…because I celebrated Mardi Gras. No, I didn’t do anything to put my reputation on the line, but I thought it was important to learn about the culture of my new home, right?
Scenes like this tree, sprouting a healthy crop of beads, have been common near my downtown office since after Christmas. Time to figure out how all those beads get there, so my friend Bethany and I attended the Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade right here in Baton Rouge today. I’m not a huge fan of giant drunk crowds and had no idea what to expect–but it was great!
The parade got off to a slow start, which gave Bethany and I ample people-watching time. In addition to the purple, green, and gold of Mardi Gras, Spanish Town has its own color and symbol, the pink flamingo. And that meant that hot pink tutus, hot pink furry legwarmers, hot pink suits, hot pink everything went walking by at some point.
Finally, the police sirens started, and it was time! A tiny marching band headed up the parade. As someone whose husband once headed a rather unwieldy and formal 175-piece marching band, the tiny bands of Southeast Louisiana crack me up. Then it was time for floats!
Hot pink loomed on the horizon.
And outlandish costumes!
Makes sense to me.
Spanish Town’s parade is known for being political and satirical. This year’s theme was “A Spanish Town Twinkie Ate My Ding Dong.” I can’t for the life of me figure out what that means, other than something vaguely naughty. I’ve said it before: There’s a reason why I got a degree in counseling instead of going to law school.
All of the floats (well, all of the awesome floats) throw things. Everyone knows that. But what everyone doesn’t know is that they throw all kinds of things.
The Wonder Bread float above is the reason why Bethany is randomly eating Wonder Bread in the middle of a parade. Things we also caught include approximately 50 pounds of beads, a frisbee, a stuffed raccoon, candy, plastic coins, a lace garter, and a Twinkie costume. Actually, we weren’t sure if someone threw that for Bethany or they lost their costume mid-parade. Whatever, now she’s all set to be a Sexy Twinkie next Halloween!
Here is some more float madness:
I don’t even know what was going on here–the theme was obviously “A lot of crap from Home Depot and your grandma’s powder room.” Actually, “A lot of crap on a float and some people drinking beer” was pretty much the theme of the day, since the actual theme was rather opaque, and I think there was more beer drinking than float building in some cases. I found this highly amusing.
And if you’re drinking a lot of beer on a float, then you need a place to put the used beer. I bet you never thought of that!
Also, Purple Jumpsuit Man here Meant Business and ended up in about half my photos.
The parade was also multicultural! Here are the Italian American marchers. They reminded me of the Italian clubs at home in eastern and western PA, although I’ve never gotten a lacy red garter from the guys at home. Thank goodness.
And after what felt like 4 days (more like an hour), it was over. The aftermath:
Thanks for a fun day, Bethany!
So, apologies for not doing any homework today. There were more pressing issues, like beads to catch. I’ll catch up on my homework over the next few days.
In the meantime, I have to get untangled.
Thanks for understanding!