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.

Annual Carnival Review

February 18, 2018

Arthur Hardy's annual Carnival Review will be posted this Wednesday.

Post Mardi Gras Report

February 14, 2018

This weekend I will post my annual review of the Carnival season

From the City of New Orleans

In total, the NOPD made 471 arrests during the 2018 Mardi Gras season, compared to 373 during the 2017 Mardi Gras season. In addition, solid police work and proactive patrolling led to 96 illegal guns taken off the street.

The Real Time Crime Center worked 48 cases, including violent crimes and a suspected Driving While Intoxicated case, during the 2018 Mardi Gras season.


For the 2018 Mardi Gras season, the New Orleans Fire Department (NOFD) responded to 62 fires, and 1,163 medical and 732 other calls for service including nine working structure fires.

The NOFD also inspected 34 parades, which included: 973 traditional floats, 167 truck floats and 319 parade flambeauxs. The Department also inspected 85 mobile food vendors, 12 fixed food vendors for compliance by NOFD.

Additionally, the City utilized a Mardi Gras Information and Updates website at The site provided residents and visitors with safety regulations, enforcement policies, permitting information, and helpful suggestions, including interactive parade maps. The website received over 38,000 views in the 30 days before Fat Tuesday, up from 22,000 in 2017.


In addition to permanent “No Parking” signs posted along parade routes, the City installed approximately 3,000 temporary “No Parking” signs.

This year, the City issued 28,015 citations and towed 1,174 vehicles on parade days.


Over the Mardi Gras holiday, the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport experienced another year of increased passengers traveling through the airport. Over an eight-day period beginning Friday, Feb. 9 through Friday, Feb. 16, the airport expects to have had over 164,000 passengers depart, a 10 percent increase compared to 2017. Over 19,000 passengers were scheduled to depart New Orleans today, Feb. 14, as the Mardi Gras Season came to a close.

Mardi Gras Parade Preview

February 13, 2018

Well Fat Tuesday is finally here. A day full of parades commences as usual at 8:00 AM with the Zulu parade, which salutes the Tricentennial. Spike Lee rides as grand marshal, a role he played in 2003. Look for special floats that bear Zulu’s legendary characters—Big Shot, Witch Doctor, Ambassador, Governor, Mr. Big Stuff, Mayor, and Province Prince. Zulu’s 24 maids are also presented in the parade. The club’s members and their riding guests throw a wide assortment of Zulu-emblemed throws, but what we all really want is rthe most coveted catch of the season, the treasured Zulu coconuts, which are handed to lucky parade watchers.

At 10 AM, Rex‚ the oldest parading Carnival organization, presents its 137th parade which salutes the early days of the history of New Orleans with its theme L’Ancienne Nouevlle Orleans. The 27-float parade will be led by the United States Marine Corp Band and the Ross Volunteers of Texas A & M. The Butterfly King float returns, along with the iconic King’s float, the Jester, and Boeuf Gras floats. Rex throws tossed by the 455 riding members include float specific plush pillows, cups, and medallion necklaces and koozies. The parade also features a band contest.

In Metairie at 10 AM, it’s the 46th annual Argus parade that features more than 600 men, women, and children. The club owns all 20 of its floats. This year’s theme is Argus Under the Big Top. Emblemed throws in 2018 include queen’s dolls, a plush peacock named Gus and the new Argus kite ball.

If you simply cannot get enough of Carnival, stick around for the truck parades that follow Rex-the Elks Orleanians and Crescent City. And the truck parades that follow Argus in Metairie-the Elks Jeffersonians and the Krewe of Jefferson. Then start making plans for Mardi Gras 2019. Fat Tuesday is March 5.

Lundi Gras Parade Preview

February 12, 2018

On Lundi Gras you can watch both Zulu arrive by boat and Rex arrive by train near the Riverwalk, and then can see back-to-back parades that span two centuries of parading history.

One of the season’s prettiest parades is also one of the oldest. At 5:15 PM, the 230 men of Proteus are led by the captain on horseback followed by 34 riding lieutenants and 30 flambeaux. The 20-float procession has an interesting theme, Graces of the Gods for New Orleans. Royal Artists constructed the floats on chassis that date from the 1880s. The identity of the gentleman who portrays Proteus is never revealed to the public, but his magnificent seashell float is a thing of beauty. Try to catch the Proteus tridents, their seahorse medallions, and the Proteus plush LED flambeaux.

The Folly of Astroroth is the theme of the 2018 procession of Orpheus, the krewe that Harry Connick Jr. helped organize 25 years ago. (yes-He is riding this year). Keegan-Michael Key, an American actor, writer, and producer, will ride atop the Monarch float. The club of 1,400 male and female members will ride 38 floats, including two new entries—The Mystery and Magic of Carnival, and Rhythm, Rhyme & Revelry. Legendary signature floats include the Trojan Horse, Leviathan, Dolly Trolley, and the 8-unit Smokey Mary tandem float, which holds 230 riders. Expect a special tribute to the city’s Tricentennial. This year’s most collectible throws are LED Orpheus pillows and special 2.5” doubloons that salute musical legend, the late Pete Fountain. Other neat throws include Orpheus glitter facemasks and musical lyre wands. The post-parade Orpheuscapade inside the Morial Convention Center, where the parade ends, is named the NOLA 300 Jam Fest and features nine New Orleans acts.

Sunday Parade Preview

February 11, 2018

The Sunday parade calendar features four parades and starts early at 11 AM.

Travel with Okeanos is the theme of the 69th Okeanos procession. The 275-member club tosses crawfish trays, doubloons in several colors and sand pails from its 21 floats.

Though the club no longer parades through its namesake neighborhood, the Krewe of Mid-City remains a fan favorite with its unique tin foil covered floats. The theme of the 85th annual parade is Mid-City Touring Company. The 200 members throw plush fleur de lis, T-shirts, vinyl stress dolls, potato chips, and doubloons in several colors.

The krewe of Thoth, with a membership of more than 1,700 men and a procession of 38 floats, has become one of Carnival’s most anticipated events. The 71st anniversary parade is entitled, That’s the Way We Roll. Singer Luther Kent rides as Grand Marshal. Themed-related throws include Thoth toilet paper and plush “Thothie Rolls.” Other featured throws are fidget spinners, Fedora hats, and dice-shaped doubloons. Thoth should be saluted not only for its wonderful parade but also for its community outreach as it brings Carnival joy to shut-ins along the parade route.

Starting at 5:15 PM it’s Bacchus, the club that changed Mardi Gras when it debuted in 1969 and now has a membership of 1,600 men. Bacchus L, J.K. Simmons and 30 riding lieutenants lead the krewe’s colorful procession entitled, Bacchus Celebrates Its Golden Anniversary. Two new walking mascots debut this year, along with two new signature floats, the four-float tandem Baccaneer, and Baccakong, featuring three members of the Kong family. Among Bacchus’s many logo items are golden boxing gloves, lighted pirate books, and eye patches. The parade ends inside the Morial Convention Center where the Bacchus Rendezvous is staged

In Metairie there’s a triple-header starting with the Corps de Napoleon, which sadly lost its captain and founder last month. The group’s 300 male and female members roll at 4:30 with a 23-float parade entitled Napoleon’s Time Machine. The 38th annual procession includes several horse-drawn carriages and a band contest.

Following Napoleon is the fourth annual parade of the African-American Krewe of Athena, which used to parade on the first Friday night of the parade season. The krewe promises 335 members aboard 20 floats, whose parade theme is the longest of any this season—Athena Presents Hidden Figures–A Tribute to American Sheroes. Expect to catch fidgets spinner and the cub’s signature throw, the Fedora hat.

The female Krewe of Pandora returns to the parade calendar after a one-year hiatus. The 16-float parade features 200 members who will toss their signature item, hand-decorated boxes.

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