Roll Tonight: Mystic Krewe of Hermes, Krewe d’Etat, Krewe of Morpheus
The Fat Friday parades take over the Uptown parade route tonight, kicking off a busy carnival weekend. The elegant Mystic Krewe of Hermes is followed by the irreverent Le Krewe d’Etat and the fast-growing Krewe of Morpheus.
The official starting point for Uptown parades is Napoleon Avenue and Prytania Street, but the krewes line up well in advance. Queues will affect traffic and parking from Saint-Charles Avenue to Tchoupitoulas Street. Downtown residents should plan accordingly.
The night will be rather cloudy and cooler than the last two nights, with a low around 54, according to the National Weather Service.
See below for details on the parades, route and more.
Hermès Mystic Krewe
Named after the winged courier of the gods, the Hermès Mystic Krewe delivers his message with pageantry and moves at a disciplined pace.
History tells us that the inaugural parade of this krewe in 1937 dazzled revelers with a new innovation: colorful neon lighting highlighted its floats, complemented by the traditional torches. Hermès always uses state-of-the-art lighting and is also known for its LED throwers.
Hermès tanks have always emphasized craftsmanship, detail and storytelling, and his current designs by Henri Schindler continue this tradition.
Departures: 5:30 p.m.
Theme: “The Mystical Isle of Avalon”
To watch: Hermes will launch a signature tank, “Hermes the Psychopomp,” which features an animatronic dragon and sound effects. Two crowd favourites, the 610 Stompers and the St. Augustine Marching 100, join the Hermès show.
Catch it if you can: Runners launch full-length capes with LED lights. Hermès doubloons come in three colors.
The State Krewe
This all male State Krewe, known for his sharp satirical floats, has this warning to his followers from his leader, the Dictator: “The Dictator assures his people that no rank or office is safe from his spirit.”
The 24th State floats have a traditional beauty as well as a satirical spirit. The dictator’s banana wagon is pulled by mules, and the captain and lieutenants ride horses throughout the parade.
Departures: 6:30 p.m. (follows Hermès)
To watch: The Skeleton Krewe leads the parade by distributing D’Etat Gazette, a foldout guide to the floats. The Budweiser Clydesdales help lead the parade.
Catch it if you can: D’Etat was the first krewe to cast lighted flashing beads; his signature throw has a flashing skull. You can also grab a dictator hat or a jester hat to wear around the house.
Krewe of Morpheus
Since 2000, New Orleans residents have closed Fat Friday Night with Morpheus, named after the Greek god of sleep and dreams. Morpheus fashioned and formed dreams, through which he could appear to mortals in any form.
The krewe’s 800 male and female runners on 24 floats are known to be generous with their throws.
Departures: 7 p.m. (state suite)
Theme: “Morpheus dreams of the good life”
To watch: Floats include “Saints Win the Super Bowl”, “Journey Across Europe”, and “Living in the Hawaiian Islands”.
Catch it if you can: Morpheus’ signature throw is a hand-decorated sleep mask. Other throws include LED sleep hats and plush sheep, moons and pillows.
All parades will follow the same abbreviated route:
To start up: Napoleon Avenue and Prytania Street
Get off Napoleon
Right on Avenue Saint-Charles
Continue on St. Charles Avenue around Lee Circle
Continue on Saint-Charles
Right on Canal Street
Right on Tchoupitoulas street
To finish: Rue Tchoupitoulas and Poydras
Security, parking, transportation
As always, be careful in large crowds and report suspicious activity to public safety officials.
Parking is restricted along the parade routes two hours before and after parades to ensure parade elements and sanitation crews can access the street. Parking staff will monitor illegal parking.
Call 504-658-8100 for parking enforcement. See more Mardi Gras parking information.
Parking will be prohibited on either side of the following streets two hours before and after the parades. Follow all posted signs.
- Tchoupitoulas Street from Jackson Avenue to Nashville Avenue
- Avenue Napoléon de Tchoupitoulas to Avenue Claiborne Sud
- Avenue Saint-Charles de Napoleon at Canal Street
- Tchoupitoulas from rue Poydras to rue Calliope
Prior to the start of parades or when crowd size warrants, the New Orleans Police Department will close the road to vehicles. Plan ahead and avoid intersecting streets with parades.
Additional intermittent closures will be required as parade elements move through the city. Follow the lead and tail of the parades as they roll with the parade tracker at routewise.nola.gov.