It's Mardi Gras Time
February 27, 2003 7:42 PM   Subscribe

It's Carnival Time! New Orleans Mardi Gras celebrations are steeped in tradition. From beads and king cakes to invitation-only balls, carnival has been a part of the city's history since the French held private masked balls and parties in 1718. Although Spanish rule interrupted the party for 90 years, many of the krewes have been around since the 1800s. Today, parade floats are considered an art form and some krewes spend up to $700,000 on a single float. With such excess abounding, consider yourself warned.
posted by ajr (15 comments total)
Oh, baby. I am so there.
posted by ColdChef at 7:50 PM on February 27, 2003

I'll have to remind you hooligans in New Orleans again (like I have to do EVERY YEAR, I even wrote a stern letter of dissapproval to Jeopardy! for getting this wrong), but the birthplace of Mardi Gras (in the US at least) is my hometown Mobile, Alabama.

We don't have nearly as many Girls Going Wild, but dammit, we've got tradition coming out our wazoo. You New Orleans freaks should calm down a bit and come on over for a good time.
posted by Stan Chin at 7:50 PM on February 27, 2003

How's the Gumbo in Moblie?
posted by ColdChef at 7:54 PM on February 27, 2003

Not very good, but we have Jimmy Buffett's Cheeseburgers in Paradise at the Dew Drop Inn (who also serves world famous hot dogs). We also have our fine share of good-natured southern belles at your disposal.
posted by Stan Chin at 8:00 PM on February 27, 2003

It is my lifelong goal to one day ride in the Zulu Parade. Chunking spears, hurling coconuts, wearing blackface, drinking heavily at five in the morning...this is the stuff dreams are made of.
posted by ColdChef at 8:12 PM on February 27, 2003

Dunno about the spears anymore, but The Man insurance companies forced them to hand the coconuts out instead.
posted by turbodog at 8:34 PM on February 27, 2003

I just got home from the Muses parade. I had an absolute blast. Mardi Gras isn't all about the insanity down on Bourbon St. It's the parades baby. "Hey sistah, t'row me sumthin'!"

posted by djeo at 10:13 PM on February 27, 2003

They could use a bit of this in Boston.....*sulks*
posted by troutfishing at 11:42 PM on February 27, 2003

Make yourself a king cake, cook up some gumbo, and start watching BourboCam, BeadCam, and ParadeCam.

It's almost like being there.

Meanwhile, I'm going to grab all the beads I kept from my five years of living in New Orleans and start throwing them at myself in an attempt to relive the spirit.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:16 AM on February 28, 2003

I'll be starting off in Baton Rouge at the Spanishtown Parade ("We're here, we're queer, where's my beer?") and then moving downriver to New Or-yuns for Endymion and Bacchus. I've cooked a kettle of red beans and tonight I'm going to mix up my deadly Bloody Marys.

This will be my first Mardi Gras in five years. I just moved back from Texas. I tried to explain the Carnival to the folks over there, but there are just some things you can't explain.
posted by ColdChef at 4:58 AM on February 28, 2003

I won't be able to make it this year :( The first one I've missed in 4 yrs. I agree that it's more about the parades than the debauchery in the quarter. Although I admit that I usually stay at The Inn On Bourbon. There's nothing like standing on the balcony and watching the mass of people travel down the street. Have fun and be careful.
posted by bas67 at 6:02 AM on February 28, 2003

forget New Orleans, Venice, whatever. True Carnival, with all its risks and joys, is like this.
[link in Portuguese]
posted by 111 at 7:45 AM on February 28, 2003

Stan, Mardi Gras in America is much older than the city of Mobile. Because of "hedonistic" behavior the Pilgrims forbid the celebration of Shrove Tuesday in 1628! But seeing as how the first European settlements in what is now the US were settled by Catholic Spaniards, I would just bet that there was a little Carnival celebration going on in places like St. Agustine before Maubila or the Mississippi river were ever gazed upon by any white man!
posted by Pollomacho at 8:42 AM on February 28, 2003

Carnival history.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:43 AM on February 28, 2003

If you go, be careful.
posted by jcruelty at 11:02 AM on February 28, 2003

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