So, Mardi Gras was a blast! On Saturday (the 2nd) we went to two parades. One here in my small nearby town called Leesville, and the other in historic Natchitoches (pronounced Nakadish for some reason... those crazy French!) The parade in Natchitoches was a night-time lighted parade. Some of the floats were these big double decker things and the people threw beads off both the bottom and top. And if you weren't watching for those beads.... look out! Me, my dad and Drew all got clocked pretty good at least once with a wad of beads.
And no, we didn't have to "do" anything for the beads. That's only legal on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, and you have to be 21 or older to get in to that section of the Mardi Gras festivities. All the other parades in Louisiana are family friendly.... for the most part. Now, if someone voluntarily flashes you to get some beads because you had been at a parade earlier that day and she wanted the beads that were around your neck then hey, that's just an added bonus! (Not naming any names here, but yes, we were either directly or indirectly flashed at one point.)
Now, when you're at a Mardi Gras parade you are supposed to yell, "Throw Me Something, Mister!" (and then in that one small section in New Orleans we talked about the "mister" yells back, "Show Me Something!" but again, we didn't experience that.... not really.)
Sunday, eventhough I slept in a little, we eventually found our way down to Lake Charles for yet another parade chock full of even more beads and gigantic floats. Were we paraded out? No way! We were ready for more! Bring it on! Throw us something, Mister!
I can't talk about the Mardi Gras funness without posting some pictures.
Starting with the smaller, yet still exciting Leesville parade:
The army has a huge presence here, obviously, and they participate in everything. It was easy to see how much fun the guys were having throwing beads from the tops of their vehicles!
You can't have a parade without some crazy pink wigged flamingo ladies!
Here is our bead count after just one parade. Oh trust me, it only gets bigger!
The kids waiting patiently for the parade to start in Natchitoches.
This parade was put on by the Krewe of Dionysos. A "krewe" is a company or group of people who sponsor a float, or even a whole entire parade like this one did. They are a part of their community and hold fund raisers and things like that.
The feathery creature atop this float is Lady Dionysos herself, who was throwing out silver rose beads which Louisa was lucky enough to catch.
Here's a good example of a double decker float. There was a balcony above us, and the top part of this float was good for getting the beads wayyyy up there!
Most of the floats were themed with something retro. We had a disco Garfield, Zoro, and this one was a rocking Archie gang float!