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Mardi Gras today: Celebrate Fat Tuesday in and around New Orleans

Posted on Feb 16, 2010 in Local Issues, Personal Injury

By Times-Picayune Staff February 16, 2010, 1:00AM Uptown Mardi Gras parades: Zulu, 8:15 a.m., Central City to Downtown * mardi_gras_zulu.JPGELLIS LUCIA / THE TIMES-PICAYUNEA Zulu float rider prepares to launch a plush toy on St. Charles Av. Mardi Gras Day, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009. The hand-decorated Zulu coconut or "Golden Nugget" is considered one of the most sought after of all Carnival throws. * The Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club Inc., which dates back to 1909, first hit the streets with decorated floats in 1915. The news-making krewe first paraded along St. Charles Avenue and Canal Street in 1969. * The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, a benevolent organization that is one of the highlights of Mardi Gras, is composed of men from all walks of life - from laborers and politicians to educators and business owners. Local men and women and visitors from throughout the country also now ride in the annual parade. Medallion beads and an array of trinkets will be tossed, but of all the throws to rain down during carnival, the Zulu coconut or "Golden Nugget" is the most sought after. From as early as 1910, coconuts were given from the floats in their natural "hairy" state, the forerunner to today's hand-decorated coconuts. Rex, 10 a.m. | Watch live * Did you know: Rex was the first krewe to introduce doubloons in 1960. * The krewe's monarch, whose identity is kept secret until Lundi Gras, is always a prominent member of society and his queen is a debutante. * Rex, King of Carnival, Monarch of Merriment, will rule over Fat Tuesday when he and his entourage parade through the streets of New Orleans as they have for the past 138 years. There will be 27 floats depicting various aspects of the theme "Fables of Fire and Flame," conceived by iconic local float designer Henri Schindler. * Approximately 525 riders will toss stuffed special plush riding lieutenant dolls in three colors, stuffed boeuf gras, traditional gold doubloons, krewe-emblemed cups and purple, green and gold bandanas. Elks Orleanians, after Rex * Did you know: A variety of Elks officials will be guests of this ever-popular Mardi Gras parade. * The Elks Krewe of Orleanians will hit the streets after Rex with more than 3,600 riders on 90 truck floats. Crescent City Mardi Gras, after Elks * Did you know: Winners from the previous year's competitions are the leaders for the parade the following year. * Families and groups have enjoyed riding in the Crescent City Truck parades since 1947. * For 2010, organizers anticipate 1,800 riders on 60 truck floats. * Leading the way will be the winners from 2009 competitions, including the Krewe of Kool Breeze, The Gumbo Krewe and Over the Hill Carnival Club I. Metairie Mardi Gras parades: Argus, 10 a.m. * 2010 marks the 38th annual Argus ride through the streets of Metairie. * Did you know: Argus rules Jefferson Parish on Mardi Gras. * Thirty floats from the artistic team of float-builder McKinley Cantrell will take to the streets Mardi Gras morning when the Krewe of Argus embarks on its 38th trek through Metairie. * Louisiana's own Blue Dog Artist George Rodrigue will ride as a celebrity guest, traveling past his own new sculptural installation at the corner of Veterans and Severn. Elks Jeffersonians, after Argus * Grand marshals for this massive parade will be from the Magnolia School. * The 4,300 riders in the Elks Krewe of Jeffersonians parade will ride 85 trucks and carry out the timely title "It's A Mardi Gras." * Elks Krewe of Jeffersonians is celebrating 32 years and is a committee of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, New Orleans Lodge No. 30. Jefferson Mardi Gras, after Elks Jeffersonians * Did you know: Jefferson is the oldest truck parade in Metairie and began with only two trucks. * For 38 years, the Krewe of Jefferson truck parade has provided a great way for families, friends and groups to celebrate the spirit of Carnival together. * This year, 3,500 people will take part on 75 trucks in the oldest truck parade in Metairie. Westbank Mardi Gras parades: Grela, 11 a.m., Gretna * Did you know: Grela is the oldest Carnival krewe on the West Bank. * Grand marshal for the parade will be Irma Thomas. * The Krewe of Grela kicks the mayhem of Mardi Gras off with its annual street pageant each year. * This West Bank krewe will boast 320 riders on 23 floats by Phillip Fricano Jr. Look for such titles as "LeGrand the Florist," "Mississippi River," "David Crockett Vol. Fire Co." and "The Farmers' Market." Bes Mardi Gras, after Grela, Gretna * Did you know: Bes first paraded in 2009. * Watch for krewe-emblemed cups. * Bes, Carnival's newest krewe, will roll through the streets of Gretna following Grela for the second year with the theme "Gretna Turns the Page on Another Story." A dozen floats will carry the theme through such titles as "Charlotte's Web," "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Alice in Wonderland." * The 175 riders will be throwing krewe-emblemed cups and medallion beads. Northshore Mardi Gras parades: Lions & Covington Mardi Gras, 10 a.m., Covington * The Covington Lions brought Mardi Gras to the town in 1959. The Krewe of Covington was founded in 1952 as the Krewe of KaaCee, formed by the local Knights of Columbus. * The Lion's theme for 2010 will be "Love Makes the World Go Round" and will be carried out on 40 floats with more than 150 riders. * Watch and listen for the Covington High School Band and dance team, along with the Imani Steppers and Magic Moments from Bogalousa. * The grand marshal will be Francis Barker of the Red Cross and Anna Jenkins will be queen. Krewe of Covington follows with 40 riders on four floats and has the theme "Celebrating Mardi Gras Past." Regional Mardi Gras parades: Chahta Mardi Gras, 1 p.m., Lacombe * The krewe name honors a local high school. Chief Chahta Estervan Williams and Queen Pauline Cousin will reign over the celebration. * The krewe is named to honor Chahta-Ima High School, where many of the founding members attended. It played a large part in their lives. Folsom Mardi Gras, 1:30 p.m., Folsom * This is Folsom's 40th year parading. The krewe is open to the public. * "My Favorite Game" is this year's theme for this eclectic krewe that invites the public to participate in its parade. Billed as "an old-fashioned country Mardi Gras," the Krewe of Folsom allows participants to ride everything from 4-wheelers to horseback. * Entry fees, ranging from $15 to $35, are collected based on the type of vehicle used in the parade. "Floats" signing up on the day of the parade, will be charged an additional $5 fee. To pre-register visit villageoffolsom.com. * The parade begins and ends at Magnolia Park on Highway 40. Participants are asked to line up by 12:30 p.m. All information provided by The Times-Picayune’s Mardi Gras section published on Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2010. For copies of the publication, call 826.4650 or 1-800-925-0000.

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