Inside the preparation of Mardi Gras floats

In late December, members of the Krewe of Orion headed to a warehouse in St. Gabriel to start prepping floats for the Mardi Gras season. Colin Coates, son of krewe captain Darren Coates, carries bags of beads and throws to fill the floats.


Known for its oversized floats in the style of New Orleans’ major parades, the all-male Krewe of Orion rolls through downtown Feb. 11 at 6:30 p.m., ending inside the Raising Cane’s River Center for the masquerade ball.


Members volunteer each year in the weeks leading up to the parade to help paint and make repairs to the floats as well as load them up with all the necessities for the three- to four-hour parade route. Krewe captain Darren Coates (in black) says the prep days at the warehouse—what they call the Orion den—are sort of like a reunion party for members before Carnival season begins.

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This article was originally published in the February 2017 issue of 225 Magazine.