Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Cindy Navarro
The traditional Mardi Gras King cake is thought to have been derived from this need to use up perishable items. Today Carnival and Mardi Gras are celebrated in many different fashions. Some only celebrate on the actual Tuesday before Ash Wednesday while others take full advantage of the time and attend many luncheons masked balls and parades. Parades are generally the highlight for the majority of those who observe Mardi Gras and though Mobile and New Orleans have the biggest and oldest celebrations many other communities all along the Gulf Coast are forming their own societies.
The Saints appreciation parade will likely roll at 5 PM on Tuesday February 9 from the Superdome and will travel down Loyola to Howard around Lee Circle up St. Charles Avenue to Canal making a loop on Canal Street to Convention Center Blvd ending near the Morial Convention Center. Zulu - Mardi Gras morning The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club parade is well known for its interesting history (it originated over 100 years ago as an African American organization satirizing the White krewes during the era of racial segregation) and "golden nugget" (coconut) parade throws. Kid s Parade: Stages on 15th Street west of Beck Ave. and will travel on Beck Ave. to 11th St. and disband. Kid s Parade immediately follows the Pet Parade. Today the celebration of Mardi Gras/carnival has very little to do with religion.
The parades in New Orleans now begin up to three weeks before Mardi Gras with the Carnival season officially starting on the January 6th the Feast of Epiphany. The French Quarter of the city is the heart of the celebration which concludes promptly at midnight on Mardi Gras with the police asking revelers to scatter and the massive clean up getting under way. The krewe system was originally a hierarchical method that showcased the elite of the Carnival and usually New Orleans society. However in the latter part of the 20th century the exclusivity of the krewes was tempered by the formation of new more democratic krewes for which no credentials were required.