Mardi Gras or Carnival Time is the bigest celebration in New Orleans, Louisiana. The yearly festival includes numerous events throughout the city, and is known as the biggest free party on earth.
Mardi Gras parades are a big attraction. Many locals have their favorites and by not following the crowds, you can often get a better perspective on the Big Easy.
- Bacchus: Krewe of Bacchus features national celebrity monarchs each year, and draws hundreds of thousands of visitors. (read crowded)
- Zulu: The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club parade is well known for its interesting history and "golden nugget" (coconut) parade throws. http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/zulu/
- Rex: Founded in 1872, "Rex...King of Carnival" has been the international symbol of New Orleans Mardi Gras since the Krewe first appeared. Rex was the first Krewe to hold an organized daytime Parade and remains the main event Parade of Mardi Gras Day.
- Barkus: the official unofficial dog parade in the French Quarter. Too fun, usually early in parade season before most tourists arrive. A non-profit organization, it raises funds every year to benefit local animal shelters and national humane societies.
- Mystical Krewe of Chartreuse: Headed by some of the wildest folk in living history, do not miss the parade named for the liquor made from 130 plants and herbs by monks. This will not be in other tour books and is so drunken and raucous you will run home crying if you're not careful. You have been warned.
- Hermes: Founded in 1938 by a group of businessmen, the Krewe of Hermes takes its name from the Greek Messenger of the Gods and an updated golden statute of the sandaled and winged courier appears at the head of the procession. This Krewe was the first to introduce neon lighting as a means of float illumination to the Mardi Gras celebrations. With the withdrawal from the Parade Schedule of Comus, Momus and Proteus, Hermes became the oldest traditional night parade.