Welcome to Day 4! This post is going to include photos from six popular parades: Babylon, Chaos, Muses, Hermes, d'Etat, and Morpheus. These photos were taken Thursday the 12th and Friday the 13h of February 2015. Enjoy!
We could not have asked for better weather in the latter part of the week. It was sunny and 70 degrees all day, and I think it got down to 55 this particular night.
I showed up a little early since I work right on the parade route, and I did a little poking around before the group started showing up. In case you haven't had it, Boudin (pronounced BOO-DEN) is sausage with meat, rice, and spices that eats like a meal. It's hard to slice without breaking it apart but very satisfying.
Sat and had me a nice, quiet beer before the festivities.
As you can see the Bead Tree is just starting to droop.
This is an impromptu "meeting of the courts" between Babylon and Cleopatra. Here you can see the King and Queen of Cleopatra saluting the King of Babylon. It's all very formal and traditional, and it holds up the entire parade for a good ten minutes. Lots of people in tuxes and evening gowns. A rare sight.
I was pretty surprised I got this picture. Luckily I was a few beers deep and feeling very convincing.
This is a flambeau. For over 100 years these guys have been carrying flames along with the parade, accepting coins to come stand by parade-goers and warm them up for a moment. When I was a kid we would throw quarters to them, and they would pick them up off the street. Nowadays people just hand them dollars, but you still hear the clanging of pocket change on the concrete every now and again from the old-schoolers.
Since the mid-1800's, it's been one of the functions of Mardi Gras to poke fun at authority and current events. There's a lot of satire and tongue-in-cheek humor. This is one of the few floats from Chaos I feel comfortable showing. That's big baby Kim Jong-Un riding a nuke in the front.
This one is poking fun at Bill Cosby, and it was not the only one. Here's the back of another Cosby float from the following night's d'Etat parade:
I either didn't get a picture of the side or I deemed it not blog-appropriate. I can't remember.
Look how great the Bead Tree looks on the right. That big ball signals the beginning of the beloved Muses parade, a satirical all-female Krewe with some excellent throws.
We call our group the Krewe of Kondo, and our symbol is the teapot. The reason for this is we have two rules. First, protect the Bead Tree. Second, if you fall off the curb, you have to do "I'm a Little Teapot" in front of everybody.
The shoe is the symbol of the Krewe of Muses. If you know somebody or are extremely lucky, they give you one of their hand-decorated shoes.
The view from our friend's apartment.
Our friends just adopted this little sweetie. It's her first Mardi Gras.
The tree the night after Muses. Developing nicely.
Vietnamese pork tacos.
The U.S. Marine Corps band.
The Great Mogul.
The plural of flambeau is flambeaux.
These trucks roll in front of many parades with a pole to make sure the floats will clear the hundred-year-old oaks that line St. Charles Ave. When it hits a branch, they stop and saw it off.
The Budweiser Clydesdales. They march in a few of the bigger parades.
The Evil Dictator of the Krewe d'Etat.
This photo cost a dollar.
Here's a whole marching group dedicated to Kim Jong-Un. None of the pictures of the marchers came out very well, but I couldn't not show them.
Their support float complete with a giant nuke.
Yes! This guy was a good sport.
A very accommodating shriner.
See the girl in the coat looking right at me? She's about to throw beads at my head. Watch...
Here they come...!
Gah! Got me.
We're now heading into the heart of Mardi Gras, the weekend of the two Superkrewes, Endymion and Bacchus. Grab a beer.