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Arts & Culture

Satirical Mardi Gras Parades in New Orleans

The Mardi Gras parades that always boast witty and hilarious satirical themes that will delight and surprise audiences in New Orleans this year.

Photo: Krewe du Vieux rolls on Saturday, February 8 at 6:30p.m. in the French Quarter. (Photo: Christine Brown)

Satire is a deep rooted value in New Orleans Mardi Gras traditions honored in many if not all parades. Making fun of ourselves, our government and the world in general is a sacred practice and a big part of the joy of Mardi Gras. There’s nothing like the giddy feeling of anxiously awaiting the next float in a parade to find out what the punch line will be. These four Mardi Gras parades in particular fully commit to the act of parody by channeling their subjects of ridicule.

Krewe of Muses rolls Uptown Thursday, February 20 at 6:30p.m. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

1. Muses

The ladies of the estrogen powered night parade are New Orleans reincarnations of the daughters of Zeus, behaving just as rebellious offspring of the King of Gods would. If you must miss a Mardi Gras parade this year, not making Muses is strongly ill advised. Besides the fabulous display of feminine prowess, it’s one of the most fun – plain and simple. Not to mention Muses has some of the best – if not the best – throws of Carnival. I still have my Muses lunch box from last year filled with all kinds of glittery and feathery prizes, and I’m still waiting on the most coveted of all throws (save a Zulu coconut): a precious Muses shoe. Muses rolls Uptown Thursday, February 20 at 6:30p.m.

Krewe du Vieux parades through the French Quarter on Saturday, February 8 at 6:30p.m. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

2. Krewe du Vieux

The members of Krewe du Vieux will surely carry on the proud and colorful tradition of obscene, socially deplorable and politically antagonizing themes into Carnival 2020 and that’s exactly why we love them. This year’s theme rhymes with “Election”. Just have a hand ready to shield the eyes of any children in attendance. Krewe du Vieux rolls on Saturday, February 8 at 6:30 p.m. through the French Quarter and Marigny.

Krewe of Barkus is a Mardi Gras parade dedicated to canines (Photo: Paul Broussard)

3. Barkus

The Mystic Krewe of Barkus is the most ridiculous, absurd and outlandish parade of cuteness this city has ever seen. The mere concept of a dog parade is nearly too much to mentally handle, and when you consider all the costumes, canine royalty and the theme, which this year is Bark to the Future: Barkus takes it back to the ’80s, mind zapping ensues. Barkus begins rolling and trotting at 2 p.m. on Feb. 16 through the French Quarter.

Krewe d'Etat
Krewe d’Etat rolls on Friday, February 21 at 6:30p.m. Uptown. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

4. Krewe d’Etat

This uproarious parade was bestowed the “Best of Carnival” award in the satirical category by critics of Carnivals past. Every year it stays true to its revolutionist tendencies with overthrow and usurping undertones, but the theme is not revealed until the parade commences. Krewe d’Etat is very mysterious, valuing secrecy in all their customs. Seize the opportunity to discover their allure on Friday, Feb. 21 in Uptown beginning at 6:30 p.m. Keep an eye out for their signature throw, a blinking skull bead.

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