So I have been slacking a lil’ bit on my whereabouts (a.k.a. Mardi Gras weekend up through my birthday weekend!) And I am sure you all are anxiously awaiting the details of my birthday! As this is more like a 4-part series, I will present it as such to make up for missing my last 4 posts! 🙂
PART I – MARDI GRAS
New Orleans, Louisiana
My best friend from high school now lives down in New Orleans…so her house inevitably becomes my new home during the Carnival season. I also must throw it out there that this was the hub’s first Mardi Gras experience! I already did a post HERE about the French Quarter + Krewe du Vieux. So we are now going to flashback to Lundi Gras! Lundi Gras is “Fat Monday,” the day before Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.” There are major celebrations – and it’s all free! There is live music in the afternoon, several parades in the evening, and a spectacular fireworks display on the river at night. (However, we never quite made it to the fireworks!)
Lundi Gras live music stages are set up on the river in the Spanish Plaza, at the Riverwalk. The party starts at 3:00 pm with music until 6:30. And then two of the best parades roll: Proteus and Orpheus.
At 3:00 pm, we departed from our home away from home near Magazine Street and took a 2-mile walk down to Bourbon Street. Although a lil’ apprehensive about seeing nothing but bare-chested women staggering in the streets – we were pleasantly surprised! Along the streets, we saw families lined up along the parade route! Once we reached Bourbon Street, it was crowded…but fun! The only real danger here was making sure you kept a constant look upwards in order to avoid being whacked on the head from flying balcony beads!!! So we took shelter in a nearby bar – grabbed a quick pick-me-up – and then continued on down the street and over to the Riverwalk.
Once we reached the Riverwalk, we were met with a HUGE CROWD of people standing around listening to the live music of the ZULU bands. We had fun taking a few pics and chasing down the Miller Lite carts. 🙂
We then side-lined it into Harrah’s for a pre-parade night-cap… then caught a cab back to the house and started prepping The Cooler 🙂 The Cooler is a necessity for food and/or beverages during the hours long parades! We then hiked it up a few blocks to St. Charles street to watch the parades!
Krewe of Proteus: Founded in 1882 with a Parade theme based on Egyptian mythology, the Krewe of Proteus is thus the second oldest Krewe in Carnival history. The king’s float is a signature giant seashell, signifying his origins and royal realm. This is one of the night parades that feature flambeaux, the flame-carrying young men who used to provide all the lights for evening parades.
Krewe of Orpheus: Founded in 1993, the Krewe of Orpheus takes its name from the musically inclined son of Zeus and Calliope. For Mardi Gras 2011, the cast and executive producers of HBO’s series Treme were the celebrity guests riding with the krewe. Jennifer Coolidge and Steve Zahn were named celebrity monarchs for the parade.
All in all – a VERY fun Lundi Gras. Needless to say…we were pretty paraded out, so we didn’t make it back out on actual Mardi Gras day. But I hope you have enjoyed the trip through my eyes!