Sunday, March 13, 2011

Mardi Gras...and All That Jazz

So this year I was able to go on my first spring break in 6 years! Since I had so much fun during New Years, I decided to experience New Orleans during Mardi Gras would be my best I called up some of my friends who live in the city, and sure enough my plans were made!

Before going to Mardi Gras, my depiction of the festival was that it was one day (Fat Tuesday) and that people were wild and crazy, acting in ways of sin and foolishness. Man was I wrong, a certain extent. Mardi Gras is not just one day, in fact it's many. Its a carnival season celebrated before lent. Parades occur EVERYDAY for a month before Fat Tuesday, and ends with Ash Wednesday. 

I flew down to New Orleans on the Friday before Fat Tuesday. Saturday and Sunday were supposed to be days filled with tailgate-like celebrations, but due to weather, my parade experience was given on Bacchus Sunday. Let me give you a little throw down of how the day panned out:
7:00AM wake up/shower, etc
8:00AM pick up keg (of yummy Abita Amber)
8:30 Drop off keg/ find parking
9:00 let the drinking begin
11:00 Krewe of Okeanos
11:45 Krewe of Mid-City
12:00 Krewe of Toth
5:15 Krewe of Bacchus
Followed by the Krewe of Endymion which ended near midnight

Our spot was held by some brave souls at 4am, and by the end of Endymion, the strip of land between St. Charles Street was deserted with the occasional group of "hard-core-keg-standing-parties", heap fulls of beads that parade goers missed and piles of broken chairs, tables and other items of trash that people left throughout the day. 

10:00 AM, ready for some bead catching and Brew drinking

One of the Floats during Okeanos

A band during Mid-City

The parades were not like how I imagined though, they were more than great. First off, the event is a more child-friendly environment. Locals make these ladder/chair contraptions for little ones, so that they can enjoy the show as well! The parade route is filled with marching bands, brass bands, decorative floats, masked men and the occasional celebrity! Anderson Cooper and Kelly Ripa were throwing beads in Endymion and Andy Garcia was the king of Bacchus. While some of the float riders were tempting female parade goers with the fancier throws by a little peep show, the parades themselves were rated PG! Well maybe PG-13 with the amount of drinking that was surrounding everything else.


Anderson Cooper Threw me beads, NBD

Cooool WTWA inspired float!
Now Bourbon Street was another story all together. Everything you could have possibly heard about the craziness of Mardi Gras does occur in the vicinity of the French Quarter. Boobs, Barely-there costumes, balcony throws, and protesters fill the streets to an uncomfortable amount. Its a different experience entirely, and one that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime, whether you enjoy this crowed mess is to each their own...

One thing is certain though, 
The more time I spend in B-E-A-Utiful New Orelans, the more I fall in love with it!
So until next time NOLA, 
stay classy,
Love Amy

This Week's Song of the Week:
Hot 8 Brass Band - "Sexual Healing" (Marvin Gaye Cover)


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