The Tulane Hullabaloo

Arcade’s guide to pre-season parades

Many krewes host parades in the weeks before Mardi Gras. Krewe du Vieux, Cleopatra, Chewbacchus and Barkus are among the most popular early parades for Tulane students.

Taylor DeMulling | Senior Staff Artist

Many krewes host parades in the weeks before Mardi Gras. Krewe du Vieux, Cleopatra, Chewbacchus and Barkus are among the most popular early parades for Tulane students.

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A rocky start back to school – fraught with holiday off-days, boil water advisories and what can only generously be referred to as “snow days” – has made the transition feel more like an extension of winter break than the start of spring semester. But as the final reminders of the “most wonderful time of the year” fade, New Orleans gears up for the real holiday season: Mardi Gras. Many students have already taken note of how early the celebration falls this year, with festivities culminating on Tuesday, Feb. 13. For most Tulane students, parade season kicks off in full force the preceding Thursday with Muses, though the particularly ambitious may start with Nyx on Wednesday. For those who simply can’t wait two more weeks, however, The Arcade has compiled a list of of popular pre-season parades around the city, starting as early as this weekend. ‘Tis the szn!

Krewe du Vieux

Krewe du Vieux, one of the most anticipated early parades, is notorious for its controversial, satirical and hypersexual themes. The parade, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday in the French Quarter, is crass, campy and carries the singular honor of being raunchy enough, even by New Orleans standards, to come with a “mature themes” warning. Attendees can expect grown adults dressed as sperm, a barrage of phallic imagery, crude political commentary and throws like customized condoms and lewd bumper stickers. Essentially, it’s the perfect parade for people who never grew out of “that’s what she said” jokes but who, at least loosely, follow current events.

Krewe of Cleopatra

For those seeking Uptown options, Cleopatra will take place at 6 p.m. Feb. 2, starting at Magazine Street and Jefferson Avenue. Named for the famed Egyptian queen, the all-women krewe has adopted Egyptian imagery into its parade floats and throws, which include special-edition medallion necklaces.

Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus

If you are a sci-fi fan seeking a local parade, Chewbacchus may just be the Obi-Wan for you. The parade takes place at 7 p.m. Feb. 3 in the Faubourg Marigny, starting and ending on St. Claude Avenue near St. Roch Market. The name pays homage to Star Wars, but the krewe’s themes run much broader, celebrating cosplay, Star Trek, Doctor Who and anything else that may fall under the so-called “Super Nerdom.”

Krewe of Barkus

Barkus, which takes place at 2 p.m. Feb. 4 in the French Quarter, is proof that Mardi Gras really has gone to the dogs. The walking parade starts and ends in Louis Armstrong Park, and kicks off with a pre-parade Pawty at 10:30 a.m. To walk in the parade, puppy participants must be registered, though dog lovers can attend free of charge.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Arcade’s guide to pre-season parades”

  1. Riggsrichard13 on January 30th, 2018 1:17 pm

    Re: CHEWBACCHUS
    Parade starts and ends on Press St.
    Press>Chartres> N. Peters>Esplanade>Frenchmen>
    ST. Claude>Press.

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Arcade’s guide to pre-season parades