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mardi gras 06
November 22, 2005 7:08 AM   Subscribe

READY TO ROLL? " . .Carnival produces $900 million in annual spending and more than $50 million in direct tax benefits to government. " New Orleans depends on tourism , now more than ever before. but are they really ready to host Mardi Gras in 06? What are locals saying? This will make the 150th Carnival the city has seen, but should it take place?
posted by nola (11 comments total)

 
I've only been to New Orleans once (no better place to elope, if you ask me), and I'm willing to bet there will be a Mardi Gras, ready or not. Obviously not on the scale of past years, but something will happen. I hope locals do it with flair.

It will be interesting to see what happens, regardless. At least it will show if there is real, local attachment to the event, or if it is all about the tourist dollar now. If the only reason locals hold Mardi Gras now is to draw visitors, that would be the real shame.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:23 AM on November 22, 2005


Gosh, I hope so. I went last year about a week or so before Fat Tuesday and so it was mostly locals and their extended families. I don't think in all my travels through the US I've ever met a friendlier crowd. Everyone is so nice and happy and proud. I think the city needs Carnival(e) for morale as much as revenue.

It was nice. It wasn't wall to wall tourists, and you could walk around the French Quarter without someone spilling a drink on you. We stayed in the garden district, a block away from the parade route. The only downside was that there was a shooting about a block from where I was standing during one of the parades.
posted by Eideteker at 8:31 AM on November 22, 2005


I remember a college friend from New Orleans telling me (15 years ago) that the Mardi Gras parade was strictly for tourists. For the locals, Mardi Gras is a family holiday that isn't about "the party" any more than Thanksgiving is about the Macy's Parade.

The folks in New Orleans certainly need something to look forward to. Mardi Gras will go on. Just maybe not for the rest of us.
posted by tvgurl at 8:40 AM on November 22, 2005


FEMAture Evacuation.

Any real citizen of New Orleans will tell you that a devastating natural disaster that has left their city teetering on the brink of oblivion is no reason to not have a parade.

By the way, you're all welcome to come to my MetaGras celebration in New Orleans next year. Bring workgloves, though.
posted by ColdChef at 11:16 AM on November 22, 2005


I have this weird feeling that with all the hype about it there's going to be Mardi Gras in New Orleans whether New Orleans says so or not. They way it sounds, people are just going to show up. If New York City was hit with twelve feet of snow on December 31st Times Square would still be choked with enough people attuned to the pop-culture concept that it's "just where you're supposed to be."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:23 AM on November 22, 2005


Eideteker, you must have been standing near St. Charles and Jackson. I heard those gunshots. Kids having a turf battle during a parade. Jesus!

Mardi Gras is not just for tourists; all of my friends in New Orleans loved it. Who do you think rides in the floats?
posted by hartsell at 11:31 AM on November 22, 2005


Yeah, the "Is there going to be a Mardi Gras?" question assumes that there needs to be something official... In 1979, a police strike forced all the major parades to be cancelled. It didn't stop Marid Gras from happening. Unofficial, ad hoc, walking parades filled the streets. There are some who say it was the best Mardi Gras in years. Mardi Gras will happen no matter what. It's just a question of whether the tourists will be invited. Mardi Gras is CERTAINLY not just for tourists.

By the way, everyone read this, then go to wwoz.org on Thanksgiving Day.
posted by brundlefly at 1:15 PM on November 22, 2005


Mardi Gras has been going on since there has been a New Orleans. Tourism has not.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:41 PM on November 22, 2005


Thanks, brundlefly. That's awesome. Yeah you right.
posted by ColdChef at 1:57 PM on November 22, 2005


hartsell: I believe we were at St. Charles & Josephine. One block over!
ColdChef: I was actually thinking of volunteering over the winter break to have an excuse to go down to NOLA. I wish I knew people down there well enough to visit for three weeks. I've got gloves, and I'm only slightly reluctant to get dirty. It'd be an excuse to bring my motorcycle somewhere where I could ride it without 4 ft. of snow on the ground.
posted by Eideteker at 3:01 PM on November 22, 2005


I have this weird feeling that with all the hype about it there's going to be Mardi Gras in New Orleans whether New Orleans says so or not. They way it sounds, people are just going to show up.

Well, the city definitely is pushing harder than ever for it to happen, because it's critical to city morale and the future of the tourism industry.

If New York City was hit with twelve feet of snow on December 31st Times Square would still be choked with enough people attuned to the pop-culture concept that it's "just where you're supposed to be."

I've been in New York City when it snowed on New Year's Eve. Not six inches or anything, but enough. You know what? Snow doesn't affect subway travel much.
posted by dhartung at 5:33 PM on November 22, 2005


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