Your cure for FOMO, this week’s jam-packed edition of Weekly Wins is here with your list of all the not-to-be-missed Carnival craziness. After all, it’s known as the “Greatest Free Show on Earth” for a reason. (For full parade schedules and routes, visit mardigrasneworleans.com.)
Krewe of Druids (6:15pm) & Mystic Krewe of Nyx (7:00pm) Uptown
Come for the mysterious masked Druids and stay for the lovely ladies of Nyx. With over 3000 riders last year, Nyx is now officially the biggest Mardi Gras parade in history. They’re bringing sisterhood to the streets of Nola because, as they say, “friends come and go, but a sister is forever.” If you’re extra lucky, you might get one of their signatures throws: an elaborate, glitter-covered hand decorated purse.
Indoor/Outdoor Mardi Gras Lounge, Eiffel Society, 4:00pm
Looking to enjoy the parades without the stress of finding a good spot? Watch from the Mardi Gras Lounge at the Eiffel Society (the crazy building that looks like part of the Eiffel Tower) on St. Charles Avenue. They’ll have plenty of food and drink for sale, a great view of the parades, and the best part: bathroom access! You can even purchase a parking spot from them, to make life really easy. Save a little money by buying pre-sale tickets online, and enjoy all of the Uptown parades stress-free.
#FrayLife Tip: Download one of the parade tracker apps to keep tabs on where the parades are, so you can get the best spot to watch, and avoid getting stuck while driving around town!
Knights of Babylon (5:30), Knights of Chaos (6:15), Krewe of Muses (6:30), Uptown
Arrive early to stake out your spot, and see the Knights roll by with their vintage inspired floats, flambeaux corps, and traditional masks. Really, though, T-HER-sday is ladies night, and you’re out to see the satirical floats and extravagant costumes of Muses. Their signature throw, a hand decorated shoe, is coveted amongst Mardi Gras connoisseurs, and their other shoe-themed throws are just as crowd-pleasing. Wave to this year’s Honorary Muse, actress Patricia Clarkson, as she rolls by in the giant shoe float. After all, “happy are they whom the muses love!”
Eastern Bloc Party, Siberia Lounge, 10:00pm
Tonight we’re gonna party like it’s 1989! Zhenya of the Red Elvises and the Klezmer Allstars will be performing funky, folky eastern style music that will have you dancing the Hopak in no time. Order up some borsch and plenty of vodka, and you’ll feel like you’re back in the U.S.S.R!
Dropkick Murphys, The Fillmore, 8:00pm
Get in the mood for St. Paddy’s day early with the Celtic punk headbangers of the Dropkick Murphys! The New Englanders are coming down South, so prepare to mosh extra hard to show them how it’s done in the Big Easy. Tickets are available online.
Krewe de Lune’s SPACE BALL, Mardi Gras World, 9:00pm
Join Krewe de Lune for the 11th annual SPACE BALL. This year’s theme is Lunes in Toyland: Cosmic Playground. There will be DJs spinning spacey tunes all night, a not-to-be-missed dance performance by the Star-Steppin’ Cosmonaughties, large scale art installations, food trucks, and most importantly, 3 free drinks. There is no entry without a costume, so grab some silver spray paint and get to werk!
Saturday 03/02 (Samedi Gras)
Krewe of Iris (11:00), Krewe of Tucks (12:00), Uptown
One of the oldest Carnival organizations for women, Krewe of Iris riders stays masked to maintain the mystery of the season. Catch a pair of hand decorated sunglasses, and sport them through the satirical, “Animal House” style Tucks parade that rolls afterward. The members of Tucks are known for irreverence; their most famous float is the King’s Throne, a giant toilet.
Krewe of Endymion, Mid City, 4:15pm
The biggest of the Carnival Super-Krewes, Endymion rolls with over 3,000 riders and 37 floats through Mid City. More of an event than a parade, Endymion hosts Samedi Gras, “the greatest block party on earth,” with people taking to the streets of Mid City for an all-day celebration. When the parade rolls by, throw your arms up to catch some of the 15 million throws hurled by riders, who are known to “throw ‘til it hurts.”
Endymion Extravaganza 2019, Superdome, 6:30pm
The fun doesn’t stop when the parade is over; in fact, the parade rolls right into the Superdome (pyrotechnics, laser lights, and all) for the Extravaganza, billed as the “world’s largest indoor party.” This year’s headliners, Chicago, Lionel Richie, and Flo Rida, will keep the revelry going into the wee hours.
Krewe of Okeanos (11:00), Krewe of Mid-City (11:45), Krewe of Toth (12:00), Krewe of Bacchus (5:15pm), Uptown
The parading continues all day Sunday, with three traditional krewes rolling through the Uptown route early in the day, followed by Bacchus in the evening. Bacchus, another Super-Krewe, rolls with 31 animated Super-Floats, including the Bacchagator and Bacchasaurus. This year’s theme is “Starring Louisiana,” which will honor our state, known as the Hollywood of the South, and the king will be Supernatural star Jensen Ackles.
Dirty Dimanche Festiball, Crescent Park, 2:00- 10:00pm
“It’s not just a festival. It’s not just a ball. It’s a Festiball!” Don your wildest, most creative costume and head to the banks of the Mighty Mississippi for “an art party of epic proportions!” There will be live music, DJs, and interactive art installations, as well as krewes showing off their best contraptions. Food trucks will provide sustenance, and the booze will be flowing thanks to two full bars, a beer truck, and an absinthe bar.
Monday 03/04 (Lundi Gras)
Riverwalk’s 33rd Annual Lundi Gras, Spanish Plaza, 12:00pm
Celebrate the day before the BIG DAY with a free festival that also marks the grand re-opening of Spanish Plaza. Enjoy live music, as well as local food and drink vendors. At 6:00pm, Rex, the official King of Carnival will arrive with his entourage on decorated vintage railroad cars. The Mayor will then present him with the keys to the city and declare Mardi Gras a “day of fun and revelry for all.” The ceremony then culminates with a fireworks display over the river.
Krewe of Proteus (5:15), Krewe of Orpheus (6:00) Uptown
Proteus, the second-oldest Carnival krewe’s sea-themed parade rolls right before the third Super-Krewe, Orpheus. Founded by Nola royalty, the Connicks, this music-themed parade includes floats such as the three-tiered 139-foot tall Leviathan, covered in fiber optic lighting. This year’s theme is Orpheus Imaginarium and will feature TV personality Mario Lopez as king, as well as TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers” and country singer Trace Atkins.
2019 Orpheuscapade, Convention Center, 7:00pm
Don your black tie finest for a night of music and dancing. The floats of Orpheus roll right into the Convention Center, so you can experience the parade (including the throws!) without the plebs on the street. Featured performers include New Power Generation, The Victory Belles, The 610 Stompers, The Party Crashers, and The Mixed Nuts. Tickets available online.
Tuesday 03/05 (Mardi Gras Day)
Krewe of Zulu (8:00), Krewe of Rex (10:00), Uptown
The beginnings of Zulu trace their roots way back to 1909, and they started parading with floats as early as 1915. The largest predominantly African-American krewe, Zulu is known for their grass skirts, (controversial) blackface makeup, and sought-after coconut “Golden Nugget” throws. Following the historic Zulu parade is the historic Rex parade, which dates its origins to 1872. Many of Mardi Gras traditions, including the colors purple, green, and gold, and collectible doubloons, originate with Rex.
St. Anne walking Parade, The Marigny, morning
One of the best places in the city to celebrate Mardi Gras Day is The Marigny. Thousands of revelers come out early in the morning dressed to the nines in the most extravagant, flamboyant, imaginative homemade costumes you’ll ever see. Pick a spot on the street, or stop by Mimi’s in the Marigny, and just watch the crowds walk by. The informal St. Anne walking parade marches through the streets with homemade contraptions, and in the spirit of the day you’re welcome to join in on the fun. Follow them across Elysian Fields over to Frenchman street and celebrate until the sun goes down!
#FrayLife Tip: Many businesses are closed on Mardi Gras day, especially local spots, so plan out your partying ahead of time.
How are you revelling this week? Share with us in the comments and tag #NolaFray and #FrayLife in all your social moments!
If Mardi Gras ain’t your thing, then think about escaping for the weekend. St. Francisville is only 2 hours away, and we’ve got the best guide to explore all the hidden gems.
View More Articles By Katie Baer