A visual summary of this season’s Mardi Gras in my neck of the woods (er, beach):
Taking advantage of a well-situated city planter along the parade route, this poor gentleman pooped out before the parade even began. I like the reflection of the tree lights in the bank window, and the fact that the man is ready to roll (in theory) with beads around his neck. But somehow his body language speaks to a different drummer:
Awaiting one of many big events (small town version, as evidenced by only by “two-deep,” as opposed to bigger cities which are “8-10 deep” on the sidelines):
Truth be told, it may be a small town and only two-deep, but the reason is because the parade snakes around all the main venues in the small town. So everybody lines up near the start to see the parade, then when it passes, everybody stampedes around the corner and down the next main drag to catch it a second time, and when it passes again, everybody stampedes toward the last street to catch it a third time. So not only does everybody get practically a front-row spot, they get it three times in succession. This is especially handy if you know someone in the parade who is looking for you on the sidelines and wants to throw you something.
Often the maskers will taunt the people with a particularly large or coveted throw, gyrating and teasing the crowd as they roll by with the throw, making everyone think they will be the lucky one. Arms outstretched, this second-floor masker has just rewarded a fortunate fan with her prize. Maskers typically shop for and pay for their own throws, so they reserve the right to be particular with who gets what. And it helps if they have a good throwing arm. Or arms.
All Mardi Gras parades have a theme. This one included books-turned-movies. I thought they did an excellent job on this float:
Because many horses parade as well, the obligatory pooper-scooper duo follows up the equine display. This pair includes one in a gas mask and one with a wig so thick, he’d never be able to smell the fruits of his labor. They were pretty good dancers, too.
Mardi Gras etiquette dictates that if there are children or tourists also viewing the parade near you, you should offer some of your throws to them and share some of your loot, although people can get a little weird when it comes to the trendy throws. Each year there is one flavor of Moon Pie that somehow gets tagged as “IT,” a new or improved flavor that may be harder to come by.
These, when caught, are quietly pocketed and enjoyed in secret like a good prayer. This year, the crunchy peanut butter Moon Pie was “IT.” This little one couldn’t wait until he got home to indulge in his curbside cuisine:
Maskers in action:
Two Rear Admirals (no, wait, they’re Marines!) see up the, uh, admirable rears of two mermaids:
The front view of the float:
A hug between two bff-maskers about to take place (at least that’s my assumption…perhaps the float jerked to a stop suddenly and it was catch as catch can):
Orthopedists must love the long-term damage done to fragile necks at a generous parade:
“Laissez les bon temps roulez,” is French for “Let the good times roll” and is the official Mardi Gras motto. The culture here is steeped in French tradition. And when we stomp another team in football, it is not uncommon to see the score written as “21-Zereaux.” Here, these gals are having some very bon temps while they roulez (pardon my improper verb agreement, fellow Frenchfolk):
Parades roll each night and day as the season progresses. Here are a few of my fun-wacky neighbors as we wait for our home-boy neighborhood parade to begin:
Our humble little neighborhood parade near the water is pretty laid-back. And pretty slapped-together, but always a bucket of fun! This was my view:
So the neighbors rig up trailers towed by their trucks, or ride their boats in tow for our little parade:
I had gotten up for only 5 minutes to assist our disabled child in catching throws, and returned to my seat to find it littered with goodies in that short time:
No proper Southern shin-dig would be complete without a topless drummer backing a down-home,
up & coming band (note cup holders stationed precisely within arm’s reach):
Even Elvis makes it to Mardi Gras! Mr. Presley knows that you get more throws with a large net:
And what do we do with all those beads? They look very festive when hung in strategic places such as on the front door, around the mailbox, on the rocking chairs or in the trees as decoration. When the children grow tired of playing with them, they are recycled for next year. Krispy Kreme has a wonderful bead recycling program where you can trade pounds of beads for boxes of doughnuts. Wonderful, anyway, if you didn’t give up doughnuts for Lent.
Thus, herein ends the season of mirth…