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Win Butler and Regine Chassagne, the leaders of rock band Arcade Fire, have lived in New Orleans for five years. The first time Arcade Fire percussionist Tiwill Duprate visited, Butler took him to a second line.

“We jumped in a parade,” Butler says. “He was playing along with one of the groups and people kept saying, ‘Are you from the West Bank? You don’t sound like you’re from here.’”

Duprate is from Haiti, and he found the New Orleans second line puzzling.

“The parade ended and (Duprate) was like, ‘That’s the shortest parade. We usually do this for like three days. It’s like a religious ritual, we don’t stop,’” Butler says.

Chassagne’s parents are immigrants from Haiti, and she and Butler have visited the Caribbean nation often. She also co-founded the nonprofit KANPE. Last year, along with Preservation Hall Artistic Director Ben Jaffe, they launched the Krewe of Kanaval, a New Orleans-based group with a Carnival festival fusing cultural influences from Haiti and New Orleans. The second Kanaval is in progress this week and culminates with a parade and festival in Congo Square from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Feb. 22 and a concert and ball featuring Boukman Eksperyans, Major Lazer’s Diplo and Jillionaire and others at 8 p.m. Friday at the Civic Theatre.

The free outdoor festival in Congo Square features music and a parade blending New Orleans, Haitian and African traditions. Chef/restaurateur Leah Chase will be crowned queen of Kanaval at the beginning of the event. Performers include Boukman Eksperyans, members of Haiti’s RAM, Papa Titos Sompa, percussionist Sequenon Kone, members of the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, New Breed Brass Band and local dance groups focused on Afro-Caribbean music and dance.

At the ball, DJ Jubilee will be crowned king of Kanaval and will DJ a set. Headlining the entertainment is Port-au-Prince’s Boukman Eksperyans, which fuses traditional rock with Haitian rasin, incorporating drumming and folkloric music and traditions. There also is music by Miami-based Haitian DJ Michael Brun, Diplo and Jillionaire as well as Butler as DJ Windows 98.

The inaugural Kanaval raised $30,000 for the Preservation Hall Foundation and KANPE, Butler says. KANPE’s activities address a range of basic needs in rural areas of Haiti, including health care and housing as well as culture. KANPE recently provided brass instruments to children in rural areas, Butler says.

“When a lot of people think of Haiti, they think about the images of the earthquake they’ve seen on the news,” he says. “When I think about Haiti, I think about how it’s got the greatest painting tradition in the Caribbean. I think about music, painting and art and rum and cuisine and dance.”

Slideshow: Krewe du Kanaval parades with Arcade Fire and Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Arcade Fire recently recorded a track that will be released soon, but Butler says work on Haitian connections has occupied much of his time recently.

“I have a 5-year-old son,” Butler says. “I think his impression is that what I do is ‘Haiti stuff and music sometimes.’ We’ve built it into our band life.”

Kanaval also features a series of seminars titled “Ti Pale” at various locations. There’s a party for krewe members. Memberships still are available. The ball is open to the public and tickets are $50. Visit www.kanaval.org for information.