Float design from Krewe of Proteus 1889 parade. Theme: The Hindoo Heavens. (Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Louisiana Research Collection)

Float design from Krewe of Proteus 1889 parade. Theme: The Hindoo Heavens. (Howard-Tilton Memorial Library. Louisiana Research Collection)

Happy Proteus Monday! While the rest of us think of today as “Lundi Gras”, the staff at Antoine’s Restaurant in the French Quarter tip their hats to Proteus, the “old-line” Carnival krewe that rolls on the day before Mardi Gras. Proteus was the only one of the old-line krewes to return to the streets after the “Mardi Gras Ordinance” kerfluffle in 1993. Proteus uses smaller, old-style floats that are essentially decorated wooden wagons.

This is a concept sketch for a float from the 1899 ride of Proteus. The route in those days was through the French Quarter, ending up at the Old Opera House, where the krewe would dismount and hold their bal masque. Proteus’ ball, like the other “society/debutante” affairs is a private function, but they’ll throw their signature seashorse throws tonight for us all!