Monica Hernandez / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS - From an "Arabi Spring" to "The One Percent," the politically charged, often naughty Krewe du Vieux was out in full force Saturday night.
It's 16 subkrewes presented their own spin on this year's theme, "Crimes Against Nature."
Thousands lined the streets of the Marigny and the French Quarter to watch.
"This is the only Mardi Gras parade I really like a lot," said spectator Neti Vaan. "I think its just so much creativity and political satire, it's great."
Throughout the week, forecasters predicted the first major parade of New Orleans' carnival season could get drenched.
"We had contingency plans, and we were thinking it might get rained out," said spectator David Wright, a New Orleans native who was hosting out-of-towners for the weekend.
But an earlier downpour meant the rain was long gone by the time the parade rolled.
"It's going to hold up for us. We're the luckiest Krewe in Mardi Gras," said William Holiday, a member of Krewe Rue Bourbon.
"Look, there's blue skies," said Mike Cafferata, a member of the Krewe Mama Roux. "The moon is out."
Many involved in the parade said they knew it would be a hit this year, rain or shine.
"So 'Crimes Against Nature,' Mother Nature has shined on us tonight," said Krewe du Vieux's 2012 queen Deon Haywood, executive director of Women with a Vision.
Many krewe members said they brought a poncho or two, but planned to roll regardless, as they have in years past.
"The last [year] it rained really hard we [dressed as] cockroaches and we ended the night eating Popeye's fried chicken on Canal Street with soggy antennas," laughed Mark Monte, a member of Krewe Mama Roux.
And for the second year in a row, no cold-weather gear was needed. Parade-goers said it's a promising kick-off to the height of carnival season, and the best possible scenario for one of the most unique parades of all.
"We come to this every year," said Joe McGuinness, a New Yorker who spends winters in Bay St. Louis. "It's always a ball. It's just a little, a little different then the rest."
"Its a great time for all," said Debbie Park, a member of Krewe Rue Bourbon. "Its a good time to express yourself and have a great time in the city."
After the parade finished, the partying was just getting started.
Krewe du Vieux Doo is the Krewe's after-party. It features live music and proceeds go to charity. It began at 9:00 PM at 2830 Royal Street.