Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (2024)

Look for krewedelusion on a new day.

Long before the floats of the first Comus parade rattled through the streets in 1856, there were already costumed Carnival foot processions aplenty in the Vieux Carre. In fact, it’s said that Comus was founded in part to provide a more genteel alternative to the rowdy 19th-century downtown swarms.

Happily, those rowdy swarms have persisted, adapted, and propagated like co*ckroaches and termites in the intervening years. Here’s our attempt to capture the major, autonomous rambles and rabbles in the region beneath Canal Street.

Joan of Arc

Friday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m., French Quarter

The Carnival season traditionally kicks off on Jan. 6, and the Joan of Arc parade leads the charge. Established in 2008, the parade is a birthday party for the 15th-century, teenage warrior woman, who triumphantly led an army during the Hundred Years War and later became the patron Saint of New Orleans, was consequently accused of heresy and infamously burned at the stake.

Blending history, anachronism, feminism, Crescent City cultural identity, marvelous costuming and a touch of Mardi Gras madness, the Joan of Arc parade is always a masterpiece.Look for a bigger, better dragon and other features in 2023.

For more information,visit the Krewe de Jeanne d'Arc website.

Les Fous du Carnaval

Jan. 27, 8 p.m., Marigny and French Quarter

Founded in 2022, the 100-person parade is composed of the marching clubs Flora and Fauna, the Goddesses, and the Hellarious Wingnuts - accompanied by brass bands. The parade kicks off at the intersection of Chartres and Frenchman streets proceeds to Royal Street where it turns, then left again onto St. Philip Street and right onto Decatur Street, concluding at Jackson Square.

For more information, visit the krewe’s Facebook page.

Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus

Saturday, Jan. 28, 7 p.m., Marigny-French Quarter

Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (18)

The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus is a nerd-friendly, science fiction-oriented, foot parade named for Bacchus, the Roman God of wine, and Chewbacca, the furry "Star Wars" sidekick.

The assorted aliens, space heroes, robots, monsters, and cosmic musicians of Chewbacchus first hit the streets in 2011. With annual dues, starting at a mere $42, the do-it-yourself krewe grew to become what may be Carnival’s largest marching club, with 2000-plus members.

For more extraterrestrial information,visit the Chewbacchus website.

Krewe Boheme

Friday,Feb. 3, 7 p.m., Marigny - French Quarter

Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (19)

The mostly female krewe was inspired by absinthe, a formerly outlawed liqueur favored by Belle Époque artists, which is reputed to have hallucinatory properties. The dreamy Boheme parade sashayed through the downtown streets for the first time in 2019, led by their languid mascot, a green absinthe fairy -- imagine an Art Nouveau Tinker Bell that follows the Grateful Dead.

For further elucidation,visit the krewe’s Facebook page.

Krewe du Vieux

Saturday,Feb. 4, 6:30 p.m., Marigny - French Quarter

Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (20)

Expect paper mache sexual allusions and political satire aplenty from this procession of costumed marchers, mule-drawn mini floats, and spirited brass bands. Established in 1987, Krewe du Vieux is known for the sort of recklessly adolescent humor that sensible, sensitive folks avoid. Which is why the rest of us wouldn’t miss it.

For more informationvisit the KDV Facebook page.

'tit Rex

Sunday, Feb. 5, recently updated to 4 p.m., Marigny

Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (21)

Inspired by the shoe box parades traditionally created by New Orleans school kids during Carnival season, 'tit Rex (Little Rex) was founded in 2009 as an antidote to the lavish, big-footprint krewes such as Bacchus. Pronounced like the fierce dinosaur, the satirical do-it-yourself procession may be small, but it can have a big bite. Get there early for a good view.

For the smallest detailsvisit the 'tit Rex website.


Sunday,Feb. 5, evening, time to be announced, Marigny - French Quarter

Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (22)

For its first 12 years, krewedelusion, one of Mardi Gras' most eccentric, eclectic parades, followed immediately behind Krewe du Vieux through most of its trek on Saturday night,but in 2023 the parade was moved to Sunday.

Expect homemade min-floats, dance troupes, and marching groups including the Mexican Krewe de Mayahuel and Kreweleidoscope (formerly Krewe du Seuss).

For more delusional information, consultthe krewedelusion Facebook page.

Krewe of Cork

Friday, Feb. 10, 3 p.m., French Quarter

The Krewe of Cork came of age in 2022, with its 21st vino-centric foot parade in the Vieux Carre. The rambling Royal Street procession is dedicated to sipping, sloshing and sharing custom-made beads and other throws.

For a few more sips of information and route map, visitthe Krewe of Cork website.

Krewe of Barkus

Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m., French Quarter

The supersonic theme of this year’s annual 15-block procession of costumed canines is "Top Dog: Barkus Comes to the Rescue."

Fun fact: The concept for the Krewe of Barkus dog parade first came about at a meeting oftelevision meteorologist Margaret Orr's fan club.

To snoop around for more information and a map,visit the Barkus website.

Krewe of Lafcadio

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2 p.m., French Quarter

Named for Lafcadio Hearn, the great 19th-century chronicler of Crescent City customs, and reputedly the author of the first Creole cookbook. Each year the krewe crowns a celebrated chef as king. This year Lafcadio honors Frank Brigtsen and his wife wife Marna.

The parade’s complicated trek begins at Antoine’s restaurant at 713 St. Louis Street and proceeds to Bourbon Street where it turns right, then right on Toulouse Street, left on Decatur Street, left on Barracks Street, left on Royal Street for several blocks, right on Bienville Street, right on Bourbon Street, and left onto St. Louis Street where it disbands.

For a map and more information visit the Lafcadio website.

Red Beans, Dead Beans, and the Krewe of Feijao

Monday, Feb 20, 2 p.m. Marching from the Marigny and Mid-City to the Treme

Founded in 2009, the multi-part marching group is known for its homemade red bean mosaic costumes that celebrate one of the Crescent City's signature dishes, red beans and rice, which is traditionally eaten on Monday. The Red Beans parade was one of several do-it-yourself Carnival processions that popped up in downtown New Orleans during the period of recovery after Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flood.

The spin-off Dead Beans parade has a Mexican Day of the Dead vibe, while the Krewe of Feijao incorporates elements of both Cajun and Brazilian culture.

For more information and various parade routes,visit the krewe website.

Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (23)

Mardi Gras Indians

Tuesday, Feb. 21, various locations

Not parades, per se, small “tribes” or “gangs” of Mardi Gras Indians,also called Black Masking Indians,emerge on Fat Tuesday morning and set out in the city’s neighborhoods in search of other Indians.The age-old costuming tradition symbolizes the interconnection of black and Native American culturesin New Orleans.

As the tribes travel, the maskers and their entourages sing traditional call-and-response chants that have inspired New Orleans' musical styles from rhythm and blues to funk to bounce.

When two Indian groups intersect, they compete to determine which has the prettiest “suits.” The flamboyant feathered suits, decorated with incredibly intricate bead work mosaics, are a unique New Orleans art form at the pinnacle of Mardi Gras costuming.

It’s difficult to predict exactly where wandering Mardi Gras Indians will appear, though North Claiborne Avenue near St. Bernard Avenue is a good bet.

The Societé de Sainte Anne and other marching clubs

Tuesday, Feb. 21, morning, Bywater to French Quarter

For many, the Zulu and Rex parades are the climax of Carnival. But some celebrants find their ways farther downriver to the Bywater and Marigny neighborhoods where hundreds of do-it-yourself costumers gather at select intersections like flocks of surrealistic peaco*cks preparing to migrate en masse into the French Quarter.

The most spectacular of the many marching clubs is the Societe de Sainte Anne. The half-century-old costuming club was named for a mysterious 19th-century tomb that members discovered in St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and is meant to be a throwback to the informal, 19th-century foot processions that preceded organized float parades.

To behold the spectacle, stake out a place on Royal Street at Franklin Avenue or Kerlerec Street and follow the crowd into the Vieux Carre. To distinguish St. Anne from other marching groups, look for glinting standards made from hula hoops strung with fluttering ribbons.

Mardi Gras season 2023 in New Orleans: Complete parade list with dates, times and all maps
All 2023 Mardi Gras season parades in Metairie, Kenner, West Jefferson and Chalmette
All 2023 Mardi Gras season parades in Slidell, Covington and Mandeville

Email Doug MacCash at Follow him on Instagram atdougmaccash, on Twitter atDoug MacCashand on Facebook atDouglas James MacCash.

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Mardi Gras 2023: All the big downtown foot parades from Chewbacchus to St. Anne, with maps (2024)


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