I just want to start by saying if you live in a state or a city that doesn’t celebrate Mardi Gras, I’m sorry.
All over Louisiana, in small towns and big cities, there have been parades, parties and preparations. And Fat Tuesday is the culmination of the Mardi Gras season. I’ll never forget my first Mardi Gras. I had no idea! I moved to Louisiana not long after 9/11. I was here when Hurricane Katrina came through. I’ve seen a lot happen here, and in the world. But let me tell you, come hell or high water, Mardi Gras is celebrated.
My son gave my very close friends’ grand daughter (they live in Missouri) beads for her birthday last year. No, wait. Listen. I’m not talking about a strand of beads. I’m not talking about a bag of strands. I’m talking about twenty-five pounds of beads! In every color, shape and size. Can you imagine how much fun she would have had collecting them herself?
I know there are news pieces and movies showing women baring their parts in order to get beads, but that’s just the excuse they use. Anyone standing along a parade route, and there are lots of parades, can get beads. Tons of them are thrown from floats. There are whole stores dedicated to the sale of Mardi Gras supplies.
There are parades in school. There are pet parades. There are parades of horses. And then there are the float parades. And let me tell you about the floats. There are groups called krewes who finance the creation and operation of floats. Each krewe has a unique name. They have parties and all kinds of events. They collect money. They provide or lease a place where their float is kept all year. Where it is re-created and prepared anew each year. The floats are loaded with beads, plastic coins and cups and other party favors. Permits are obtained. Inspections are had. And then one day that float is brought out of that warehouse and the whole city gathers to celebrate.
There are four subjects you must be well-versed in if you’re going to live in Louisiana: football, hunting, fishing, and Mardi Gras. If you don’t have an appreciation for at least a couple of these things, please find somewhere else to live, cause y’all ain’t gonna be happy here.