Mardi Gras: a guide to five of the biggest New Orleans parades

Parades known as krewes form the backbones of the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans. Here are five of the biggest ones. 

By , Staff writer

4. Krewe of Orpheus

Founded by singer and New Orleans native Harry Connick Jr. in 1993, the Krewe of Orpheus rocketed to super krewe status its first year, boasting 700 float riders. It made history by being the first super krewe to include both men and women.

Today, the Krewe of Orpheus features 36 floats, including some of the most extravagant in the city. They include “Smoking Mary,” a steam locomotive; and the Leviathan, a massive float that was the first to use fiber-optic lighting.

Past celebrity guests have included Whoopi Goldberg, Toby Keith, and New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton. Orpheus heads into Uptown at 6 p.m. on Monday, featuring, among other celebrity marshals, ’80s pop star Cyndi Lauper.

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