Ever sit on the parade route on Mardi Gras Day and wonder what’s taking the parade so long?
Chances are, the parade you’re waiting for is taking a stop somewhere. The biggest parades on Mardi Gras Day stop at multiple locations for toasts that pay homage to the krewe’s history.
Krewe of Rex
The Rex toast at this home pays respect to former monarchs of the organization. Multiple generations of the same family have lived in the home, and in 1907, owner Robert Downman reigned as Rex. At least five of its residents have reigned as the King of Carnival.
We offer condolences to the Grace family on the loss of their home at 2525 St Charles Ave. Designed by Thomas Sully & built around 1885, the home saw generations of the same family. https://t.co/s1eqOuqTP6 pic.twitter.com/ASt56aZqam
— THNOC (@visit_thnoc) February 20, 2019
According to Heather Green with the Historic Collection of New Orleans, the parade would stop along St. Charles at the homes of former kings and queens to toast them. However, in a 2001 book by author Kerri McCafferty, the mansion is said to be the only remaining home of a former Rex on the parade route. Houses of former royalty are identified by a specific flag.
The mansion was the site of a seven-alarm fire early Wednesday morning, but Rex officials said despite that home’s condition, the parade will continue to stop there and toast.
MORE: Historic St. Charles Avenue mansion, Carnival icon, lost in blaze
Here, Rex greets the Queen of Carnival and the court. The official toast used to happen at the Boston Club on Canal Street but was moved in 1991.
Dooky Chase Restaurant
Every year, Zulu follows a different route than most parades, veering off in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Treme and disbanding near the Zulu Club’s headquarters. Louis Armstrong was the first Zulu king to stop in front of the restaurant during the parade in 1949 to toast the Chase Family, and the tradition remains to this day.
This historic building once served as City Hall and is where the viewing stand is located for city officials, including the mayor. Here both krewes toast the mayor, with the Krewe of Zulu going first, followed by Rex.