Bunny on Top of the Bunny Cage and Jäger on the Lawn: Some Thoughts About Mardi Gras.

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A classic shot of the Mardi Gras Bead Tree (image via uptownacorn.com)

With Mardi Gras coming up soon, it’s a good time to talk about the glory of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. There are a lot of misconceptions about NOLA Mardi Gras. It’s not about some irrelevant, trashy tourists flashing in the French Quarter. The real party is Uptown, on the parade route. Mardi Gras is like strange fun for your whole weird family.

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Mardi Gras 2007

Everything about Mardi Gras in NOLA seems excessive. I’ve never been to a bacchanalian Roman orgy, but Mardi Gras must be pretty close. It’s marching bands bringing the funk to the people, the overblown joy of a four hour parade. It’s the stranger that hands you a Jell-O shot at 7 am. As a friend of mine described it after a late-night party one year, “Mardi Gras is the bunny on top of the bunny cage and Jäger on the lawn.”

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Mardi Gras 2007

I think a certain part of me pines for a Mardi Gras family. Propyour kids up on a ladder at the crack of dawn, holding a beer with your kids weighed down with bead neck. Mardi Gras is more than just Mardi Gras Day. It is two weeks of krewes parading, Mardi Gras balls and revelry. The first weekend is more of a family weekend and then the intensity ramps up during the second weekend. By the time Fat Tuesday comes around, it is almost a comedown from the mayhem.

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Mardi Gras 2007

Mardi Gras is a time when subtlety is kept at a minimum. The fashion at Mardi Gras sometimes best resembles an electric space pimp from the future. It can get intense out there on the route. One year, I got a trombone to the side of the head. It was a rookie mistake, never bend down to pick something up. At least it wasn’t a tuba. One year, an old lady knocked me down for beads with an oxygen tank. She’s throwing down on Mardi Gras, nothing is stopping her! That’s dedication.

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Mardi Gras 2007

Mardi Gras is New Orleans is unlike anything else you will ever experience. It is a funky, glorious time. It’s going beyond Bourbon Street and tapping into something real. Get out there, throw down, beast it and laissez les bon temps rouler!

 

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