Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide contains 172 colorful pages of facts, photos, features, and fun, including more than 50 individual parade profiles and maps. The award-winning magazine includes a history of the event; answers to the 25 most frequently asked questions; an illustrated glossary of Mardi Gras terms; and articles on New Orleans personalities, traditions and happenings. For more than three decades, the city's top writers and photographers have worked together to create a publication that has achieved genuine collectible status. With more than two million copies sold, Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide is recognized as the program to the event.

Mardi Gras 2018 is February 13, 2018!


To order current or back issues, visit our online store.

Posted: January 20, 2017

My Q&A segments for FOX 8 TV can now be seen at

According to the Louisiana SPCA, there have been many reports of dog bites along parade routes in recent years. Though few people seem to know,
dogs are not allowed at Mardi Gras parades.

Ordinance 17271 MCS 18-14 section (e) states "no dogs are allowed within 200 yards of any parade route one hour before, during, or one hour after a scheduled parade." Exceptions are "dogs in parades in which dogs are the main attraction or sole participants (BARKUS), dogs confined on the property of their owners, dogs assigned to law enforcement canine units, seeing-eye dogs and/or dogs assisting physically challenged individuals."

The Times-Picayune reported today that a decision is expected soon on the amount of funding FEMA will provide for repairs to the Municipal Auditorium, which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina. From 1931-2005, the building was the site of countless Carnival balls.

The Pussyfooters Blush Ball to benefit the Metropolitan Center for Women and Children will be held Friday January 20 at 9 PM at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive, New Orleans. Blush Ball tickets are currently available from your favorite Pussyfooter or on-line at

Homeland Security of New Orleans will be carefully monitoring any use of drones flying over parades this Carnival season, making certain that any such devices are duly licensed and obey all rules.

The Choctaw River Parade will now embark from the Creole Queen terminal near the foot of Canal St. at Spanish Plaza. The boarding time remains at 10:00 AM. This event is open to the public by paid admission.


Family Gras-Carnival Music Festival Celebrates 10 Year Milestone
Multiplatinum award winning pop group Fifth Harmony, country-music chart topper Lee Brice, iconic entertainer Tony Orlando, and country music singer/songwriter and style entrepreneur Jessie James Decker will rock Family Gras' 10th anniversary concert this February.

Fifth Harmony, an American girl group comprised of Ally Brooke, Normani Kordei, Dinah Jane, and Lauren Jauregui, achieved rapid success. In their short five-year history, the group has won some of the industry’s biggest honors including an American Music Award, a People’s Choice Award, an iHeartRadio Music Award, seven Teen Choice Awards, and three MTV Video Music Awards. One of the members of Fifth Harmony, Normani Kordei, grew up in New Orleans, Louisiana, before being forced by Hurricane Katrina to move to Texas in 2005. Said event producer Greg Buisson, "This is Fifth Harmony's first New Orleans-area concert ever. Their loyal army of Harmonizers will electrify Family Gras. We are excited to host them this Carnival."
Family Gras will open on Friday February 17 with swamp/pop locals Creole String Beans followed by two national Billboard top bands from the 60s, The Cowsills and The Association. Saturday’s stage will feature former Disney rockers Imagination Movers, followed by energetic punk/pop foursome Paris Avenue, trombone powerhouse Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and returning to the Family Gras stage will be Grammy-nominated singer Tony Orlando, who was a part of the inaugural festival, and Fifth Harmony. Sunday is country music day at Family Gras with local rock band Rougarou, Louisiana singer/songwriter Jenna Hunts, Epic Records (Sony) recording artist Jessie James Decker, and Billboard chart-topper Lee Brice.
The 10th edition of Family Gras will begin at 5:30 PM on Friday, February 17th and end on Sunday, February 19th. According to Violet Peters, CEO of the Jefferson Convention & Visitors Bureau, "We are expecting one of our largest crowds to date. Our talent lineup is always unique and varied. …Family Gras has a very diverse and devoted fan base that appeals to any age."

Family Gras is a three-day festival of Carnival, cuisine, and concerts that is free to the public. Family Gras has revolutionized the first weekend of Carnival in Metairie and helped brand the Jefferson Carnival experience as a family event. The festival, produced by the tourism bureau, has attracted as many as 100,000 festivalgoers over its three-day weekend with an economic impact of more than $6.8 million. The event is presented in part by First NBC.

Krewe of Muses Fund Raiser
The Krewe of Muses kicked off its 2017 Annual Parade Ride eBay Auction. Join the Goddesses for a once-in-a-lifetime chance for a woman (over 18 years of age) to ride in the all-female Krewe of Muses Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

Muses' past auctions have attracted tremendous internet attention and bidding wars. "The mission of our Krewe has always been to share the Muses Mardi Gras and philanthropic spirit with New Orleanians and lovers of New Orleans - near and far," said Krewe Captain Staci Rosenberg.
Bypass the 100+ women who have been waiting for years to ride in New Orleans' most popular parade, while raising money for a worthy cause. Prize includes a priceless ride and an unforgettable experience, plus costume, mask, entry to the riding-member-only pre-party beginning at 2:00 PM and post-parade AMUSEment party. Throws, which cost approximately $1,000, must be purchased separately. Select 2017 Muses throws are still available.
Bidding begins Tuesday, January 17, and ends Friday, January 27 at 7 PM. To go directly to the auction, click here.

Proceeds from the auction go to the Gleason Initiative Foundation (aka Team Gleason), founded by former Saints' football player Steve Gleason after his diagnosis of ALS. The Gleason Initiative Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation with the mission to help provide individuals with neuromuscular diseases or injuries with leading edge technology, equipment and services and to assist sufferers pursue extraordinary life adventures despite their illness.

Posted: January 17, 2017

While some pretty good parades are presented within the next 30 days, January 17 marks one month from start of the official parade season. In Orleans and Jefferson Parishes, a whole different set of rules and regulations kick in on Friday, February 17 when Mardi Gars parades start.


Carnival lost another key player with last week's death of Mardi Gras veteran ADAM MEHN, who was the founder and captain of the Metairie-based Krewe of Aquila, which paraded from 1977 until 2008.

Jefferson Parish's annual CARNIVAL KICK OFF PARTY is set for Friday, January 27 from 6-8 PM at Mardi Gras Plaza on the neutral ground of Veterans at Severn by the Blue Dog statue. Details will be announced soon.

Several captains have complained about the negative impact the NBA ALL-STAR GAME is having on Carnival. Airline and hotel room availability and rates have kept some out-of-town riders from being able to participate in some parades this year. Limousines and police escorts will also be in short supply.

Concerns about construction on Jefferson Avenue and Napoleon Avenue affecting parades are evaporating as parade time nears.


The 4th ANNUAL KING CAKE FESTIVAL, a FREE event benefiting Ochsner Hospital for Children, will take place Sunday, January 29, 2017 in Champions Square (Mercedes-Benz Superdome). Celebrity judges will award "best of" in several categories and one lucky bakery will be named the People's Choice by fest-goers. Before King Cake Festival opens, attendees can work off the king cake calories with the 4.5k 'Rep Run' (2.8 mile run plus nine unique workout stations with 25 reps each) & the Family Fun Run/Walk (1 mile around the Superdome). Prizes awarded to top male and female finishers, best costumes and best-decorated stroller. Proceeds from the event benefit Ochsner Hospital for Children.

On January 29, the morning opens at 8:00 a.m. with pre-registration for the Rep Run (9:00 start) and Fun Run (9:45 start). King Cake Fest itself begins at 10:00 a.m. and closes at 4:00 p.m.

For more information, to purchase tasting tickets, or to register for the pre-Fest Rep Run and Fun Run, visit or call 504-842-7113.

A mechanical bull, a bourbon tasting, a silent auction and good times are on the program for "Corsets and Cowboys," a fundraising party sponsored by the Mystic Krewe of Nyx to benefit The Autism Society of Greater New Orleans on Saturday, January 21 from 7 PM to 10:30 PM at Generations Hall, 310 Andrew Higgins Drive in New Orleans.

Single tickets are $75; $135 per couple and are available at this link.
Tables are available for purchase. For more info: Cheryl Braud, or call 504-261-5905. Attendees must be 21 & over. ID is required for entry. Beer, wine, soft drinks, and food are included. Other liquors are available for purchase at the event.



PARADE INFO: Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave's (VKV) Second Virtual Parade rolls at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21.

PARADE THEME: "Tomorrow, The Future." Eighteen floats will be themed by year from 1983 to 2001, each float representing VKV's vision for the future, as imagined from 1983.

PARADE FORMAT: This year's parade is a multiplayer video game. Users will download the game for Mac or PC, create a character, observe the parade, chat with other users and collect throws. The game will be available for download at at 7 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 21. The parade will roll at 8 p.m.

PARADE THROWS: Game-players can collect throws that will be launched from floats within the game environment, manage the throws in an inventory system, and choose which throws they would like their characters to wear. Of the hundreds of throws that will be distributed, 32 may be exchanged for real-life 3D printed keepsakes that can be redeemed at local businesses the day after the parade.

KREWE INFO: VKV is a pseudonymous collective of artists, coders and culture hackers from New Orleans and the internet. VKV debuted Tuesday, February 2, 2016, streaming its First Annual Virtual Parade on Twitch. The Virtual Parade -- the first of its kind -- was an Official Selection at the 2016 New Orleans Film Festival, where its three-day run was projection-mapped on the May Gallery's exterior as part of Cinema Reset. It was also screened at NOizefest 2016.

Posted: January 09, 2017

The day started with the MAYOR'S ANNUAL CARNIVAL KICK-OFF PARTY and king cake cutting ceremony at Mardi Gras World. Representatives from Rex and Zulu presented His Honor with their official posters. Rex saluted the ST. AUGUSTINE BAND on the 50th anniversary of their first appearance in the Rex parade.

That evening, because of freezing rains, ST. JOAN OF ARC wisely pushed their parade to Saturday. The annual TWELFTH NIGHT REVELERS walking parade from Antoine's on the way to their ball at the Ritz did take place. Only a handful of people gathered to ask for doubloons and to see the Lord of Misrule on his white horse. The PHUNNY PHORTY PHELLOWS PARADE did roll as scheduled, but not from Willow Street as usual, but from the Jeannette Street exit of the uptown car barn.

The NOT SO SECRET SOCIETY OF THE ELYSIAN FIELDS rolled at 7:30 PM on the new Rampart-St. Claude line.

The KREWE OF STARS hosted the Twelfth Night Mardi Gras Extravaganza and the grand opening of THE MARDI GRAS MUSEUM OF COSTUMES AND CULTURE, at 1010 Conti in the French Quarter.

The following evening, Saturday, January 7, on the Northshore in downtown Covington, the ST. JOHN'S FOOLS OF MISRULE marched.


Carnival lost two important figures this past week-Krewe of Tucks co-founder and co-captain BOBBY REICHERT and long-time Jefferson Parish Parade Coordinator HENRY TRAPANI.

On January 12, 2017, 7 PM, at the NEW ORLEANS ART CENTER, 3330 St. Claude Avenue, a special new event will be staged-an art installation imagining an interaction between Alexander the Great and the Carnival culture of New Orleans with a preview party, (black tie, toga or costume), honoring the Royalty of the Courts of the Krewes and marching clubs, primarily of Downtown New Orleans, and benefiting the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. (The Creative Alliance is a non-profit benefitting local artists.) Tickets are $35 in advance or $50 at the door, and at

The HISTORIC NEW ORLEANS COLLECTION will once again offer a Carnival-themed tour of its Louisiana History Galleries at 533 Royal St. "Rites, Rituals and Revelry" tours began on Friday, Jan. 6, the first official day of the Carnival season. Each tour lasts approximately one hour and is available at 11 A.M. Tuesday-Sunday, until Feb. 24. Admission is $5 or free for THNOC members. Free self-guided tours of THNOC's Louisiana History Galleries are available Tuesday-Saturday, 9:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M., and Sunday, 10:30 A.M.-4:30 P.M.

According to their press release, the VIRTUAL KREWE OF VAPORWAVE announces its 2017 court and IRL Ball which will be held Saturday, February 4, at Daiquiri Lounge (4201 Washington Ave.) Cover is $10. Doors open at 9 P.M. The Virtual Krewe of Vaporwave (VKV), a pseudonymous collective of artists, musicians, coders, and culture hackers from New Orleans and the Internet, is New Orleans's first and only virtual Mardi Gras krewe.

It was my pleasure to serves as one of the judges for the KREWE OF CARROLLTON'S DECORATED SHRIMP BOOT CONTEST. Some 6,000 boots will be handed out at this year's parade.

On Saturday, January 21, 2017, the MYSTIC KREWE OF NYX will host Corsets & Cowboys, a fundraiser benefiting the Autism Society of Greater New Orleans. The event will be at Generations Hall from 7:00 P.M.-10:30 P.M. Tickets available at

Posted: January 04, 2017

On Friday look for me live on Fox 8 in studio during the 8 AM morning show, and during the 4 PM and 5 PM newscasts at the start of the Phunny Phorty Phellows parade at the Willow Street car barn.

I’ll also be live on FaceBook with @The New Orleans Advocate at the Carnival kickoff at Mardi Gras World (9:50 a.m.) and the annual PPP streetcar ride (6:30 p.m.). Follow along for behind-the-scenes coverage!


In addition to the very private ball of the TWELFTH NIGHT REVELERS, several public events mark the official opening of the Carnival Season-King's Day- January 6.

PizzaNola at 141 West Harrison Avenue is hosting a King Cake Party 7-9 AM with live music from Benny Grunch and the Bunch, free breakfast from BAWK, coffee from Coast Roast, and the grand arrival of the King Cake from Dong Phuong Bakery.

At 10 AM at Mardi Gras World, MAYOR MITCH LANDRIEU, along with officials from all 34 Orleans Parish parading krewes, will kick off the Carnival season with a press conference and king cake cutting ceremony. The Mayor will be presented official posters from Rex and Zulu, and the St. Aug Marching 100 will perform.

The PHUNNY PHORTY PHELLOWS roll along the St. Charles line in a vintage green Perley Thomas streetcar on Friday, January 6, at 7 P.M., accompanied by the Storyville Stompers Brass Band. The ride is scheduled to run from the Willow Street Car Barn, just off South Carrollton Avenue, and go all the way downtown to Canal Street and back.

On that same Twelfth Night evening, also at 7 PM, the JOAN OF ARC walking parade will begin in the French Quarter at Toulouse and Decatur, ending at Washington Artillery Park, just across from Jackson Square. The procession includes krewe members in medieval costumes and armor, horse- back riders, dance troupes and angels, all recounting the story of the saint’s brief but eventful life.

Also on Twelfth Night, the new "NOT SO SECRET SOCIETY OF THE ELYSIAN FIELDS" rolls at 7:30 PM on the new Rampart-St. Claude line, with King Charles Rogers reigning. They will leave the Elysian Fields Station at Elysian Fields and St. Claude, and go to Union Station and back again. Riding as special guest will be the perennial symbol of the season, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson, who will also perform at the ball, joining the Davis Rogan Band for dancing and dining in the Back Room at Buffa’s following the street car ride.

The KREWE OF STARS hosts the Twelfth Night Mardi Gras Extravaganza and the grand opening of the Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 7-10 PM at 1010 Conti in the French Quarter.

The following evening, Saturday, January 7, on the Northshore in downtown Covington, the ST. JOHN’S FOOLS OF MISRULE will march at 6 PM down E. Lockwood Street to the Covington Trailhead. Accompanied by the Big Fun Jazz Band, the costumed maskers will include flambeaux carriers and fire breathers and will also celebrate the group’s favorite fermented beverage, beer.


On January 12, 2017, 7 PM, at the NEW ORLEANS ART CENTER, 3330 St. Claude Avenue, a special new event will be staged-an art installation imagining an interaction between Alexander the Great and the Carnival culture of New Orleans with a preview party, (black tie, toga or costume), honoring the Royalty of the Courts of the Krewes and marching clubs, primarily of Downtown New Orleans, and benefiting the Creative Alliance of New Orleans. (The Creative Alliance is a non-profit benefitting local artists.) Tickets are $35 in advance or $50 at the door,

Happy New Year!
Posted: January 01, 2017

Now let real the celebration begin-It’s Carnival Time!

I will soon post my annual Twelfth Night preview.

The 2017 Mardi Gras Guide began distribution on December 21 and all pre-orders have been mailed. We try to ship all PayPal orders the same day they are received and single copies are shipped via first class mail

Within the next ten days, our new MARDI GRAS GUIDE APP will launch. Available on iPhone and GooglePlay for only 99 cents, the 2017 App will allow Mardi Gras fans to bring the magazine to the parades on their tablets and smart phones. The new App includes up-the-the-minute updates and also provides live links to nearly 100 krewes and advertisers.

Stay tuned!

Arthur Hardy

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