Mardi Gras Carnival Art / February 21, 2019 / Eve Callahan
Rio s Mardi Grad carnival is famed not only for its brilliant parades but its street parties the biggest of which is held on Cinelândia Square brimming with acclaimed orchestras and singers for people to dance the night away. The elaborate parades staged by the city s major samba schools in the Sambadrome are world famous. Parading in the Sambadrome runs over four entire nights and is part of an official competition divided into seven divisions in which a single samba school is declared that year s winner. As well as the five main parades visitors can enjoy the Carnival balls held around the city including the famous Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace Hotel which requires guests to wear black tie or a luxury costume and often a number of international and local VIPs are in attendance.
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.
Beginning two weeks before Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras Day there is at least one parade daily. It is during these parades that the beads or throws are primarily used. The New Orleans parades are organized by Krewes which are member sponsored communities. During the course of the parade the krewe members toss out a number of different types of throws such as beads doubloons cups and stuffed animals or small toys. Make sure you bring a large bag pillow case or any other sturdy container to bring your "catch" home in. Prior to the 1960 s the beads were made from glass; however they are currently being made from plastic.