Dominic Massa / Eyewitness News
Carnival 2012 is poised to be as big if not bigger than the celebration last year which, by all accounts, was nothing short of phenomenal for the city.
Celebrities will bring attention, not to mention they will be a fun draw for locals who of course are really what the celebration is all about. Hit comedian Will Ferrell should prove to be a popular Bacchus monarch. Orpheus has Cyndi Lauper and Bret Michaels as its celebrity guests; Endymion has Anderson Cooper and Maroon 5; and Muses will have native daughter and Academy Award-nominated actress Patricia Clarkson as its honored “EveryMuse.”
No doubt hoping to duplicate the success of the women of Muses, New Orleans has a new all-female krewe, parading on the Wednesday before Fat Tuesday. The Krewe of Nyx follows the Ancient Druids parade on Feb. 15 on the Uptown route.
Two suburban krewes celebrate their 40th anniversaries this year: the all-female krewe of Isis (which parades on Feb. 18) and Argus, the Fat Tuesday favorite. Argus will host Sheriff Newell Normand as its king this year. Houma and the North Shore also continue to have active parade schedules this year.
Endymion is pumped for its “Domecoming,” marking the return of the post-parade Extravaganza to the Superdome. The event, and the end of the parade, was moved to the Morial Convention Center last year because of renovations to the dome. Several special throws will depict the "domecoming" theme.
Look for Endymion, Bacchus and Orpheus to once again step up their game in terms of float themes and float designs. Bacchus has two new tandem floats and an expanded Bacchagator float. Orpheus is promising a retouched Smokey Mary float this year, for example. Satire should be stronger than ever from D’Etat, Chaos and Muses. Some of the old-line krewes are also not to be missed, since they make it a priority to present a parade that is an artistic experience as well as a fun time. That includes Rex, Proteus and Hermes, all of which have presented beautiful parades in recent years.
Lundi Gras continues to grow, with Rex and Zulu promising big riverfront events on the Monday before the big day, including live music and a fireworks display over the river at 6 p.m.
Before then we have several weeks of king cakes, parties and more parades than you can count – all to prepare us for the big day – Feb. 21.