One of the season’s prettiest parades is also one of the oldest and smallest.
The 230 men of Proteus are led by the captain on horseback, followed by 34 riding lieutenants and 30 flambeaux. This year’s 20-float procession, the club’s 111th, is titled “Nature of the Beasts.” Subjects such as “Pretty as a Peacock,” “Hunting Party” and “Cock of the Walk” will be illustrated. Royal Artists constructed the floats on chassis that date from the 1880s.
The identity of the man who portrays Proteus is never revealed to the public, but his magnificent seashell float is a knockout. Throws include LED tridents, whistles and logo footballs. The men also toss plush seahorses, plush tridents and plain aluminum doubloons they call “sovereigns.”
“The Magic of an Ordinary Day” is the theme of the 2015 procession of the Krewe of Orpheus, which Harry Connick Jr. helped organize 22 years ago. Dierks Bentley rides this year as monarch. Other celebrities, including several cast members from “NCIS: New Orleans,” also will be in the procession.
The krewe of 1,250 male and female members will ride 36 floats. Notable among them are the Trojan Horse, Leviathan, Dolly Trolley and the ever-expanding eight-unit Smokey Mary tandem float, which holds 230 riders. The Chariots of Orpheus will again appear, along with 60 original flambeaux.
This year’s most collectible Orpheus throws are Smokey Mary beads and hats, plus special 2.5-inch “gold record” doubloons that salute the late Cosimo Matassa, the honorary grand marshal.
The parade ends inside the Morial Convention Center, where the Orpheuscapade will feature entertainment by Dierks Bentley, Bianca Del Rio, No Limits and Wes Raymond & the Soul Factory.
Don’t look for a parade in Metairie tonight. Sadly, the Krewe of Zeus ain’t dere no more.