The Sunday before Mardi Gras is probably the biggest day for parading in New Orleans. And while that was still the case in 2019, the threat of severe weather cut a bit of the fun short as the first parades of the day rolled without bands and walking groups.
Okeanos, which celebrated its 70th year in 2019 was the first to roll Uptown and even with floats only the Krewe didn’t disappoint as its colorful floats and generous throws delighted everyone along the route. Vince Vance & the Valiants, Darth Vader and even “Elton John” were all part of the fun.
Okeanos gets its names from the Greek God of Oceans and Fertile Valleys.
While some krewes at Mardi Gras are big and flashy, the Krewe of Mid-City offers something no other parade does. All the floats in this relatively small parade are decorated with foil. The Krewe’s motto is “Pour La Joie De Vivre” … “For the Joy of Life” and with a membership limited to 300, it’s quite an honor to be a part of the organization. The Krewe of Mid-City is the 5th oldest parading organization in New Orleans.
While members throw many traditional items off the floats, Mid-City is also known for it’s “Got Foil” t-shirts and Mid-City Potato Chips (made locally by Zaps Chips).
The third parade to roll on the Sunday before Mardi Gras is Thoth. Over the years, we’ve watched this parade grow and grow and grow. It’s now 1600 members strong and has nearly three dozen floats. This year was especially cool for us as our friends’ cousin was the King of Thoth. As his float passed by us he ordered it to stop with a blow of a whistle and we toasted him and he reciprocated by showering us with doubloons . Our group also had another participant in the parade, “Lady Kira” who had pretty much deleted her supply of throws before she passed by us, but oh how cute she was!
The 2019 Thoth parade theme was “Thoth Salutes the Greats” and there were floats representing the “Wizard of Oz,” “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and even one representing “The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad.”
The biggest parade of Sunday is Bacchus, led by a superkrewe of a few thousand members. The brightly colored floats light up the night and keep everyone entertained for a couple of hours. Unfortunately, shortly after Thoth there was a big storm that moved through and we just couldn’t stand in the rain any longer, so we opted to skip Bacchus this year. You can find some pictures from Bacchus 2018 on the @knoxdaytripper Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages. Below is video of Will Ferrell at Bacchus back in 2012. Celebrities are always chosen as the “Kings” of this parade. In 2019 it was Jensen Ackles of the tv show “Supernatural.”