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From Metairie to French Quarter, family-friendly to raunchy, throngs celebrate Mardi Gras in many ways

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Zulu's king Jay H. Banks, greets his subjects during the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade on Jackson Avenue on Mardi Gras, Tuesday, February 9, 2016.  Arteila Eudora Bennets-Banks is queen. The theme was "Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation."

They say there’s a Mardi Gras for everybody. And neither strong winds nor morning wind chills in the 30s threatened that adage Tuesday, when throngs flocked to New Orleans’ streets to send the 2016 Carnival season out in style. Hundreds of thousands of residents and visitors created new memories with parents, siblings,… Continue reading →

Photos: Rex reigns over Carnival, closing out New Orleans' signature holiday

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Rex presented it's 135th parade, with 29 floats on the Uptown parade route on Fat Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016. The theme of the parade was "Royal Gardens - Horti Regis". Michael Kearney, Rex, King of Carnival, stopped to toast the Queen of Carnival, Adelaide Dabezies Goodyear in front of the Intercontinental Hotel on St. Charles Avenue.

Rex, Michael W. Kearney, greeted his subjects, toasted his queen, Adelaide Dabezies Goodyear, and celebrated the theme “Royal Gardens-Horti Regis.” Rex is carnivals oldest parading organization.… Continue reading →

Photos: Signature floats, bands mark Zulu's 'Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation' theme

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Zulu's king Jay H. Banks, offers a toast during the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade on Jackson Avenue on Mardi Gras, Tuesday, February 9, 2016. Arteila Eudora Bennets-Banks is queen. The theme was "Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation."

The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club began its march down Jackson Avenue where King Jay H. Banks toasted his Queen Arteila Bennets-Banks in front of Gertrude, Geddes, Willis Funeral Home. The Walking Warriors, The Tramps, the signature floats the “Big Shot” “Witch Doctor” and “Governor” and great bands combined to mark Zulu’s “Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation”… Continue reading →

For Zulu King Jay Banks, a reign that focuses on service

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Jay H. Banks and Artelia E. Bennett-Banks, 2016 king and queen of Zulu, photographed Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at their home in New Orleans.

Jay H. Banks knows better than the average Zulu member that with power comes responsibility. So while it’s good to be the king, Banks feels it’s more important to serve. That’s why he and his wife, Artelia Eudora Bennett Banks, decided that his election — on his fourth try — as the Zulu king would translate… Continue reading →

'This is still a resurgence in its infancy': New groups helps revive tradition of Mardi Gras Baby Dolls

Advocate photo by SOPHIA GERMER -- Dianne Honore tries a hat on Evangeline Marsalis, 4, at Cafe Rose Nicaud in New Orleans, Saturday February 6, 2016. The new Baby Doll group of 5 women, The Black Storyville Baby Dolls debuts this Mardi Gras. The group highlights the history, culture and work of black New Orleanians through their route on Fat Tuesday.

Last weekend, as the Black Storyville Baby Dolls grabbed a quick cup of coffee together, they carried glue guns, glitter and fabric so that they could work on their Baby Doll costumes while they talked. Historian and longtime New Orleans tour guide Dianne Honoré, 51, held up her satin top and frowned a little at the fit.… Continue reading →

For Zulu King Jay Banks, a reign that focuses on service

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD --  Jay H. Banks and Artelia E. Bennett-Banks, 2016 king and queen of Zulu, photographed Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2016, at their home in New Orleans.

Jay H. Banks knows better than the average Zulu member that with power comes responsibility. So while it’s good to be the king, Banks feels it’s more important to serve. That’s why he and his wife, Artelia Eudora Bennett Banks, decided that his election — on his fourth try — as the Zulu king would translate… Continue reading →

Photos: Zulu, Rex arrive for Lundi Gras celebration, closing out dynamic Carnival season

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Members of Zulu arrive by boat at Woldenberg Park Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, for a Lundi Gras celebration on the Riverfront.

The court and monarchs of Rex and Zulu arrived at the foot of Canal Street Monday to begin their reign over 2016 Mardi Gras.… Continue reading →

Oldest living monarchs of Rex and Zulu share a celebration

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- John Phillips, Rex in 1983, right, and Arthur Vigne, the king of Zulu in 1988, celebrate Lundi Gras Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, during a party at Woldenburg Village on the West Bank. Phillips, 93, and Vigne, 86, are the oldest living kings of Rex and Zulu.

Every Lundi Gras, kings from the two main organizations that parade in New Orleans on Mardi Gras meet face-to-face on the riverfront, an event that since 1993 has signified a growing friendship between krewes that have long shared St. Charles Avenue on Fat Tuesday but for many years had little to do with each other. This… Continue reading →

Zulu, Rex and Argus take to the streets early on Fat Tuesday

Advocate staff photo by Rusty Costanza --  A rider in the Krewe of Zulu hands out a coconut on Mardi Gras Day Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

Fat Tuesday has finally arrived, and wall-to-wall parades are scheduled. Starting things off at 8 a.m. is the Zulu parade, titled “Zulu: Celebrating 100 Years of Incorporation.” Look for 10 brand-new floats that bear Zulu’s legendary characters — the Big Shot, Witch Doctor, Ambassador and Governor. Other special floats include “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Mayor” and “Province… Continue reading →

Rex made a splash at 1884-85 world’s fair

Photo provided by Arthur Hardy -- Rex at World's Fair

Though not officially recognized as such, the first world’s fair in New Orleans was staged not in 1984 in the Warehouse District but 100 years earlier, on the site of what is now Audubon Park. The World’s Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition ran from Dec. 16, 1884, until June 1, 1885. Some 22 countries participated. The main… Continue reading →

Photos: Zulu, Rex arrive for Lundi Gras celebration, closing out dynamic Carnival season

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Members of Zulu arrive by boat at Woldenberg Park Monday, Feb. 8, 2016, for a Lundi Gras celebration on the Riverfront.

The court and monarchs of Rex and Zulu arrived at the foot of Canal Street Monday to begin their reign over 2016 Mardi Gras.… Continue reading →

High winds could impact New Orleans parades Monday; Jefferson Parish officials to wait until last minute to make call on Pandora

. Update, 4:24 p.m.: New Orleans is in “constant coordination” with the National Weather Service and is monitoring the heavy winds, City Hall spokesperson Hayne Rainey said Monday afternoon. So far, the predicted wind speed is not expected to force parade changes. “The trigger for making adjustments to parade routes is when the forecast calls… Continue reading →

Photos: Bacchus rolls Sunday, closing out biggest Mardi Gras weekend in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- The Bacchatality, a four-section super float, heads down Napoleon Avenue Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, as the Krewe of Bacchus rolls on the Uptown route to the theme, 'Flights of Delight.' More than 1,400 male riders on 31 tossed 'Super Bacchus Sunday,' footballs, lighted Bacchus crests, 16-inch lighted scepters and doubloons in different colors and sizes. New Orleans native and actor Anthony Mackie reigned as Bacchus XLVIII.

The 48th annual running of Bacchus’ theme is Flights Of Delight.… Continue reading →

Adelaide Dabezies Goodyear named Queen of Carnival

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Adelaide Dabezies Goodyear with her mother Elizabeth Dabezies Goodyear

Adelaide Dabezies Goodyear’s birthday — Jan. 14 — always falls during Carnival, that celebratory whirl from Twelfth Night to Mardi Gras. “Whenever possible, I like to have a king cake for my birthday,” said the 21-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles “Chip” Waterhouse Goodyear IV. Adelaide’s mother is the former Elizabeth Morris Dabezies. This… Continue reading →

Okeanos, Mid-City, Thoth and Bacchus hit New Orleans streets this Sunday

Advocate Photo by VERONICA DOMINACH--  The float ÒBacchugator" rides down St. Charles Avenue during the Krewe of Bacchus in New Orleans, La. on Sunday, Feb. 15, 2015. Parading under the theme "Children's Stories That Live Forever," the kreweÕs 31-float procession traveled the traditional Uptown route. John C. Reilly reigned as The King of Bacchus this year.

With 10 parades scheduled to roll Uptown from Sunday through Fat Tuesday, some paradegoers won’t leave their spots along the route until Ash Wednesday is nearly here. It all starts at 11 a.m. Sunday with the 67th procession of Okeanos, titled “Okeanos Puts on a Fright.” Among the parade’s 20 floats are ones that depict the… Continue reading →

Photos: Endymion turns 50; rolls through Mid-City Saturday

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- Endymion, with more than 70 floats,  rolls through Mid-City  in New Orleans, La. Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016. It was the 50th anniversary of the club with the parade reflecting that with the theme Endymion Through the Years.  The  3,100 riders aboard floats tossed Endymion doll and the new photo cups featuring some of the parade's signature floats. Some 30 college and high school bands performed in the parade.  Robert Hodgson was King. Jamie Hanzo was queen. Doug Thornton, Executive Vice President of Stadiums and Arenas with SMG  was the guest grand marshal.

The Krewe of Endymion Parade rolled on the Saturday on it’s traditional Mid-City route.… Continue reading →

Endymion celebrates 50 youthful years

Jamie Elizabeth Hanzo, queen of Endymion 2016

Following a triumphant ride through the streets of New Orleans for the 50th years, the Krewe of Endymion celebrated its golden anniversary last evening in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The super-krewe marked its anniversary with a Extravaganza and parade under the banner “Endymion Through the Years,” a celebration of all 50 years of the organization — 50… Continue reading →

Photos: Carnival continues to sizzle in cool weather; Hermes, d'Etat rolled Friday

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Riders toss beads and trinkets Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, as the Mystic Krewe of Hermes rolls on the Uptown route to Shakespeare's 'The Tempest.' Some 731 male riders on 29 floats tossed plush lightning bolts and flying H's,  lighted medallions and bracelets, and doubloons in six colors.

Krewes of Hermes, d’Etat rolled on Friday.… Continue reading →

Huge crowds expected Saturday for Endymion, NOMTOC, Iris, Tucks and Isis

For most of the past decade, crowds on this final weekend of Carnival have surpassed those on Fat Tuesday. Saturday features five parades starting at 10:45 a.m., when NOMTOC rolls its 46th annual procession. NOMTOC stands for “New Orleans’ Most Talked Of Club.” This predominantly black krewe will present a 21-float parade titled “The Best Things… Continue reading →

Babylon, Chaos, Muses reign

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ-- With their king toasting the crowd, The Knights of Babylon parade uptown  in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. The parade featured its 260 members riding on 23 floats and its captain and 12 lieutenants on horseback. The krewe emblemed throws included  jester hats and bracelets along with their new 3-D cups.

On a crisp Thursday night, the Knights of Babylon, Knights of Chaos and Krewe of Muses paraded from Uptown to Canal Street. All three keep their themes secret till parade time. The 1,000 women of the Krewe of Muses followed their signature Shoe float, throwing bracelets and tote bags.… Continue reading →

D'Etat sneak peek: Hot-button issues, public officials parodied without pity in this parade

The Dictator kicks of the parade on the Friday before Mardi Gras for the Krewe D'Etat. In the spirit of carnival secrecy, Richard XX's identity is never revealed.

The Krewe D’Etat parade is set to roll Friday. Check out the slideshow above to catch a glimpse of what you’ll see on the parade route.… Continue reading →