Anticipation builds as the city begins showing signs that Mardi Gras season is here. Like stockings hung with care in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon will be there, houses and shops are festooning with the familiar purple, green and gold. Driving home the other day, I passed 5 parade floats parked on the side of the road and squealed with delight picturing costumed people tossing beads and toys to crowds of families.
To help you get in the mood, I found a few videos of Carnival throughout the years. This video is from 1941, the first year an all female Krewe, the Krewe of Venus, paraded. Apparently, they were greeted with tomatoes and eggs. The all-female Krewe of Les Mystrieuses held a tableaus ball in 1896 but no women paraded. Like the plays of Shakespeare, women’s parts in floats had always been played by men in drag. Now, there are several female Krewes including Krewe of Muses whose love of shoes make for great floats and throws.
This 1941 video is of the Children’s Masquerade. Despite the depressing music, the kids are adorable. Funny to think that those children must all be in their 70’s now.
This video from the early 1950’s features leggy dancers and costumed crowds.
This 1962 video features footage from the fat Tuesday Zulu Parade (and other debauchery). Like women had been, Blacks were represented by White men in costume.
This last video is my own compilation of over 25 parades during the 2010 Mardi Gras season.
As promised, my tree continues to evolve. The latest addition is piles of last year’s beads to create the tree skirt. Enjoy the photo below along with some shots from the neighborhood.
Meantime, back in Los Angeles, a friend I met here called to ask where they could have a coffee and hang out. Apparently, the waiters at the coffee shop near their hotel made fun of their clothes. I’m so glad to be in a city where shops are displaying their best purple, green and gold tutus, suitable for adult men and women, rather than a town where people with plastic name-tags deign to snicker at out-of-towners in cowboy boots.