville, for families that have adopted children from Russia.

The group will welcome the Golden Gate Group, a traveling group of Russian teens who sing Russian folk music and perform Russian folk dances.

In turn, the local children will teach the Russians about Mardi Gras traditions such as throwing beads, sharing king cakes, and second-line dancing. For more information, visit

Karen Baker writes about people, places and events in St. Tammany Parish. She can be reached at