We always walk to the parade route from chez SIGIS. It's not that far and is much easier than fighting the traffic after the parade. I have a friend that lives right on the route and so that's our base on parade day.
She invites a crowd and everyone brings a potluck contribution. This year a guy brought his deep fryer so our feast included fried cheese sticks, chicken tenders, and corndogs. There was also boudin, burgers, jambalaya, steak on a stick, and plenty of sweets, chips and dips to go around. I ate the best brownies I've ever had in my life. After the parade the fixins' for s'mores come out and the kids are in hog heaven.
We had three fire pits going:
...and I nearly caught myself on fire at least twice.
I love to people watch while sitting by the fire. I saw people with wagons:
And people with tutus:
And one group brought a couch and a basketball goal out there:
And there's a guy with a turkey on his head:
Some unfortunate soul got a ticket right before they closed the streets:
The house next door to where we were had this sign in their yard:
And in fact they did give away lots of coffee, cocoa and water. Probably prayers, too!
There were plenty of bounce houses:
And I'm not sure what to make of this:
But lots of people just walked:
We ran into our good friend, Red. I've known her for thirty years, at least:
But finally it was time for the parade. And what magnificent animals to start it off!:
Look at those feet!:
They were followed by the Louisiana Tech Band:
Then the floats came.
People go crazy at parades. It's all over cheap plastic beads from China and various other trinkets. It's fun to reach up and snag some beads out of the air when a krewe member throws them to you. Sometimes it's one string of beads, sometimes it's a tangled wad of beads. Sometimes a krewe member will single you out, lean over the side and hand you something "special". A guy on this float leaned over and handed me some beads in a plastic ziploc bag with a huge medallion on them and this guy standing next to me reached out and snagged it from my hand.
I just looked incredulously at him, and said, "Dude! Really?!? He handed that to ME!" He just laughed at me and lit a cigarette. I thought about having a throw down right there in the middle of the road but didn't want to end up on the front page of the newspaper over some mardi gras beads. I did step to the back of the crowd and just watched for a while, though.
This float was cool:
It's the year of the dragon:
These folks were fun to watch:
I loved the penguin float - their costumes were cool!:
Ahem. The Democrat float?
The Mansfield High Marching Band:
The Seal Team Six float came by...:
...and it was a sobering moment:
The Saints float:
It was dark by the time the parade ended:
and by that time I was already back by the fire pit trying to thaw out!
We had a grand time despite the random jerk or two in the crowd and the cold! Tomorrow is the Barkus and Meoux parade and then next week we'll forgo the Gemini parade in favor of a Jerry Jeff Walker concert but we will catch the Highland Parade (and maybe catch a hot dog from the Krewe of Bar B Que!)
Laissez les bon temps rouler!