The Float, The Band, The Float


Member Rating 3 out of 5 by Ken @ American Odyssey TV on March 11, 2011

My trip to Nola for Mardi was planned months ahead of time, when lots of friends were interested in coming. Of course, as luck will have it, they all had reasons they couldn't attend. So, I was in Nola alone for Mardi Gras. Maybe that was a good thing - I managed to keep myself out of too much trouble, but then, maybe that was a bad thing because if you are going to Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you should be looking for trouble.

I was there only a short 30 hours or so, as I arrived on late Monday afternoon and left early on Wednesday morning. It was a very short trip to say the least.

Before going I was really looking forward to the parades. To be honest, I was expecting Carnevale style girls and masks, and glamour. This wasn't to be found. the parades were pretty similar to your local town parade, you know, high school marching band, float, band, float. Of course the bands were all pretty good, and some of the floats were big and gallant, but not as big or gallant as expected. The big difference of course was the beads, plastic cups and small toys being thrown from the floats, and the absurdity of the people clawing, pushing and climbing to collect as many of the valueless goods being thrown around.

The parades got a little tiresome as all the floats in one parade were eerily similar to the one that just passed. Maybe one had a lion in the front and the next a frog, but other than that, they were pretty much the same. Each parade had a different style float, but the style was mimicked within.

The parades go for the entire weekend and they piggyback each other, so be prepared to stand around for a while. Some people love them, and go to each and every one, for as long as they go. For me, a little here, a little there, and people watching is what is really the best.

This may be most exciting for college students looking to collect the most beads, or for younger kids who want to 'party'. If I was a child here, I no doubt would have had a blast. But the inner child has long left, and I just didn't see the value in a set of cheap plastic beads that you can buy by the thousands at next to nothing.

I'm glad I went, and probably won't do this again.
Mardi Gras
1 Poydras St
New Orleans, Louisiana, 70130

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