Carnival gets serious tonight, with Wednesday night's prime pairing kicking off the six day marathon leading up to the grand finale of Mardi Gras. Starting at 6:30PM, the Krewe of Ancient Druids and the Krewe of Nyx traverse the Uptown route. Here is everything you need to know about the routes, weather, and details for tonight's parades.
After a few years of poor weather, the forecast is looking up for tonight's riders. According to the National Weather Service, there is a less-than 1% chance of rain today or tonight. The agency predicts daytime temps in the mid to high 60’s. Overnight, the forecast calls for lows dipping into the high 50's.
First on the route is one of the most secretive Mardi Gras organizations. The Krewe of Ancient Druids keep their theme close to the vest until parade time, and never unveil the identity of their king, the Archdruid. They don't even bother to get gussied up for a ball, and limit membership to 200 riders.
Nevertheless, the group's history still reveals their commitment to Carnival joy. The krewe was formed in 1998 by a group of riding veterans who wanted a parade to roll down St. Charles Ave. on the Wednesday before Mardi Gras.
To find out their secrets, you'll have to head to the route, which begins at the corner of Magazine St. and Jefferson Ave. before heading for Napoleon and St. Charles:
View Krewe of Ancient Druids in a larger map
After the Druids, the Mystic Krewe of Nyx are set for their sixth ride down St. Charles. The all-female krewe is set to bestow their hand-decorated purses upon the masses, with new throws to fly from the floats this year.
Grammy award-winning artist Irma Thomas, the "Soul Queen of New Orleans," will serve as Grand Marshal this year, and will lead the more than 2,200 riders along the route.
Like Druids, they'll line up at Napoleon and Jefferson. Here's the route (same as Druids, but more colorful):