Mardi Gras (French for Fat Tuesday) splits the city into 2 main groups – parade-goers and costumers. The Krewe of Zulu starts the day of parades, followed by regal Krewe of Rex, then a long procession of truck parades – just floats, no bands or dancers.
We’re costumers so we headed to the Marigny to dive into the wackiness. There were group costumes including many clusters of Ruth Bader Ginsburgs. Trump wall interpretations were also popular. There were even 2 last suppers. The most popular costume was a blind referee or anything related to penalty flags. Our love for the New Orleans Saints runs deep and we all knew this year’s Carnival floats, throws and costumes would include nods to the no-call debacle that robbed the Saints of their Super Bowl moment.
Favorite costumes included a group of cereal characters and a couple wearing giant shoe cut-outs with thought bubbles that read, “I bet I know where… You got them shoes!” If you didn’t get that joke, then this one will be far too local to explain, but I loved the Krewe of Chad warrior goddess with her neon orange spray-can and netted fencing.
We followed the St. Anne’s parade through the French Quarter, dancing alongside the band surrounded by creatively costumed revelers from toddler to… vastly experienced. Everywhere else it’s just Tuesday, but in New Orleans, it the fireworks finale at the ending of a month of festivities culminating with 7 straight days of parades.
Walking around, we danced with strangers and friends, dropped into a house party with generous offerings of muffulettas and King Cake then met up with a neighbor of mine from nearly 30 years ago. We ran into a few of my Pussyfooters sisters and were glad to be reunited since our last parade of the season had to cancel its dancers and bands for weather. I love seeing all the elaborate, clever and often beautiful costumes, but sharing parts of the day with friends and neighbors is always my favorite part of Mardi Gras.
I narrowed the photos as much as I could but it got too hard to keep making the cuts. Hope it makes you feel like you’re there!