Continuing on with our look at yesteryear, it’s Mardi Gras time, circa 2004. We packed up the car and traveled down to St. Charles Avenue on the Sunday before Mardi Gras to catch a string of parades planned for the day..
If memory serves me correct (?), the parades were Toth, Venus, Tucks and MidCity, They were typically run one after the other, and for the truly dedicated you could stay a while and catch Endymion in the evening.
As we aren’t/weren’t anywhere near that dedicated, the day parades suited us just fine.
We had the luxury of being in front of a business that Melanie’s sister-in-law’s sister worked at (got that?) It provided a place to park, a huge plus, and the ultimate comfort, a place to use the restroom.
Restrooms are always a challenge during Mardi Gras and having access to one without paying a fortune for a drink, or using a Port-a-pottie is a huge benefit.
This particular Sunday before Fat Tuesday was in February, so the weather was bit coolish. Coolish to the point there were very few folks exposing themselves for a few beads.
As with every good parade, we start out with the street vendors hawking their wares. Typically these are grocery shopping carts stuffed chock a block with brightly colored parade accoutrement. This one was certainly no different!
This gentleman was selling pecan pralines. We bought a couple, and they were sublime. There is a real art to making good pecan pralines, and these were some of the best.
Following all the street vendors, the parades began with the mounted riders:
And of course the “Nobility”
There’s typical a plethora of “dignitaries” who ride on the back of a convertible and throw out their usually personalized goodies.
The marching troups followed.
And finally a float!
As typical, the floats are interspersed with dancers. These young ladies were giving it their all!
One of the really big draws for Mardi Gras parades, at least in my mind, are the marching bands. These young people practice all year long for this and they were simply awesome!
More floats came by and we all screamed “Throw me something mister!”
We had the pleasure of a Marine Corp marching band. It was early in the parade, and they hadn’t quite got their cadence down, but they looked good in their freshly pressed uniforms.
And sequence repeated itself. A float and then a marching band of some sort.
These dancers are common in parades. Seasoned travelers of life, out demonstrating their moves and having a good time. Always fun to see.
And there there is the odd character. This individual was walking with this marionette attached to him. Interesting.
And then the pipes. We love pipe music. These guys were going at it when they walked by.
And more floats!
There was a small gap between the parades and a number of “freelance” marchers came by.
And the Krewe of Tucks came by.
Being a new parade, of course we got another bagpipe marching band. Can’t get enough!
And the sequence continued.
This marching troup was dressed to the nines. Luckily for them it was fairly cool.
Being Tucks, the themes are always a bit unconventional, which makes it fun.
We had some cartoon characters. Don’t tell Disney!
Tucks is a bit irreverent, and there is always something a bit out of the ordinary;
We got to hear these guys wailing away. They were good.
Another round of pipes, this time in full glory.
And more of the odd Tucks float.
Another set of dancers,
These bands in/on floats are getting more common.
Elvis made an appearance,
Followed soon after by the Cat in the Hat!
Dorothy and friends weren’t far behind,
And we were done. It had been a long day and we were all tired. After a quick trip to the restroom, we piled in the car and headed home. It was the perfect Mardi Gras Sunday for a young family.
Things have been a bit hectic around here photo wise. Next week we’ll have a story about a new addition to the family!