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Parade Planner: Easter in the Quarter

Four parades are rolling through the Quarter on Easter Sunday. The National Weather Service (NWS) is prediting scattered thunderstorms all day, but as of press time, the processions are on rain or shine.
Details about the Ostara Parade, Historic French Quarter Easter Parade, Chris Owens Easter Parade, and the Gay Easter Parade follow below.


Ostara Parade (Starts on the Moon Walk/Jackson Square, sunrise)

Welcome the day with this under-the-radar dawn parade on the Mississippi. It will be led by the enigmatic goddess of Ostara, who encourages paraders to "pull yourselves up by your wigcombs! Don ye now pastel mascara! Slap that third eye awake! Throw some glitter on those wounds! Make or break that boiled egg! It's time to rise again!" The parade will be followed by brunch around 9AM at Clouet Gardens in the Bywater, naptime in Armstrong Park at noon, and the krewe will attend the Gay Easter Parade later on (details below). 



Historic French Quarter Easter Parade (Starts at Antoine's Restaurant., 9:30AM) 

The oldest Easter parade in the city, the Historic French Quarter Easter Parade has delighted crowds for more than 60 years, and holds true the traditions of grandeur and elegance here in New Orleans. Ladies wear the best of their Sunday best and don beautifully ornate bonnets, while the men dapperly dress to impress. They fill horse-drawn carriages and convertibles, winding through the Vieux Carre distributing plush bunnies and eggs from ornately decorated Easter baskets.


This traditional parade begins at Antoine’s for breakfast, bloody marys and brandy punches where the ladies compete in three couture contests, being judged in the categories of Best Chapeaux (Hat), Best Basket and Best Overall Outfit. Then, the carriage-bound revelers to St. Louis Cathedral for Easter Mass. After the celebration and promenade in Jackson Square, the parade resumes and heads back to Antoine's.



Chris Owens Easter Parade (1:00PM, Starts at St. Louis and Royal)

Another spot to check out hats, Chris Owens' 34th annual Easter march makes a loop around the Quarter that starts and ends outside the Omni Royal Orleans Hotel. Owens herself is Grand Duchess of the parade, and she'll be dressed with bonnet and suit to celebrate the day. Expect marching bands and throws.




Gay Easter Parade (4:30PM, Starts at N. Rampart & Dumaine) 

The French Quarter's thriving gay community takes a trip through the heart of the Quarter to show off their finest Easter ensembles. The parade returns this year with plenty of throws. And remember, no nudity allowed (if you're riding).


The 18th annual parade will be led by Easter Grand Marshals XVIII Glen Kahrman and Bootsie DeVille. For lagniappe, the entire affair is a fundraiser for NPO’s Food For Friends and the NO/AIDS Task Force. To date, the parades have generated almost 265,000 dollars for charity.


Map courtesy of Gay Easter Parade

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