Posts Tagged With: Mardi Gras Parades


From Mary’s Desk-

There are parades every day  during Mardi Gras. I attended my first one yesterday in the National Historic District of Algiers. During the long wait for the parade to come by our chosen spot, I learned that the parade, especially a daytime one like this, is  really about  family, a neighborhood party. The locals  set up their barbeque pits, tables, ice chests and were serving friends and neighbors who happened by. Everyone was enjoying the potato salad, hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs and chicken. Good food, happy greetings, meeting old friends, cousins and neighbors;  showing off the grandbabies. The kids are out of school.

This veteran parade attendee brought his special ladder. I thought maybe it was for camera gear, but Jim recalled attending a parade where practically everyone had ladders. Later, this fellow perched his two little kids on the seat so they could see above the crowd.

The young girls walked by, hoping to catch the eye of a young man. The gentleman sitting next to me told me his wife told him to quit ogling the girls. He was setting a bad example for his grandson. But he and I agreed this was a great ritual for the young. Some shy girls and boys, some bold and confident  want to be seen. We saw one girl dressed in tattered jeans and mink; others with colorful shoes, fancy clothes, pants hung low, dreds and mohawks, or their best hairdos.  It was fun to watch the interplay.

Vendors passed by with their trinkets;  young boys tossed footballs and ran skirmishes around the adults. Young girls showed off their best dresses and giggled a lot. The cute little dog drew a lot of attention, only 11 months old.

The long awaited floats began to arrive. This parade was hosted by the Nomtoc Krewe. Floats lose their appeal a bit in the bright sunshine of day. And, in fact, the welcome sun, and our position, made it hard to get good pictures. The whole  purpose of the floats seems to be throwing trinkets. They fly everywhere. I caught quite a few and it was a lot of fun. One “floater” asked Jim: “How many grandchildren do you have?”  He told him three and the guy threw him 3 stuffed animals.

It was difficult to discipher the theme of many of the floats.

The paint was drying on this basketball player the day we went through the Mardi Gras Museum.

This one was entitled, The Race Is On.

The bands played. This young man has a glass of water in his horn.

I spoke briefly to this girl’s very tired looking mother marching along beside her and asked her, “Did you know when your daughter joined band you’d be marching the parades with her?” She shook her head, no, and smiled.

The band took a rest break in front of us and the horns hit the street. One marcher rested his hat on his horn.

What is a parade without horses? If you look closely you can see beads flying through the air.

This adroit group of riders had several boys who could ride backwards. Quite a feat.

After the parade, we rolled for home and bought fresh  trout and shrimp for dinner. What a treat. Each day we pass a stand with several fresh fish vendors on our way back to the park.

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From Mary’s Desk:

On the Mardi Gras Museum tour we learned the Mardi Gras parade was started formally in 1837, a single float, through town, by torchlight. Small beginnings net the amazing tradition we see today.

I liked some of the old designs for costumes and float paintings that lined the walls of this working warehouse.

This crown carriage is and old entry when the wooden wagons were pulled by mules.

Here a worker is making an old figure fatter by adding and shaping strips of Styrofoam.  Reusing older pieces is a standard practice. This float making company, Blaines, repaints over 700 floats per year.

This bug is made of fiberglass over steel and allows the floatmaker to shape thin parts that won’t droop if it rains.

These gigantic figures are from the Zulu Krewe’s entry, the first all black Krewe in the parades.

The Muse Krewe has as its theme, Romance. Here are some of the lessons of Romance on their float which is scheduled for tonight’s parade. They are throwing shoes. The rules are you can throw anything from a float that will not hurt anyone. The shoes were all wrapped and decorated and can hurt, so they are actually handed out.

Other interesting things about the parades: The people on the floats pay as much as $650 to ride a float. That doesn’t include the money they pay for throw-aways.  They can bring food and drink aboard and most of the floats have toilets on them. Collectively, they fling two billion beads into the crowds every year. The rule I like the best? No ads are allowed on the floats or on the throwaways.

A lot of famous people are represented here, Presidents, Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, Mahatma Gandhi, sports figures, and so on.

We saw a movie about float building, past grand marshals, and historic Mardi Gras. We were served King Cake, another tradition during Mardi Gras. The float figures are a delight.

Floats are built in this city and other cities for numerous celebrations, like Irish days, where they throw cabbage, potatoes and carrots.  You can always go home and make soup.

For an interesting, fairly short history on Mard Gras, try the link below:

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