Mardi Gras 2011 Parade Schedule
Mardi Gras in New Orleans isn't just one night of celebration, but almost three weeks of parades and festivities leading up to Fat Tuesday. The party really gets going on the Friday before Mardi Gras though, and to that effect, here's the 2011 Mardi Gras parade schedule, so you can make sure not to a miss a moment of the best party in the Big Easy.
Friday, March 4
Friday begins with Krewe of Hermes (Mardi Gras parades are funded and run by "Krewes," the name for the societies that put it all together) and the always hilarious Krewe d'Etat Uptown at 6:00 p.m. That's followed by the Krewe of Morpheus at 7:00 p.m.
Also at 7:00 p.m. is the Original Krewe of Orpheus in Mandeville , followed immediately by the Krewe of Lyra. The Metairie neighborhood sees the Krewe of Centurions at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 5
Saturday is for day parades, a family-friendly affair of picnics, baubles, and slapstick. The fun starts Uptown at 11:00 a.m. with the Krewe of Iris, followed by the spirited and irreverent Krewe of Tucks (founded by Loyola University students in 1969) at noon. Later on, check out the Krewe of Endymion in Mid-City at 4:15 p.m. Each year Endymion has a celebrity theme, and 2011's is "Endymion's American Masters," featuring depictions of Elvis, Michael Jackson, Louis Armstrong, and more.
Then, if you're not too burned out on parades by the evening, there's the Krewe of Isis dancing down Metairie at 6:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 6
Then do it all over again on Sunday. The Krewe of Okeanos kicks things off with its fairytale-like "Children's Fantasies"-themed parade Uptown at 11:00 a.m., followed by the foil floats of the Krewe of Mid-City and the Krewe of Toth.
In the evening, make sure you stick around (or come back) for the Krewe of Bacchus at 5:15 p.m. Bacchus is one the biggest parades during Mardi Gras, a celebrity "King" is chosen to head up the line. Last year it was the New Orleans Saints' quarterback Drew Brees; 2011's has yet to be announced.
If you're looking for something with less of a massive crowd, check out the French-themed Corps de Napoleon in Metairie at 5:30 p.m.
Monday, Mar 7
Monday is Lundi Gras, which, to the locals, is almost as important as Mardi Gras itself.
Egyptian themes kick off the evening with the Krewe of Proteus Uptown at 5:15 p.m. followed by the Krewe of Orpheus, one of the big-deal parades of the Carnival season (this year's theme is "Visions of Other Worlds").
If Uptown isn't your speed, the Krewe of Zeus will have its local-oriented nighttime parade in Metairie in Jefferson Parish, now in their 54th year of production. Also at 6:30 p.m., the all-female Krewe of Cleopatra returns to Houma.
Tuesday, Mar 8
Given how long and late Lundi Gras revelry can be, many out-of-towners miss out on the Krewe of Zulu, with its 8:00 a.m. start time Uptown. That's a shame, though, because this celebration of African American culture is colorful, vivacious, and very funny. Rouse yourself early and get caught up in its spirit.
Zulu is followed by the kingly Krewe of Rex at 10:00 a.m. followed by the Krewe of Elks Orleans at 11:30 a.m. and the Krewe of Crescent City on its heels.
Meanwhile, Metairie has the Krewe of Argus, followed by the Krewe of Jefferson and the Krewe of Elks Jefferson from 10:00 a.m. onward.
Want to know more? Mardi Gras Parade Schedule has the complete list of parades from the beginning of the month onward as well as more information on the krewes that make the Mardi Gras happen.
Photo by Rande Archer via Flickr
Heading down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras? Watch our How to Get Around New Orleans video for more info: