To sum up the entire season, Carnival Historian and float designer, Henri Schindler said it best, whether you’re a parader or a viewer, “It never ends. For the entire year, you’re either preparing for it, experiencing it or remembering it.” Louis Armstrong, who led a storied life said it was his lifelong ambition to be King of Zulu. And, as for me, Mardi Gras has always held a special place in my heart because of a photo I’ve cherished since I was a child. It’s a photo of my mother at 13 as Mardi Gras Queen in Houma. She has a scepter and high sparkling collar and she was my own Cinderella, a real Queen of the highest order, a Mardi Gras Queen, something I never even bothered to aspire to growing up in Maryland.
Growing up, my cousins would occasionally share Mardi Gras beads with me and I would treasure them, adorn my stuffed animals, show my friends.
Now, having enjoyed 2 entire Carnival seasons and dozens of parades, I can say that there’s no other party as long, no celebration as full of music and costumes as Mardi Gras in New Orleans. I sincerely want to thank all the Krewes who foot the bills for the parades and beads and put on a heck of a show. I’m grateful for all the marching bands from high schools here and out of town, the rolling bands, the marching groups like the Pussyfooters and 610 Stompers, the stilt walkers and riding clubs, the flambeaux men and, of course, SDT who keeps the streets clean. I had the time of my life.
If you haven’t already enjoyed the photos, stories and videos of this year’s festivities, click around and live the vicarious thrill of the parades of Krewe du Vieux, Krewe of Oshun, Krewe of Pontchartrain, Knights of Sparta, Krewe of Pygmalion, Mystic Krewe of Barkus, Krewe of Ancient Druids, Knights of Babylon, Knights of Chaos, Krewe of Muses, Mystic Krewe of Hermes, Le Krewe D’Etat, Krewe of Morpheus, Krewe of Tucks, Krewe of Iris, Krewe of Okeanos, Krewe of Mid-City, Krewe of Thoth, Krewe of Bacchus, Krewe of Endymion (as well as their Extravaganza – my first Ball), Krewe of Proteus, Krewe of Orpheus and the giant costume party Mardi Gras day in the French Quarter.