A must-see on Mardi Gras, Rex, the King of Carnival, leads this organization’s all-male membership through the streets, in a parade reminiscent of the classic Carnival. The original floats, designed by Henri Schindler and the team at Kern studios, are rolling works of art. This year’s theme is All Creatures Great and Small, honoring everything from the mosquito to the Sphinx. Last year, the krewe’s first new signature float in many years, the Butterfly King, debuted to great acclaim, for its fanciful design and animated features. Founded in 1872, Rex (Latin for “King”) is credited with many Mardi Gras innovations, including the doubloon (which celebrates its 50th anniversary), Carnival’s colors (purple, green and gold), and anthem (“If Ever I Cease to Love”). In addition to the Captain and lieutenants on horseback, before the king’s float, look for signature floats like the Boeuf Gras, Jester float and His Majesty’s Bandwagon. The bandwagon is this year's choice for iconic float, to be featured on special cups and plush pillows. Also, riding lieutenants will hand out special Rex riding crops, a unique throw this year. The Rex web site features beautiful historic images and links to the krewe’s Rex in the Classroom project, which aims to educate local students and parade goers about the parade theme. Rex toasts his Queen at the Hotel Inter-Continental and then the monarchs and their court greet their subjects at the Sheraton Hotel for their ball on Mardi Gras evening, followed by the historic Meeting of the Courts of Rex and Comus, a tradition which dates back to 1882.