Parades, floats mark Fat Tuesday in New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS - People across New Orleans Tuesday are marking the culmination of the Mardi Gras season with elaborate floats, eccentric costumes and marching bands.

See Full Article

Mardi Gras is the city's biggest tourist attraction, and thousands of people have converged on the city in recent weeks to see the elaborate parades, floats, marching bands and dance groups that wind through the city's streets.

WHAT ARE THE BIG PARADES?

The day kicks off with the Krewe of Zulu parade put on by the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club, a historically black organization in New Orleans. Their parade dates back to roughly 1910. Then the Rex Organization, which dates back to 1872, will take to the streets. Rex's history is closely tied with Mardi Gras traditions. For examples, Rex's colours - purple, green, and gold - have become the symbolic colours of Mardi Gras as well. After Rex comes two truck parades, also along St. Charles Ave. and that marks the end of the major parades in the city until next year.

WHAT KIND OF THINGS CAN PEOPLE CATCH?

Riders on the floats, who generally wear masks, throw beads or other specially made trinkets to people along the parade route. Families line up early along the side of the street or on the median - called the neutral ground in New Orleans - to get a good seat. Families often make specially designed ladders with seats attached on top for young children to sit in so they're better positioned to catch things. One especially prized "throw" are the coconuts given out by members of Zulu. The coconuts have been hollowed out and had the outside hair removed before they're specially decorated with glitter or elaborate designs. They generally are not thrown from the floats but rather gently handed off to lucky bystanders.

WHAT ELSE HAPPENS?

There are other events and Mardi Gras traditions taking place across the city. The North Side Skull & Bone Gang gathers early in the morning to wake local residents on Fat Tuesday. They dress as skeletons to remind people of their mortality. The Mardi Gras Indian tribes are another tradition in the city. Members of the tribes spend months preparing elaborate costumes resembling Native American dress and on Fat Tuesday they travel through various neighbourhoods, chanting and dancing to songs passed down through generations. And while much of the city's Mardi Gras activities are family-oriented, in the French Quarter many people will be partying and celebrating into the evening. After the celebration and revelry of Fat Tuesday is over, Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a solemn period of penance and spiritual renewal for many in this largely Catholic city.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Calgary man jailed for life after robbery turns deadly

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    It was supposed to be a robbery and assault, but it turned into murder. Those were the facts admitted Wednesday by Said Raed Abdulbaki, after he pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree murder. Reading from a statement of agreed facts, Crown prosecutor Rajbir Dhillon told Court of Queen's Bench Justice Craig Jones that Abdulbaki was present when David Quach, 27, was slain. Source
  • Key suspect in pricey Kentucky bourbon heist pleads guilty

    World News CTV News
    FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A rogue distillery worker at the centre of a bourbon-heist scheme that spirited away tens of thousands of dollars' worth of liquor has pleaded guilty in a case that has secured a place in Kentucky lore. Source
  • Grandmother and boyfriend plead not guilty in caged child case

    World News Toronto Sun
    RACINE, Wis. — A Wisconsin woman and her boyfriend have pleaded not guilty to locking her 9-year-old granddaughter in a basement kennel. Forty-six-year-old Gail Lalonde and 48-year-old Dale Deavers entered their pleas Wednesday in Racine County Circuit Court. Source
  • US$338M Powerball winner charged with sex assault of child

    World News Toronto Sun
    PATERSON, N.J. — A New Jersey man who once won a US$338-million Powerball jackpot has been charged with sexually assaulting a child. Pedro Quezada, of Wayne, was charged with sexual assault and endangering the welfare of a child. Source
  • 'Deeply sorry:' Calgary man regrets killing wife, burying body in home

    Canada News CTV News
    CALGARY -- A man who strangled his wife and buried her body in cement in the basement of their home told his sentencing hearing that he let "fear overwhelm his sense of right." Allan Shyback, 40, was found guilty of manslaughter last spring in the 2012 death of his wife Lisa Mitchell in the couple's Calgary home. Source
  • Dramatic rescue work in Mexico quake aftermath

    World News CBC News
    A magnitude 7.1 earthquake hit Mexico on Tuesday killing over 200 people, nearly half of them in the capital, 32 years to the day after a devastating 1985 quake. Rescuers formed human chains and dug to find dust-covered survivors and bodies in the remains of apartment buildings, schools and a factory. Source
  • Lynn Beyak given additional Senate duties amid uproar over her comments about First Nations

    Canada News CBC News
    A week after the Senate Conservative leader said Sen. Lynn Beyak would face consequences for her controversial comments about First Nations people, the northwestern Ontario senator has been given a new role on a Senate committee. Source
  • Ex-Mountie headed to U.S. prison for smuggling narwhal tusks

    World News Toronto Sun
    BANGOR, Maine — A retired Mountie accused of smuggling narwhal tusks was sentenced Wednesday to five years and two months in a U.S. prison for related money-laundering counts. Gregory Logan, 60, of Saint John, N.B., smuggled about 300 tusks valued at US$1.5 million to US$3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle, U.S. Source
  • California sues Trump administration to prevent border wall

    World News Toronto Sun
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California’s attorney general sued the Trump administration Wednesday over its plan to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, arguing it’s overstepping its authority by waiving environmental reviews and other laws. The suit filed by Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, makes arguments similar to those in a lawsuit brought last week by advocacy groups. Source
  • Battle against ISIS in Raqqa is in 'final stages,' force says

    World News CTV News
    BEIRUT -- The battle for the Islamic State group's de-facto Syria capital, Raqqa, has reached its "final stages," the Syrian Democratic Forces said Wednesday, almost four months after the U.S.-backed force launched an assault on the self-proclaimed capital of the militant group. Source