Beads by the Dozen
Experience the thrill of Mardi Gras all year at Beads by the Dozen where the you can purchase beautiful one-of-a-kind beads and collectables, as well as Louisiana keepsakes!
February 21-23, 2014
Celebrate Carnival: Parades, Concerts, Food, Art & Kids Activities!
Thanks to our Visitors & Locals for a Great 2014 Celebration
Mardi Gras in Jefferson
NOTE: Parade Schedule is subject to change
Mardi Gras is called "the biggest party on Earth" and Jefferson Parish is inviting you to that party! Spanning over two sides of the Mississippi River, the East Bank and the West Bank, Jefferson Parish offers Mardi Gras fun wherever you may be located. Come and experience the sites, the sounds, the food, the music, the parades and of course, the BEADS in this family friendly celebration of Mardi Gras. Starting on Friday, February 21, 2014 and going through until Fat Tuesday, March 4, 2014 you can experience parades, each with their own theme and "krewe". And, you don't want to miss Family Gras February 21-23; the music, food, art, and costuming family festival that has both locals and visitors buzzing. So come on down and become an official local when you celebrate Mardi Gras with thousands of your closest friends in Jefferson Parish.
Mardi Gras was brought to Louisiana by early French settlers. The first record of the holiday being marked in Louisiana is 1699. The starting date of festivities in New Orleans is unknown, but an account from 1743 notes that the custom of Carnival balls was already established by that date. Processions and masking in the streets on Mardi Gras Day took place, were sometimes prohibited by law, and were quickly renewed whenever such restrictions were lifted or enforcement waned , in 1833 Bernard Xavier de Marigny de Mandeville a rich plantation owner raised money to fund an official Mardi Gras celebration.
On Mardi Gras of 1857 the Mystic Krewe of Comus held its first parade. Comus is the oldest continuously active Mardi Gras organization and started a number of continuing traditions (for example, the use of floats in parades) and is considered the first Carnival krewe in the modern sense.
War, economic, political, and weather conditions sometimes led to cancellation of some or all major parades, especially during the American Civil War and World War II, but celebration of Carnival has always been observed in the city.
In 1979 the New Orleans police department went on strike. All the official parades were canceled or moved to surrounding communities such as Jefferson Parish. Significantly fewer tourists than usual came to the city. Masking, costuming, and celebrations continued anyway, with National Guard troops maintaining order. Guardsmen prevented crimes against persons or property but made no attempt to enforce laws regulating morality or drug use; for these reasons, some in the French Quarter bohemian community are fond of calling 1979 the city's best Mardi Gras ever.
Today, many krewes operate under a business structure; membership is basically open to anyone who pays dues to have a place on a parade float. In contrast, the old-line krewes use the structure of the parades and balls to extend the traditions of the debutante season in their social circles.
The effect of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in late 2005 caused many to question the future of the city's Mardi Gras celebrations. The city government, essentially bankrupt after the storm, pushed for a massively scaled back celebration to limit strains on city services. However, many Krewes insisted that they wanted to and would be ready to parade, so negotiations between krewe leaders and city officials resulted in a compromise schedule scaled back but less severely than originally suggested.
The 2006 New Orleans Carnival schedule included restrictions placed on time parades can be on the street and how late at night they can end. Louisiana State troopers and National Guards assisted with crowd control for the first time since 1979. Many floats had been partially submerged in the floodwaters for weeks; while some krewes repaired and removed all traces of these effects, others incorporated flood lines and other damage into the designs of the floats. Most of the locals who worked on the floats and rode on them were significantly impacted by the storm's aftermath, and many had lost most or all of the possessions in their homes, but enthusiasm for Carnival was even more intense than usual as an affirmation of life.
The Colors of Mardi Gras
The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. These are said to have been chosen in 1892, when the Rex Parade theme "Symbolism of Colors" gave the colors their meanings.
Purple - Justice Green - Faith Gold - Power
Calling all middle school and high school bands!
Come participate in a new and exciting contest for Metairie Carnival 2014. Rhythm on the Route (Metairie's Battle of the Bands) will award prize money and bragging rights to the top three bands of each Metairie parade.
First Place: $3,000
Second Place: $2,000
Third Place: $1,000
Take advantage of the great opportunity to have your marching band perform in Jefferson Parish parades during our fun and festive carnival season.
Contact Magan Adams today to learn about performance
opportunities for your marching band.
Traditional King Cake
Haydel's Bakery creating traditional Mardi Gras King Cakes for over 50 years! Shipping also available so you can share with your friends back home.
Krewe of Argus
Krewe of Caesar
Krewe of Adonis Revelers!
Krewe of Excalibur
The Jefferson Parish Parade Routes
Eastbank (Metairie) Route #1
Little Rascals Parade Route:
Eastbank (Metairie) Route #2
Traditional King Cake
Haydel's BakeryHaydel's Bakery creating traditional Mardi Gras King Cakes for over 50 years! Shipping also available so you can share with your friends back home.
Eastbank (Metairie) Route #1