Babylon has always received the highest praise for adhering faithfully to the most cherished Carnival traditions. Our floats have the same basic designs and dimensions that they did at the krewe’s inception more than 75 years ago. The traditional hand-held flambeaux continue to accompany our parade on foot, and our King’s Float is mule drawn. Additionally, in keeping with the tenets of a mystic krewe, we require all of our riders to remain masked throughout the entire duration of our parade. Unlike many Carnival organizations, we own all of our floats and the den that houses them.
In 2012, the Raphael Academy approached Babylon about designing the masks for our riders. The Raphael Academy is a neighbor to our den and is a Waldorf-inspired private school for students facing intellectual and developmental challenges. We are fortunate to have this ongoing partnership and we are grateful for the creative mindset and talent of the students who design the masks for our knights.
The parade proceeds along the classic uptown route down St. Charles Avenue to finish on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans. Our traditional tableau ball had been staged at the Municipal Auditorium until 2005, when this facility sustained extensive hurricane damage, prompting us to move the ball to an alternate venue. Our 2017 tableau ball and supper dance is at the Marriott Hotel on Canal Street.
Originally, Babylon’s parade and attendant parade-day festivities were held on the Wednesday before Mardi Gras. The Krewe of Momus, which historically paraded on Thursday evening, stopped parading in 1992, and, as a result, in 1993, Babylon moved its parade and tableau ball to the Thursday immediately before Mardi Gras. Babylon is the first of the three uptown parades on this night, leading the way into the festivities of the weekend before Mardi Gras. Our 79th anniversary parade is Thursday, February 8, 2018. The Knights of Babylon are proud to uphold the traditions of Carnival on this festive evening. As many locals say, “CARNIVAL BEGINS WHEN BABYLON ROLLS.”