Mysterious New Orleans Krewes and their Parades

When you visit New Orleans, you’ll undoubtedly hear references to Krewes.  While they may sound ominous, breathe easy: these groups are a bit like clubs for adults which host events throughout the city.  The reasons for their creation vary, most honoring an ideal, represent an interest, or work for a cause.  Some are very large, and some are very small.  But no matter the Krewe, a claim to fame of most all of these groups are either presence in, or actually hosting, NOLA parades.

More than 80 of these groups officially exist, although some have proven to be powerhouses in size and extravagance of their events.  Throughout the year, there are a large number of annual Krewe Parades that take place.  Want to see one of them?  Check out the list below and choose which one(s) you’d like to see!

The year begins with the Krewe de Jeanne D’Arc Joan of Arc Parade, celebrating the “Maid of Orleans” and our city’s ties to France.  This parade boasts historical costumes, live music, medieval carts, and more.  This is a festive way to start each year!

Mardi Gras
Of course this is the busiest parade season in the city!  We find it humorous when people refer to the “Mardi Gras Parade”, as more than 50 parades happen throughout the Mardi Gras Season, each hosted by their own Krewe!  And many of these pass right in front of Avenue Inn, making it easy for you to attend without fighting for a place along the route!

Of these 50+ parades, five are considered the biggest and most popular:  the Krewe of Bacchus Parade, Krewe of Endymion Parade, Rex Parade, Krewe of Orpheus Parade, or the Krewe of Thoth Parade!  What are the differences?  The days and times that the parades are thrown, to start.  And the time of day will largely determine the family-friendliness of each: those that happen during the daytime are often much less risque than those thrown at night.  The Krewe of Thoth and Rex Parades are family-friendly events, while the Krewe or Orpheus, Krewe of Endymion, and Krewe of Bacchus parades are for a more mature audience.  And ANY parade that happens to go near or through Bourbon Street (like the Krewe du Vieux parade) is recommended for adults only!

Fourth of July
Not to be outdone by the extravagant floats seen at Mardi Gras, the Krewe of Kolossos hosts the Bayou Boat Parade on the River in honor of Independence Day.  Besides paddle-powered floats, boaters and paddlers of all walks are invited to join the on-water festivities.

Midsummer Mardi Gras
August has its own parade event with the Krewe of O.A.K.‘s Midsummer Mardi Gras event, wanting to enjoy the revelry in the summer as well!  Their parade is always on the last Saturday in August and rolls through the streets of Carrollton at the end of the St. Charles Street streetcar line (and just a few minutes from Avenue Inn’s front door).

Yes, we have a Krewe of BOO!  Look for their parade each year around Halloween.  This small parade runs in the area just south of the French Quarter, but is still just an easy streetcar ride away from Avenue Inn!

The Krewe of Jingle is the official New Orleans Christmas Krewe, hosting a parade each year in early December.  Sadly, this parade JUST happened this past weekend, but you can add this event on to the long list of unique Christmas events that happen each year.  Yes, this parade also passes directly in front of Avenue Inn for your viewing pleasure!

These are just the parades associated with popular holidays and events.  At any time throughout the year, Krewes may hold parades for lesser celebrations, their own anniversaries, or any other reason.  In the French Quarter, some Krewes will simply start playing music and marching along for apparently no reason at all!  So while some parades are annual happenings, you never know when Krewes will start marching here in New Orleans.  Why not plan an Avenue Inn getaway and see what Krewe parades YOU can discover?

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