Rex reigns over cold, wet Mardi Gras _lowres

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- A brass band leads the way for some mounted officers of the Rex parade as it comes down St. Charles Avenue on a cold and wet Mardi Gras day in New Orleans Tuesday, March 4, 2014.

The federal shutdown may have lasted only a few hours overnight, but Congress’ penchant for elevating a basic government function into high-stakes drama has left its mark on Carnival season already struggling with some nasty weather. 

Rex spokesman King Logan said last night’s budget deal came too for late three out-of-town military bands booked to march with the parade this year. Unsure of whether their members would be furloughed with all the other non-essential government employees, they cancelled their trip here earlier this week.

“We certainly understand that the uncertainty about the issue earlier in the week led to their decision,” he said.

Government shutdown threatens Mardi Gras? Multiple Rex, Endymion bands say they won't play without deal

Logan said the parade will still have a significant military presence with a U.S. Marine Corps. band from Quantico, Va., the 313th Army band from Birmingham, Ala., and a Marine Corps mounted color guard from California.

Logan also said Rex has filled the three spots from the cancellations with bands from two local charter schools and a band from the University of West Alabama.

“We’re very delighted they will be able to join us,” he said.

Dan Kelly, president of the Krewe of Endymion, said that as far as he knows, the U.S. Marine Corps band from Algiers is still planning to march.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.