While major Mardi Gras krewes like Endymion and Bacchus or iconic krewes like Muses, Zulu, or Krewe du Vieux may be best known, New Orleans is home to many smaller krewes that offer a unique Mardi Gras experience, if you know where to look. They generally parade through the French Quarter and/or the nearby Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods, so if you’re staying in a French Quarter hotel, you won’t have far to travel to see them. Here are seven smaller Mardi Gras “micro-krewes” you may consider checking out during your stay.
Following behind Krewe du Vieux is a newer satirical krewe, krewedelusion, which traverses the French Quarter and Marigny neighborhoods and is comprised of many smaller “innerkrewes,” most of which march or dance in vibrant costumes, including the Bearded Oysters, Pussyfooters, Noisician Coalition, and Camel Toe Lady Steppers.
Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus
A number of sub-krewes featuring all things Star Wars-related, from Stormtroopers to Princess Leias, march through the Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods along with other similar cultural icons, like Star Wars and Doctor Who, to the delight of sci-fi fans citywide.
The Mystic Krewe of Barkus
This one’s for the dogs—dog lovers will fawn over the parade of pups that march through the French Quarter in unforgettable costumes to benefit local and regional animal organizations.
With practice gained from making float dioramas out of shoeboxes as kids, the krewe of ‘tit Rex is a full parade of these miniature representations of Mardi Gras floats, some of which toss tiny throws to boot along its route through the Marigny.
Krewe of Cork
Wine lovers can enjoy an entire walking parade dedicated to the appreciation of vino through wine and grape-themed costumes and participants’ custom goblets. It parades on the Canal St side of the French Quarter between Iberville St and the far end of Jackson Square.
Red Beans Parade
Enamored with the local staple, the Red Beans Parade features floats and costumes donned with red beans to express a love for this beloved New Orleans culinary tradition and marches through the Marigny, up Esplanade Ave past the N Rampart St border of the French Quarter and into the Treme neighborhood.
Society of St. Anne
This marching club parades through the Bywater, Marigny, and French Quarter on Mardi Gras day and welcomes any costumed participant who wants to join in the fun, no registration or krewe dues required.
You can find still more smaller krewes if you ask around, but these are a great place to start if you’re curious about what the other side of Mardi Gras looks like.
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