Even though Carnival officially starts on Twelfth Night, for some it’s not until the first bite of king cake or the first catch of a bead. If you’re not already in full Mardi Gras mode and are compulsively monitoring how much longer you’ll have to wait for Fat Tuesday (23 days, 10 hours and approximately 5 minutes at the time this post is published…not that we’re counting), you surely will be once you’ve been to the first parade of the season. It just so happens the first major parade of Mardi Gras 2012, the cheeky and lascivious Krewe du Vieux, is next Saturday, Feb. 4. Then, coming off the heels of Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras reaches full stride, propelling in intensity until Mardi Gras Day on Feb. 21. Though every parade is unique and special, the super krewes are undoubtedly the beastliest, with extravagant floats that are the most massive and intricate of Carnival. Get ready to be blown away by Orpheus, Bacchus and Endymion this year, the Mardi Gras super krewes.