Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mardi Gras? More like LOMBARDI GRAS!!!

Nora mentioned last week that the Saints were playing in the Super Bowl. [SPOILER ALERT] The Saints won, 31-17.

Needless to say, the city has gone insane. The team had already planned a win-or-lose victory parade through the CBD to celebrate the season and their first Super Bowl birth. Okay, and because it's New Orleans, and we barely need an excuse to have a party. After the victory, the parade was quickly re-named the Lombardi Gras parade. Estimates of attendence range from 200,000-300,000 (from NOPD) to over 800,000 (from Barry Kern, of Blaine Kern Studios, quoting WWL). (Sorry, I can't find a quote for the NOPD figure, but I swear I saw it in the paper this morning.) For comparison, the city population is about 350,000, and the metro population is about 1.1 million.

I biked to Lee Circle to watch the parade. When I got there, the crowd was solidly packed for about 50 feet back. It loosened up a bit when the parade got to us: people with ladders climbed up them, and people with kids lifted them up on their shoulders. That opened up a little bit of room for me to move up.

The atmosphere reminded me of some photos of we saw of Louis Armstrong as king of Zulu; the parade threaded down the street, while masses of humanity stood by to great the returning heroes. Several Mardi Gras Krewes donated floats: the kickers rode on the Muses shoe float, the recievers rode on a float with outstreached arms (can't remember from which Krewe), and the other groups of players rode together on their own similarly cleverly-designated floats.

Speaking of which, this is right in the middle of Mardi Gras. All of last Sunday's parades were moved to earlier in the day or canceled because of the game. Thursday night should have been Muses, Chaos, and Babylon. It wasn't because it was raining (and snowing on the north shore): Muses moved to last night, Babylon tomorrow morning, and Chaos was canceled. That's okay, because we were able to spend Thursday night cleaning, and see Muses and Krew d'Etat last night. We have to clean because we are hosting a University of Chicago alumni party Monday. It's a little awkwardly timed, because we have to balance the fact that not everyone gets Lundi Gras off, and some people might get trapped on the wrong side of the parades. So it's early enough that people can come and then get home around parades, and late enough that people can come after work and stay until after parades. We're really looking forward to it, and it sound like a lot of interesting people are coming

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