Many parades are at night, since a day parade might interfere with businesses. But, on weekends day parades are common.
The large parades start on a Friday night, twelve days before Mardi Gras. The first weekend has quite a few parades, and they are less crowded since many people from out of town are not yet in.
The night parades during the week are fewer than once were. Many have disbanded, and new parades sometimes last only one or two years. Parades are expensive, and the krewe, the group that holds the parade, must pay for the event. There is insurance, floats, things to throw, bands, and other things that add to the cost. Mardi Gras is free to attend, but someone does pay for it. As the economy went down, so did the number, and in some cases the quality, of parades.