Orpheus: A Parade with a Musical Pedigree!

Mardi Gras 2021

NEW ORLEANS—Any musician knows that there simply can’t be a parade without the downbeat of a drum. Music is an essential component to Carnival, whether New Orleans or Rio De Janeiro. The Krewe of Orpheus was started by one of the most influential musicians in the city.

According to Greek mythology, Orpheus was a legendary hero who was filled with the power of music that was celebrated by all who heard it.

February 14, 1994, the first parade of Krewe of Orpheus rolled through the streets of the Crescent city. It was a festive crew that was co-founded by a former New Orleans district attorney and his son, Harry Connick Jr. Like the God Orpheus, Harry Connick Jr. is filled with the power of music that is celebrated by all who hears it.

The combination of celebrity, music, a vast array of colorful floats, fiber optic lighting, signature light-up throws and three different types of doubloons; have made Orpheus one of the most popular and festive krewes of Mardi Gras.

The krewe’s membership includes 15 hundred male and female riders from all walks of life. The krewe was established as an organization who is open to anyone of “good character and spirited personality.”

The theme of diversity was continued with an eclectic list of celebrity monarchs who have reigned through the years. Stevie wonder, Debbie Allen, Quincy Jones, Sandra Bulloch, Bryan Cransten, Sean Payton and Reggie Bush have ridden in the parade.

Orpheus’ motto is summed up in three words: rhythm, rhyme and revelry!


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