A walk around Uptown and Central City New Orleans today left no doubt that Mardi Gras season is upon us.
Officially, the carnival season begins the 12th night after Christmas (the Epiphany), creating a seamless flow from Winter Holiday to Mardi Gras parties.
The season starts cautiously but gradually works up to the crescendo that is Mardi Gras Day or what some call Fat Tuesday–the last day before the faithful must endure the rigors of Lent.
We’re at the penultimate weekend of Mardi Gras when over a dozen parades will roll down St. Charles Avenue as well as through the French Quarter.
Women (Krewe of Cleopatra), wine-lovers (Krewe of Cork), alien fans (Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus) and those who prefer shoe-box sized parade floats (‘tit Rex) are just a few of the rolling shows happening this weekend.
But the Mardi Gras spirit is not limited to the parades. Doors are festooned with wreaths of purple, green and gold, along with banners, masks, signs, and, of course, braids and braids of beads.
And after school lets out, you can easily hear the drum beat of student musicians sharpening their band performance and building endurance for the marathon of parades to come.
I’m going to celebrate Mardi Gras in Olympia. (Wouldn’t want to miss Artesian Rumble Arkestra’s annual pub crawl) and I’ll be back in time for the world debut of Sweeney’s Gumbo YaYa – Thursday edition. It will, of course, be a show featuring Mardi Gras music. Until then, let the good times roll.