Saturday, February 9, 2008

Mardi Gras Overview

Well kids, we did it we survived our first Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

On the whole Colin and I had a really good time. I was a bit afraid that the holiday would resemble a "girls gone wild" video, complete with teenagers vomiting on my shoes. Although raucous, occasionally violent, and definitely decedent, Mardi Gras was also family friendly, rooted in tradition, and evocative of much of what makes this city a wonderful place to live. It's enormously difficult to describe everything that surrounds Mardi Gras. This post will involve a brief overview of what Mardi Gras is like and what we did, and later posts will go more into depth about various parts of the holiday.

Mardi Gras itself kicks into high gear the weekend before fat Tuesday. Thursday-Tuesday are filled with parades and parties and balls celebrating carnival. Events begin to start several weeks before that, but the number intensifies as you approach the weekend before Mardi Gras.

Events are not limited to one area of the city, nor to one particular audience. Events take place in Uptown, the French Quarter, Mid City, and in the suburbs. The most popular events are parades, although each group that hosts a parade also has a ball and perhaps a party as well. For example, the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club had a Lundi Gras Party (on the Monday before Mardi Gras), the parade itself on Mardi Gras morning , and then a ball on the night of Mardi Gras.

Events we attended:

Parade of the Krewe du Vieux French Quarter, (1/19)
Parade of the Krewe of Hermes Uptown, (2/1)
Parade of the Krewe D'etat Uptown, (2/1)
Parade of the Krewe of Morpheus Uptown, (2/1)
Parade of the Krewe of Muses Uptown, (2/1)
Parade of the Krewe of Endymion Mid City (2/1)
Mardi Gras Indian practice West bank, (2/4)
Parade of the Krewe of Orpheus* Uptown(2/4)
Parade of the Krewe of Proteus* Uptown (2/4)
Parade of the Krewe of Zulu Mid City/ Uptown (2/5)

* we didn't really intend to be at these parades, Colin had a friend who was celebrating her birthday, and it turns out celebrating meant hanging out on the parade route



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