Best Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans | Krewes, Floats, Bands
Ahh, Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Does it get any better? This year, you can bet the parades leading up to Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday, February 21st will not only be plentiful, but bigger and better than ever. When there are so many, though, it can be hard to know which Mardi Gras parades are the best parades. Lucky for you we’ve compiled a list of the best Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.
Krewe du Vieux Parade (Saturday, February 4, 6:30 p.m.) - One of the first Mardi Gras parades of the season, Krewe du Vieux is a mature-themed parade filled with wild satire, crazy costumes, jazz bands, and more. Fore more information, visit the Krewe du Vieux website.
Krewe of Cork Parade (Friday, February 10, 2 p.m.) – This walking parade’s slogan is “Wine, food, and fun” so you know what to expect when heading to this great Mardi Gras parade. This parade takes place right in the heart of the French Quarter and features “wine police” on golf carts responsible for filling krewe members’ wine glasses and keeping them supplied with bottled water. For more information, visit the Krewe of Cork website.
Krewe of Oshun Parade (Friday, February 10, 6 p.m.) - The Krewe of Oshun is named for the Yoruba goddess of love and intimacy. This Uptown New Orleans Mardi Gras parade is a family-friendly endeavor with a ton of floats, costumed characters, beads, bands, and more. For more information visit the Krewe of Oshun website.
Le Krewe D’etat (Friday, February 17, 6:30 p.m.) - This Mardi Gras parade in Uptown New Orleans is a fun mix of satire and comedy with a ton of creative floats, dazzling costumes, marching bands, and more. Head to St. Charles Avenue and get your bead grabbing hands ready! For more information, visit the Le Krewe D’etat website.
Krewe of Endymion Mardi Gras Parade (Saturday, February 18, 4:15 p.m.) – The Krewe of Endymion is the largest super krewe in existence when it comes to Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. Their motto “Throw until it hurts” means you’ll be getting a ton of beads, doubloons, trinkets, and more. Endymion has a tradition of celebrity marshalls. Past appearances have included Anderson Cooper, Maroon 5, Kid Rock, Kevin Coster, and many more.
Krewe of Bacchus Mardi Gras Parade (Sunday, February 19, 5:15 p.m.) – This is a premier, authentic Mardi Gras parade in Uptown New Orleans. Expect floats, marching bands, costumed revelers, a ton of beads, and much more. The Krewe of Bacchus Parade also features celebrity kings. Past years have included Elijah Wood, Sean Astin, Michael Keaton, James Gandolfini, Hulk Hogan, Val Kilmer, and Drew Brees.
Krewe of Orpheus Mardi Gras Parade (Monday, February 20, 6 p.m.) – The Krewe of Orpheus is a music-themed krewe founded by famous musicians including Harry Connick, Jr., Sr., and Sonny Borey. Their parade is a great way to celebrate the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans with themes like Cocktail Concoctions, Delectable Delights, and Signs and Superstitions in past years. The Orpheus Parade will feature floats, stilt walkers, bands, beads, and more.
Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club Mardi Gras Parade (Tuesday, February 21, 8 a.m.) – This is it. One of the top two Mardi Gras parades on Fat Tuesday, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club Mardi Gras Parade is one of the biggest with two dozen amazing, hand crafted floats, crazy costumes, beads, and more. Watch out for the Zulu Golden Nuggets (painted coconuts) which are some of the most prized souvenirs during the Mardi Gras season.
Rex Parade (Tuesday, February 21, 10 a.m.) – The big one, the king of them all; Rex is the forefather of all Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans. Started in Started in 1872, Rex and its all-male krewe is responsible for the concept of the day parade, as well as the official Mardi Gras colors (purple, green, gold). Today, you can expect a ton of jaw dropping floats, marching bands, and thousands of New Orleanites and visitors celebrating the culimination of Mardi Gras on Fat Tuesday.