Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mardi Gras 2012 Roundup, Part 1

I’ve fallen well behind in my intended blogging about my Mardi Gras adventures this year, partly because of the post-Mardi Gras ick that has left me coughing and hacking and bedridden for the past week, but mostly because I’ve gotten so caught up in the excitement of it all that it’s been hard to sit myself down and sort through the cornucopia of images and emotions running through my head.

So before I get into blogging about our Uptown parade debut and Mardi Gras day, some highlights from this year’s Carnival season:

For those familiar with the reputation of Mardi Gras as gleaned from watching special episodes of COPS, I can assure you that this reputation is entirely false, and that such behavior as seen on said show has nothing to do with Mardi Gras, occurs all year long, especially on Bourbon Street, and is perpetuated by drunken tourists. The reason it’s been associated so thoroughly with Mardi Gras is that there are far more drunken tourists here during Carnival season than at any other time of year. In contrast, Mardi Gras is much more of a family affair. Parents and children line St. Charles Avenue, and I’ve often noted that only in New Orleans can you go into a hardware store and buy a ladder with a seat already attached to the top of it for the kiddies.

The 12-day Uptown parade season generally begins with Oshun a week and a half before Mardi Gras. Though a little chilly this year, I was surprised by how many people were out on the route. More people means more competition for good throws, but overall most spectators are courteous to others around them. Oshun led into Saturday’s triple-feature of Pontchartrain, Sparta, and Pygmalion. By Saturday night the weather was considerably colder. I hate the cold, but the Yankee in me thinks I should be able to bear any temperature drop the South should throw at me. Wishing for a cold spell did me no good this year, as it deterred no parade-goers and simply ensured that my poorly insulated house would be very cold overnight. Karma’s a bitch after all, it seems…

Sunday bloomed a beautiful sunny day, and I walked out to Napoleon Avenue, where the Krewe of Carrollton was lined up. Over the years I’ve stopped trying to snap photos during the parades, as it mostly results in me getting smacked in the face by beads when I’m not paying attention, but it was such a glorious day that I managed to snap quite a few pics during the parade, without getting hit in the face. I’d call that a successful day.

On Wednesday, my dear friend Paula (LocoBonez) arrived from Atlanta, and we braved the rain and snagged a good spot along Napoleon for both Druids and the debut of Nyx. Both parades were completely worth it, and we managed to snag almost two full bead bags of loot. Kudos to the lovely ladies of Nyx for their debut…beautiful floats and clever themes all-around. Loco and I had such a good time that we barely noticed that we were soaked to the bone by the end of the parade.

More to come…

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