Laissez les bon temps rouler! It’s time for Mardi Gras, and there’s no bigger Fat Tuesday party than the bash in New Orleans. Grab some beads and see all the highlights from the Big Easy!
With Ash Wednesday right around the corner, it’s time for last major party. It’s Mardi Gras, and it’s time to cut lose or, as they say in Cajun country, “laissez les bon temps rouler” (or “let the good times roll,” per CBS News.) With Mardi Gras falling on Feb. 13, the biggest party in the United States is down in New Orleans, Louisiana. Millions have flocked to the French Quarter and Bourbon Street to celebrate, long before the sun has gone down. Oh, when night rolls around, it’s going to get wild!
While other Southern Cities celebrate Mardi Gras, it’s most famously associated with New Orleans, where it’s the culmination of weeks of parades. Really! The first parade took place on January 6, with the Phunny Phorty Phellows parade. The first Mardi Gras celebration actually took place in Mobile, Alabama in 1703. A secret society, the Masque de Mobile, formed to organize the following celebrations, according to USA Today. The party found its way to New Orleans in 1718.
Similar to the secret society that organized the Mobile Mardi Gras, “kewes” oput on a parade during the Carnival season. Some of the more famous krewes are the Mistick Krew Of Comus, the Krewe of Proteus, and the krewes of Rex and Zulu. There are also plenty of “Micro-krewes,” all designated to smaller, niche interests, according to New Orleans Online. There’s the Krewe of Barksu, featuring dogs in costumes. There’s Krew of Robyn, a LGBT-friendly walking krewe dedicated to the Swedish pop star, Robyn, and the Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus. Yes, sci-fi and fantasy nerds can get in on the fun, too!
Oh, speaking of “krewes,” if you wonder who cleans up after the party? It’s the New Orleans Department of Public Works, who pulled out 93,000 pounds of old beads out of catch basins on the main parade route….last month according to NPR. So, the head of the department instituted “gutter buddies,” or a combination of metal grates and orange sandbags that will keep the beads from clogging the drains on the main parade route.
The Zulu parade – which featured Spike Lee, and five players from the New Orleans Saints – kicked off at 8 AM ET. The Rex parade followed at 10:00 AM ET. These were just parades. The party continues until midnight. Then, it’s Ash Wednesday and the start of lent. Get that fun in while you can!
HollywoodLifers, check out the gallery above of all the highlights from New Orleans’ Mardi Gras.