The Fools and Jewels of this krewe march through historic St. John District of old Covington (1813) on Saturday closest to Twelfth Night (Jan. 6), also known as The Epiphany or King's Day. The organization's rituals are derived from an ancient English men's group that clamored along the evening streets creating unruliness with cowbells and whips while delivering jeers and spankings to those caught on the street unaware. The Fools of Misrule integrated into its name homage to the streets where it conducts its bawdy procession. Led by a “Lord of Misrule,” flambeaux and a brass band starting at Seiler Bar (434 N. Columbia Street), revelers follow a route along Lockwood St. west to the Covington Trailhead, south on New Hampshire St. to Boston, north along Columbia St. to end back at Seiler, stopping at watering holes and restaurants along the way. Their slogan: Vivere Vitam Omnino! – Live Life Completely!
Founded in 1965, this 300+-member Krewe is the oldest in St. Tammany. Keeping the identity of King Zeus a secret, members ride on floats, trucks, and horses interspersed with marching bands from across the Northshore. Features dozens of floats with lighted throws, the marching bands, and special appearances. Starts in front of St. Tammany Parish Justice Center on Columbia St. and follows a route along Hwy 21/Boston St. to Jefferson, 15th, Tyler, and W. 23rd Ave., then turns and comes back through downtown again.
The City of Covington and community volunteers established "Carnival in Covington" in 2019 aiming to build on the Krewe of Covington Lions' and Mystic Krewe of Covington's parades on Mardi Gras Day, and make the friendly, west St. Tammany town the ideal place for families and friends to go for Fat Tuesday fun without an additional million or so party-goers, as with New Orleans.
Parades begin mid-morning, rolling one immediately after the other, and a free, all-ages party picks up at the Covington Trailhead at noon. Families enjoy live music, concessions, kids' activities and a costume contest with prizes donated by local businesses. The parades feature Grand Marshals and local celebrities, as well as marching groups, dance teams, musicians, antique cars, motorcycle clubs, horses and traditional floats with loads of fun throws.
Founded in 1959, the Krewe of Covington Lions Club supports the cost of exams and eyeglasses for low-income individuals. The Mystic Krewe of Covington was organized in 1951 as the Krewe of KaaCee after the initials of the Knights of Columbus (KC), the krewe's founding group. This organization is one of the oldest krewes rolling in St. Tammany Parish.
Lawn chairs, strollers and ladders welcome! Parking is free throughout the town.
Costumed pups and their humans walk a half mile route from the corner of Columbia and Kirkland Streets (near Covington Police Department) to the Covington Trailhead for a party with music, food trucks, and sponsor fun for kids and K9s. Proceeds from the Mardi Paws parade benefit the Ian Somerhalder Foundation's emergency medical grant program and Scott's Wish, which provides aid for patients with leukemia and life-threatening illnesses.