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Beads, balls, krewes and canines ... It’s carnival time!

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Children ride on shoulders to get better throws during last year's Krewe of Artemis parade in Baton Rouge.

On the water, off the water, people, cats, dogs, family-friendly, mature-themed, day, night — all of south Louisiana’s a parade between now and Fat Tuesday, Feb. 9. Yes, Mardi Gras arrives early this year, so all the fun has to be packed into a shorter span of time. That will require some planning.… Continue reading →

See Mardi Gras parade schedule, interactive map of routes in New Orleans

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The Krewe of Oshun parades with the theme ÒCarnival Around the World" with the Sophie B. Wright Charter School Marching Band on the Uptown Route during Carnival in New Orleans, La. Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

Sat, January 23, 2016 Krewe du Vieux (Mature themed) 6:30 p.m. French Quarter Sun, January 24, 2016 Little Rascals Noon Metairie Perseus 1:00 p.m. Slidell Fri, January 29, 2016 Cork 3:00 p.m. French Quarter… Continue reading →

Arthur Hardy: with 21 parades ready to roll, this weekend will set a Carnival record

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The Krewe of Oshun parades with the theme ÒCarnival Around the World" with Saints Super Fans on the Sheba Turk Grand Marshall float on the Uptown Route during Carnival in New Orleans, La. Friday, Feb. 6, 2015.

With Fat Tuesday so early this year, the official parade schedule starts in January. In all, 21 parades are set to roll this weekend in a four-parish area, an all-time record — in fact, more parades than on Mardi Gras weekend. “Carnival on the Square,” a series of pre-parade concerts in Lafayette Square across from Gallier Hall,… Continue reading →

Throw me something ... soft: Plush toys a growing trend for Mardi Gras; see what else you'll be catching in 2016

Advocate staff photo by John McCusker -- A sampling of carnival throws.

Carnival krewes are getting soft. It’s a good thing. But they’re still going for the bling, and that’s even better. “Riders are throwing plush things for day parades, and bright and shiny things for night parades,” says Dan Kelly of Beads by the Dozen, a major Carnival beads and merchandise supplier based in Harahan.… Continue reading →

New Orleans officially kicks off unusually short 2016 Carnival season

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ--Zulu Minister of Fun Larry Roy, in yellow coat, parades with fellow krewe members during the  King's Day celebration ceremonies marking the official beginning of Carnival Season in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016. The event was held at Mardi Gras World and Blaine Kern Studios. The event had a gathering of members of various metro area Mardi Gras Krewes along with some of their throws. The official poster from the Rex and the Zulu organizations were also unveiled and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu cut the first King Cake for the season. Landrieu is seen marching right behind Roy.

On your marks. Get set. Throw! Kicking off a Carnival season that will be a sprint to this year’s early Mardi Gras, Mayor Mitch Landrieu held the city’s formal celebration of Kings Day on Wednesday with a ceremonial cutting of king cake, the unveiling of the official proclamations and posters from the… Continue reading →

Throw us something this carnival season: How to get your Mardi Gras photos, stories in The Advocate

Mardi Gras beads

The Advocate will publish Mardi Gras ball stories from Carnival krewes in and around the Baton Rouge and Lafayette areas. Stories and photographs should be submitted by email to at least two weeks before the ball. If not possible, please contact features editor Karen Martin at or (225) 388-0378. Stories should… Continue reading →