We’ve heard it a lot in the last few days – this was the best Carnival (Mardi Gras season) in years. In fairness, a lot of it had to do with the extraordinarily wonderful weather. After the 50 degree rain-soaked Krewe of Cleopatra parade, most days were 70-80 and sunny with breezes. This year, I danced in 3 parades with the Pussyfooters. We were excited to debut our super-hero-inspired capes and signature pink corsets at the Cleopatra parade but mostly ended up covered in dripping-wet plastic sacks. That said, the crowds kept us inspired. Carnival parades are like a perpetual motion machine. The paraders bring energy to the crowds and the crowds bring energy to the paraders.
Though routines are set, each year I get to do new things at Mardi Gras and have new experiences. This year, I got to dance with my first “Kitten,” a friend I’d brought into our group of over 120 women over-30 who contribute to the community and perform year-round. I also got to dance in the front line of our group – right behind the banner. It was scary to have no one in front of me to remind me of the moves and I felt responsible for bringing the party in a whole new way, but it was honestly a lot of fun.
We also attended a BUNCH of parades. This year, I got to host 4 out-of-town friends at their first Mardi Gras parade. We took them to Proteus and Orpheus and it was fun seeing it all through their eyes. We taught them to “protect the head” (though I got hit pretty hard across the forehead) and gave them other pointers. The next day, they joined us in the French Quarter on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) for some street-wandering and balcony-partying. We ate King Cake, wore costumes, danced and ran into family, friends and neighbors. On an 80 degree balmy day. It was pretty amazing.
I’ve selected a few photos from each of the parades I attended or danced in and you can click any link to find more: Krewe du Vieux & Krewedelusion, Krewe of Cleopatra, Krewes of Pontchartrain & Choctaw, Krewe of Freret, Krewe of Sparta & Pygmalion, Krewes of Femme Fatale and Carrolton, Krewes of King Arthur & Alla, Krewes of Druid & Nyx, Krewe of Muses – (Behind the Scenes), Krewes of Hermes, d’Etat & Morpheus, Krewe of Iris – (100 Years), Krewe of Tucks, Krewe of Thoth (with the Pussyfooters), Krewe of Proteus, Krewe of Orpheus as well as amazing costumes in the French Quarter on Mardi Gras Day.