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GoNOLA Top 5: Daytime Mardi Gras Parades

Krewe of Carrollton (Photo: Christian Moises)

Mardi Gras to many means superkrewes, late nights, and parades lighting up the streets. While that is one side of Carnival, there’s another in daytime parades. Mardi Gras is a family affair down here in New Orleans, which means that parades rolling before sunset are popular among the kiddos. Check out our top five daytime parades to check out this Carnival season, aside from the parades that roll on Mardi Gras Day. These parades all roll in the morning or early afternoon and are perfect opportunities to share the magic of Mardi Gras with the young and old alike.

Krewe of Carrollton (Photo: Christian Moises)

1. Carrollton – Parading on the weekend deemed Carrollton Weekend, the Krewe of Carrollton is known for their precedents, punctuality, and fortitude. Carrollton is the oldest parade on this list as well as the fourth oldest parade in the history of Carnival, behind Rex, Proteus and Zulu. They were the first parade to institute tractor-drawn floats as opposed to horse-drawn and they pride themselves on starting right on time every year. Carrollton rolls rain or shine as they demonstrated in 1933 when they were the only daytime parade to go on after rain cancelled almost all parades of the season. Carrollton rolls February 4 at 12 p.m. along their uptown route.

2. Tucks – The Krewe of Tucks has quite the charming back story. Back in 1969 at the recently closed collegiate pub, Friar Tuck’s, an epiphany struck two Loyola students to start their own krewe after failed attempts at joining the flambeaux carrying ranks. Now the parade is a full scale procession of saucy floats and costumes, keeping with their satirical sensibilities. This year’s self-mocking theme is “Tucks Gets Culture.” Tucks starts rolling at 10 a.m. on February 10 along their uptown route.

3. Iris – What sounds more dream-like than the Goddess of the Rainbow? The Krewe of Iris, named after the Greek goddess of such majestic esteem, always stays true to its namesake. Dozens of floats that seemingly emerge from a story book and all female riders adorned with traditional Carnival attire are what’s in store this year, as is every year. This krewe, founded in 1922, upholds the distinguished conventions of Carnival, so you won’t see any drinking aboard these floats! Iris begins rolling at 11 a.m. on February 10 following Tucks on their uptown route.

4. Okeanos – Nautical enthusiasts rejoice at the Krewe of Okeanos parade each year. The krewe named for the Greek god of oceans is always done up in grand costume regalia. The parade is one of the most colorful and beautifully detailed of Mardi Gras. Their customs are steeped in 63 years of tradition and include an annual Coronation ball where the Queen of Okeanos is selected via lottery.  Okeanos rolls at 11 a.m. on February 11 along their uptown route.

5. Thoth – The Krewe of Thoth has come a long way since their humble beginnings in 1947, debuting with 50 members and five floats. Now Thoth proudly parades with over 1,200 riders and 40 floats, but still passes by the same landmarks Thoth selected on the original route that served people with special needs who could not attend the parade. The floats and costumes feature Egyptian designs and symbols as the krewe is named for the Egyptian Patron of Wisdom. Thoth rolls February 11 at 12:00 p.m. along their uptown route.

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