on March 1, 2001
After missing the final weekend's celebrations due to freezing temperatures and a magnitude 4.8 earthquake, Mardi Gras was canceled due to high winds, rain and continuing near-freezing temperatures.
Disappointed? Yes. Did we stay at home? Heck no! My partner and I had originally been invited to watch a Scotch-Irish pipes and drums group play in the Carnaval, but since it was canceled, they took us along with them to a Provençal restaurant for a night of Ulster Scots festivities. Also present was the BBC for a documentary - stressed out because they'd apparently counted on the Carnaval parade to make up a large part of their film, we had to stage some "natural" fun to make up for it. After they stopped filming, the real fun began :)
The band played some highland music, and two of the best bagpiper soloists in the world (finalists in the World Championships for adults and juniors) played traditional songs. There were also two world championship snare drummers present who amazed us with their near-impeccable sense of rhythm (nearly, after all, they'd had a bit to drink and it was just after dinner! That being said, their "near" sense of rhythm was nonetheless superior to that of many professional musicians!).
All in all, it was a night we'll never forget, perhaps not traditionally French but definitely in the spirit of Mardi Gras. I don't know what recommendation to put, since technically there's nothing to recommend - well, let's say "highly recommended" for those who refuse to let a cancellation dampen their spirits!
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