Sunday, January 18, 2009
Mardi Gras in Shreveport
It's Mardi Gras season in my neck of the woods. One of the first things I like to do each year is to go down to Julie Anne's bakery and pick up a King Cake!
For my money, Julie Anne's makes the best local King Cake. They far surpass the ones you can pick up in a grocery store. Ferrier's Rolling in the Dough makes a great one too, but I'm an impulse buyer, and to get a King Cake from Ferrier's you have to order ahead. At Julie Anne's I can just walk in and pick one up.
The traditional King Cake, for the uninitiated, is much like a sweet roll. But at Julie Anne's you can also get a cream cheese filling, or raspberry, pralines & cream, to name a few. Traditionally, whoever gets the baby in their slice is supposed to bring the King Cake the next year. Doesn't matter around here because I always buy one whether I get the baby or not!
I'm looking forward to our parades this year, too. On Febrary 14 is the Centaur Parade, followed the next day by the Barkus and Meoux Parade on the Riverfront. Steve and I love the "dog and cat" parade, as we call it, though there are many more creatures than dogs and cats. The next weeked is the Krewe of Gemini Parade and then on Sunday will be the Krewe of Highland parade. We LOVE the Highland parade .
The Highland parade is a neighborhood parade but don't let that phrase fool you - it's huge. It's very family friendly and after the parade is a gathering in Columbia Park which goes on into the hours. We always gather more throws at this parade than any other. Steve likes to catch the hot dogs tossed out by the Krewe of Bar-b-Que!
The Centaur and Gemini parades follow the same long, snaking route from downtown, down the riverfront, and ending up in my neck of the woods along the bayou. We are about a mile from the parade route at my house, easy walking distance, but from my backyard deck on parade days, I can smell the woodfires and cookouts in progress hours before the parade comes. We always walk down early in the day and mingle around, and I always run into someone I haven't seen in ages.
I love the fun of Mardi Gras and I just shake my head every year wondering why in the world we stand out in the freezing cold (sometimes), suffer bodily injuries (sometimes) , battle through crowds (often), and scream our lungs out (always) to get a bunch of brightly colored plastic beads made in China. Because it's fun! I'm ready!