The fatted bull, or “Boeuf Gras,” a symbol of the last meat before the Lent Fast, plays a central role in Rex’s celebrations. In the first Rex parade in 1871, a real bull named “Old Jeff” trudged the route in flowered garlands. Rex stopped parading live oxen in 1900. In 1959, the animal was resurrected in papier-mâché form, surrounded by krewe members dressed as cooks. Today, Rex members also toss small plush toy boeuf gras throws from their floats.
Next 8. A Worldwide Party