Happy Mardi Gras, everyone! I’m always homesick for New Orleans this time of year. What do most people not realize about Mardi Gras? That locals rarely go anywhere near the French Quarter, which is full of drunk tourists behaving badly. All that raunchy stuff? That’s NOT the Mardi Gras enjoyed by most locals.
It’s a family event, especially the day parades. Kids sit on seats built atop ladders to give them a chance at the best throws from the floats, and most krewes have special plush animal throws for children, in addition to the beads and cups and coins.
Here’s a video of this year’s Hermes, Krewe d’Etat and Morpheus parades, which will give you a feel for it. The video is over four hours long, but Hermes finally starts about 44:20, and one of my favorites, Krewe d’Etat, starts about the 2:15:30 mark. d’Etat is a very political and satirical parade, and there were plenty of politicians to skewer in this year’s floats!
Anyway, that’s a glimpse into Mardi Gras along the uptown parade route, about a quarter-mile from where my friends and I would set up our lawn chairs, coolers, and settle in for four to six hours a night of parades every day for two weeks, culminating in the Krewe of Rex parade this morning.
And you can watch Krewe of Rex LIVE here now. The actual parade begins at 10 a.m. CST. Look for my (and DJ’s) favorite float, Boeuf Gras! The yellow building on the left used to be my church, First Baptist New Orleans, until we sold the building to Sacred Heart school and rebuilt in the Lakeview community. My house was about 1/4 mile on up the street!