The Bacchus Riding Lieutenants play an important and ceremonial role in the Bacchus parade.
Like the Roman soldiers before them who, centuries ago, led the ruler’s procession through the streets of ancient Rome, these majestic equestrians escort Bacchus through the streets of the Crescent City.
“We have 36 riding lieutenants,” explains the leader of this elite group. “There’s a special thrill that comes from riding horseback in the parade. You are right [there] with the people. The lieutenants ride in two groups – in front or behind the king’s float – and we always ride two abreast.”
Throughout the years, the Bacchus riding lieutenants have become as much of an awaited and celebrated attraction as the arrival of Bacchus himself.
In addition to the Krewe’s signature medallion beads, cups, footballs, and doubloons, the riding lieutenants throw their own special green doubloon and hand-painted medallion bead. If you are lucky enough to catch one of these rare gems, you are sure to be the envy of the parade.