Sunday, February 24, 2013

Mardi Gras Parades (Part 1)

Mardi Gras in Louisiana is something else. For starters, it's not just a one day affair, it lasts many, many days; each day, seemingly, more raucous than the previous days. Our first Friday and Saurday nights we drove into Houma to watch parades from the area in front of Doyle's. Doyle is a friend of James' who runs a cleaning supply business in Houma. My understanding is that James helped him get started in business. In any case, Doyle graciously hosted us and many of his own friends and relatives along a prime stretch for parade viewing.

And we had food. Lots of food. Gumbo, court bouillon, fried chicken, and, of course, King Cake. It was good that we had all this food, because, while the parades were scheduled to start between 6 and 6:30 PM, they didn't reach us until closer to 8 or 8:30 PM. And we were only halfway into the 5 mile route. Some of the delay was due to tardiness, some to breakdowns.

Didn't matter. We were at Doyle's way early. Hours early. The road was still open for traffic and we had a chance to see lots of antique cars and souped up vehicles of all types. And the carousing krewes, too. (A 'Krewe" is what we northerners call a "crew." That is the folks responsible for one or more floats that will run in the parade.) The Krewes start partying around 0-dark-30 and continue until Mardi Gras is over. Sometimes that's a couple of weeks. Hey! They been working all year for this. Costumes, beads, floats, buses.... These things aren't cheap.

Ah, buses. While waiting for the parades to start, the traffic continues to move down the one way street in front of Doyle's. It would lop around somewhere down the road and circle again and again. We saw several vehicles numerous times. Including several buses with the krewes on board.

One of the krewes has a most interesting guest participant.

Another krewe screams past.

Doyle's sponsers on of the krewes and they stopped by to gorge on the food (and use the restroom). Their bus had broken down so they had a pair of stretch limos hauling them about.

Jennifer (one of ours) poses with a krewe member.

The Friday night parade was the Hercules Parade. All male. Celebrating the 200th anniversary of Louisiana becoming a state.

  The King and His Court

Hercules with Gator and Crayfish

The Mighty Mississippi

Those few photos will have to do. I found trying to take pictures at night was not easy--especially when you become a target for guys throwing BAGS of beads at you as yo look through the view finder.

As I said above, the Friday parade, the Hercules Parade, celebrated Louisiana's 200th anniversary as a State. All the floats were decorated to denote something famous about Louisiana: the French Quarter of New Orleans, the jazz and blues, The River, the swamp and it's critters, etc. But the two floats that made us all laugh were the two celebrating Louisiana politics! (They made it clear that Louisiana politics were more of the infamous variety!)

Suffice to say, that the two parades (Saturdays' was the all female equivalent) were fantastic.

I'll post some pictures from the Sunday Parades in Houma as well as the Chicken Run in Church Point and of our float in the Kaplan parade as I get around to them.

1 comment:

Rev. Paul said...

Still looks like fun; glad you had such a great time!