Every year the lure and the magic of New Orleans calls me to Mardi Gras. I haven’t actually been in years, but in spirit, I am there! Here’s a loose guide as to what it’s all about.
Mardi Gras is a week-long celebration before Lent. It’s a week of fun, vices, and crazy partying before the Catholic crackdown. More than the drinking and beads, I love the parades. There are many krewes that parade throughout the city, and they all have different themes and varied histories.
Bacchus, named for the Roman god of wine is a superkrewe and features tons of floats. It always features a celebrity “King” and this year it was Will Ferrell!
A spinoff of Bacchus is the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. Anything and everything sci-fi.
This year, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu led the parade for Zulu, one of my favorites.
Rex is the centerpiece attraction to the parades, featuring traditional Mardi Gras colors and the King of Carnival. This krewe has been around since 1872 and has had more parades than any other organization.
Perhaps the coolest krewe is Orpheus, which was founded by Mr. New Orleans, himself, Harry Connick, Jr. A relatively young krewe, it has 36 floats and each year has several celebrity monarchs. Just to name a few from this year: Cyndi Lauper, Brett Michaels, Mariska Hartigay, Hilary Swank, and of course HCJ was there, too.
I hope you are all finding your own way to celebrate today. Happy Mardi Gras!