Like all good Louisianans, we celebrated Mardi Gras this year. Or at least we celebrated it as well as good Mormons can, which is to say that we went to the parade and hung out in the designated family-friendly section. I won't lie: It was awesome! The tailgating began sometime around noon and the actual parade (which follows a six mile route and lasts for 2-1/2 hours) arrived at our location at about 5:30.
Mardi Gras parades are thrown by "krewes," which were originally secret societies whose main purpose seems to have been to outdo each other at the next parade. Most of the big krewes are still very selective and only allow worthy relatives and friends of members to join, by invitation only (natch!). As you can see, our parade was put on by the mighty Centaur.
My biggest regret is in not taking pictures of the tailgating scene. These people are serious about their Mardi gras parties. So serious that many of them hire companies to haul in their own private tote-a-pots (aka port-a-potties) for the day so that they don't have to share with any of the lesser people. One beleaguered guardian of a private privy condescended to allow Eden in when her potty-trained bladder nearly got the best of her. Bless you, private privy woman. Bless you!
As you can see in the background, the floats were pretty big, and some of them incredibly nice. As a friend remarked, other floats were nothing more or less than giant roving bead dispensaries. There were forty floats in all and a myriad of high school marching bands, drill teams, a crew of belly dancers (all grandmas...), live rock and country bands, fire trucks, etc. to boot. Eden LOVED it. As each one passed she danced to the music and shouted, "Good job, man! Good job, lady! It's so pretty!"
This may be why she ended the night with fifty pretty necklaces and a passel of plastic cups and frisbees. What a lucky kid! Here are a few more random pictures*.
We had a great time. I'm still not sure what's so exhilarating about standing around begging for beads, but I think these Louisianans are on to something. Although, may I say, very little was on them. Indeed, I think I may remark that I've never seen quite so many people wearing quite so little over such abundant bodies and doing so with such incredible confidence and ease. Oh, Mardi gras. Bring on the King Cake!
*The nice pictures in this post were taken by the friend who invited us to join her tailgating party. Thanks, Jaque! Pardon the cell pics, dear readers, it's what I've come to.