Laissez Les Bons Temps Rouler - 2011
by, 03-13-2011 at 02:59 PM (4154 Views)
Mardi Gras season officially starts on January 6th (Kings Day aka Epiphany) and lasts until the day before Ash Wednesday. This year was one of the longest seasons that I'll see in my lifetime. But parade season is basically the 2 weeks before Mardi Gras.
This year, I was in Disneyland for the first weekend of parades, but I did get to see how the folks in Anaheim thought the season should be celebrated. I got a couple of cute pictures of Mickey & Minnie in their Carnival Finery,
and even had a chance to try some 'King Cake' .
When I mentioned to friends at work what the King Cake was like, they said that when THEY were young (they're my age, but I only moved here 8 years ago), King Cake didn't have cinnamon or icing, but was just the bread and colored sugar. So I guess Disney is just a little behind the times in their rendition.
But once I got home, it was time for some parading!
I ended up going to parades every day from the 3rd through the 7th, and even saw a little bit of Zeus on the 8th, before my friends and I headed into the Quarter. NORMALLY, we stay in the fairly family friendly Uptown area, but we wanted to have a little different experience this year. HOWEVER, we did leave the Quarter at about 2pm, so it was still somewhat tame at that point!
First, some pictures from the parades Uptown. Due to camera/photographer/safety limitations, I don't even attempt to get pictures from night-time parades, so you'll only see stuff from a couple of day parades here.
Tuck's is a fairly irreverent Krewe
some of their throws include printed toilet paper, mini-plungers, and toilet seat-sunglasses.
They also have a fairly decent showing of adult (i.e., not High School) Marching Groups. I don't think they included the Rolling Elvi (though they'd totally fit in), but it did include the 610 Stompers (610 being an Interstate that bypasses New Orleans proper)
and a group of Vikings from out of state .
Even though the skies opened up BAD as Tucks was finishing, I still think the weather wasn't too awfully bad compared to what it was like in their home!
Tuck's theme was "What's Appening" poking fun at various internet/computer related things, including having no reception
No where to Wii on Mardi Gras day (slight play on the idea that it's hard to find a place to relieve yourself on Mardi Gras)
St. Augustine Marching 100 is a popular band, even getting to perform in Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. The year after Katrina, they joined forces with St. Mary's and Xavier Prep to form the MAX band. It's good to see them back full strength!
The Krewe of Mid City has very distinctive floats using lots of colored foil. The pictures don't capture the color and liveliness of these floats. (Remember these are Mardi Gras floats - NOT Rose Parade/Grand Floral Parade floats!)
I like these puppets
and I'm not even sure which parade this float is from, but I thought it was cool looking. I can tell you it's from one of the 'old school' krewe's, because the wheels on the float have NO rubber on them, making for a very bumpy ride for the riders.
Although I didn't get to see it, the Red Beans Parade on Lundi Gras, but I did get a preview of an in-progress costume.
Mardi Gras really is a family affair, particularly Uptown, which was infested by these bees
But even elsewhere, early in the day, you can see kids out and about.
This was a whole group of people who put on a 'circus' but when a young boy in a monkey costume came up to them, he joined right in with the organ grinder and his pal!
I took this picture for those who are fans of SteamPunk - they had a group of 1/2 dozen well-dressed people in the group
And this 'costume' of the miner's rescue capsule was pretty amazing (I think it was made out of metal!)
This 'alcohol meter' costume is very similar to the official logo of the sewerage and Water board
And these next two were just fun trios of people. The center robot, actually had his 'head' pop up!
But I bet you're wondering what I did to celebrate the day. I WAS going to be an oily pelican, but decided at the last minute (Sunday morning) to change. In homage to Billy Nungesser, Plaquemines Parish President, who was on Anderson Cooper a lot, I went as the item he kept requesting early on. Locals really got it, tourists, not so much.
There were quite a few groups of people referencing the Deep Water Horizon tragedy, including this group of oily crawfish.
All in all, Mardi Gras 2011 was a REALLY great time, and I look forward to seeing what next year's celebration brings!