Today was the day. Mardi Gras.
Any fan of this Blog knows that our Mardi Gras started, as it does for most New Orleaneans, back at Twelfth Night, with the Saint Joan parade. Krewe duVieux, T-Rex, Muses, Barkus, all lead up to the big day for locals. Tourists have flooded the city over the last few days, making the larger parades crowded and annoying, but the local events are still a pleasure.
In tonight's post I wanted to show some of the amazing costumes locals don to celebrate the day. Lauren and I, along with our six out-of-town guests, headed downtown early this morning, and I photographed as many of the revelers as I could.
Our Mardi Gras morning started when we walked out the door at about 9 AM, and right there on our street, we saw a Mardi Gras Indian. He wore salmon-colored feathers, and shouted "Hey" when we bid him a happy Mardi Gras. I knew the day would be lucky. Even for locals, it is rare to spot an Indian outside of the traditional African American neighborhoods. For our guests it was a unique experience. Indians are a well kept New Orleans secret.
Then we headed to the Bywater for breakfast with our friend, Slow Burn burlesque dancer Ruby Rage.
Lauren, Becca, and the other Lauren outside Ruby's house, ready to head to Frenchmen Street.
Lauren's sexy pirate outfit.
Frenchmen plays host each year to a huge Mardi Gras street party, featuring brass bands and recorded music. Locals dance, gather and drink along the two blocks of Frenchmen bewteen Royal and Decatur.
The crowd on Frenchmen and Royal was already thick when we arrived.
Our friend Jacob, in her Minatour outfit.
We saw this family as we reached the corner of Royal and Elysian Fields. Their costume theme was Two Mules for Sister Sarah. They were actually handing out small movie posters to anyone interested.
Dancers on Frenchmen and Royal. Dance parties gather at each street intersection. This crowd was dancing to recorded music.
Frenchmen is a scene for locals. Unlike Bourbon Street, which is full of rowdy, drunk tourists, families come here to parade and dance, and to see and be seen.
A brass band at the intersection of Frenchmen and Charters.
The Justice League of America
Unicorns (this seems to be a theme this year)
Our friend Hale found us in the crowd.
Another (sexy) unicorn.
Then we headed down to Decatur, and caught the Krewe of Cosmic Debris Parade, a hippie parade started in the '70s and still adhering to a hippie ethic. It was pretty large this year.
Cosmic Debris Paraders.
We wandered down Decatur a bit, and up to Royal, making a circle that put us back on Frenchmen.
This kid was standing under a balcony on Decatur, allowing the people on the balcony to throw her all of their beads.
We found Van Gough on Royal Street.
My friend Elena, wearing a costume decorated with king cake babies.
Becca, the other Lauren, and Jacob (in back)...the "after" shot. This was after a full day of Mardi Gras excess.
I'll post some more Mardi Gras pics soon...til then,
From Mardi Gras, this is Kenny Klein explaining it all.