Mardi Gras in New Orleans

So! I know I haven’t posted for awhile, but gimme a break – It’s Mardi Gras season 🙂

Mardi Gras was nothing like I expected it to be – you know, girls gone wild style – women flashing for beads, and people getting arrested for peeing on the streets like on Cops. In fact, it was a surprisingly family friendly affair. Don’t get me wrong, everyone was drinking a LOT however the streets were lined with families and people in the floats kept giving kids things like stuffed animals, footballs, frisbee’s, yo-yo’s etc.

I also didn’t realize that Mardi Gras goes on for about a week or so before Fat Tuesday itself. Each night there are usually two or more “Krewes” that parade down the streets. Many floats are decorated with political themes – there were a lot mocking the TSA’s new full body scanners, many that were criticizing the BP oil disaster and several poking fun at local and national politicians.

We had a pretty solid strategy too – what we would do is ride our bikes through the quarter, out towards the Uptown area where parades would generally start / roll down first. That way the crowds are thinner and a better chance of getting fun stuff 🙂 We’d load up our backpacks full of beer and just head out, and it worked out well because the streets would all be shutdown so there was next to no traffic.

Then, on the way home, we’d have to head back towards the French Quarter and would inevitably run into the parade again. Depending on our level of sobriety, we’d either cut through the crowd and head home, or pick up some more beers and watch the parade again!

I think the best things I got were:
Light up frisbee’s with the Krewe’s name and logo imprinted
Beer cozy’s with Krewe names
A ridiculous amount of plastic cups
Beads from Anderson Cooper.

On Mardi Gras day we went out to the Marigny neighbourhood for St Anne. St Anne is a quasi-parade where everyone just kinda hangs out and drinks in the Marigny. It’s pretty fun, lots of people and crazy costumes. The only problem is that we got there at like 8 AM – and were almost incapacitated by noon! As was everyone else 🙂

Good times Mardi Gras..Not what I expected, but far, far better.