One of the great things about Mardi Gras is that it serves as a gathering point. People have “their spot” and you know where to find them. And there are the annual house parties along the route. After Katrina, this was the only way some people had to find each other after having been washed away. When I was Pussyfooting in Muses, I knew where to look for friends and neighbors. Float riders send out notes to their friends letting them know which float they’ll be on and which side they’re riding – sidewalk side or neutral ground side – so they can give them special throws or shower them with beads. We come together at Mardi Gras, we find each other.
We had such a wonderful time at the Morstead’s house party last year that we knew we had to “find” them again this year. Saints punter Thomas Morstead and I met when I was a judge at the Greasing of the Poles and the Saints were serving as spotters for the lovely ladies doing the greasing. As I said last year, he’s a truly gracious and welcoming host. His lovely and amazing wife was just getting ready to put their adorable boy down for the night so I was glad to get a moment with him.
I know I’m gushing but I’m also telling the truth. The Morstead family has contributed so much to so many in this city. In addition to being one of the Saints most consistent players and one of the NFL’s greatest punters, Thomas also founded What You Give Will Grow, a non-profit that partners with local non-profits, especially those involving children.
The crowds on their stretch were so thick, the idea of pushing into them in the bitter cold wasn’t as appealing as watching from the balcony and enjoying good company. Besides, I’d danced 8 miles in Muses the night before and could use the rest. So, we stayed on our perch and watched as bands and floats passed and the occasional drunk stumbled past below. Mardi Gras is about parades but it’s also about coming together and hanging out with friends. On that balcony, we had the best of both worlds.
Enjoy photos from the Krewes of Hermes, D’Etat and Morpheus parades. The Mystic Krewe of Hermes was founded in 1937 – they’ve rolled St. Charles longer than any other night-parading Krewe. Krewe d’Etat (1996) is a satirical parade. This year’s theme was “Fri’Etat the 13th.” Krewe of Morpheus finished things up with a “Freaky Friday” theme for their 15th Carnival parade.