Mardi Gras in New Orleans
Mardi Gras in New Orleans is always a popular subject around these parts, and a favorite time of year for locals and visitors alike. I refuse to miss going to the French Quarter on Mardi Gras day. I’ve passed up the chance to go to Las Vegas with work to make sure I didn’t miss a Mardi Gras beat. And I’ve stumbled out of the house with the flu, because staying at home all day on Mardi Gras would make me feel even sicker. (Okay, probably not the smartest move, but there it is.)
I LOVE Mardi Gras. The costumes, the revelry, the sense of magic that overtakes an entire city. And believe me – this has NOTHING to do with boobs or beads. It’s not what you see on tv. You have to come to New Orleans to experience it. And Bourbon Street is NOT where it’s at.
Mardi Gras 2006 – This was actually before I started writing Miss Malaprop, but this was the first Mardi Gras after Katrina, and what happened that spring all sort of led up to me creating this blog, so it feels appropriate to include it! A few weeks before Mardi Gras, I was invited to participate in a fashion show fundraiser where designers were challenged to create something out of the infamous blue tarps that dotted buildings all over the Gulf Coast in the months after Hurricane Katrina. The outfit pictured above is what I came up with for that show, modeled by my friend Molly. It made the front page of the Living section of the newspaper, and it became the inspiration for my second blue tarp creation, which one 3rd place in Etsy’s nationwide Upcycling Contest in 2007!
My best bud Ashe Mischief and some other friends came back home for Mardi Gras weekend in 2006, and a bunch of us did an Alice in Wonderland themed group costume. Ashe was Alice, I was the Cheshire Cat.
Mardi Gras 2007 – Where did it go? I have no idea… For some reason I have no pictures, blog posts or recollection of Mardi Gras 2007. Maybe it was those darn daiquiris again?
Mardi Gras 2008 – A memorably fun year for Mardi Gras! I came up with a costume idea in plenty of time and had a lot of fun executing it – I was the world’s deadliest bird – a cassowary! I had the hat and corset custom made for me, and I made the skirt and neckwarmer myself.
Mardi Gras 2009 – We participated in Barkus, the dog parade, with our dog Molly! There was a Batman theme, so we dressed her up as Harley Quinn. It was super fun, but by Mardi Gras day, I’d come down with the flu. I had to miss our annual Lundi Gras night march with Noisician Coalition, but I sucked it up and even though I felt sort of miserable, I would have been MORE miserable if I had to sit at home all of Mardi Gras day. We went out late in the afternoon for a few hours to see what was happening in the Quarter.
Mardi Gras 2010 – Last year was a pretty good year for Mardi Gras too! We watched Endymion and marched with Box of Wine. I took the costume I created for Worn Again 3, a tribute to the Mardi Gras Indians, out for awhile, but I spent most of the day in other clothes. (I have mad respect for the real Mardi Gras Indians. My costume weighed NOTHING compared to theirs, but it was heavy enough that I didn’t want to spend very long in it!)
Mardi Gras 2011 – I created a stuffed animal dress. Not entirely inspired by anything other than my desire to be ridiculous. Although it did get a lot of Lady Gaga comparisons!
I love that during Mardi Gras, there’s a parade for everything. There’s a teeny-tiny parade. There’s a parade for geeks. There’s even a parade just for dogs! One of the reasons I love Dragon*Con so much is because it’s like Mardi Gras for geeks!
Have you had the chance to experience Mardi Gras? Love it or hate it? What’s your favorite part?