Feb 5, 2005

Mardi Gras Alexandria Style

Which means it was small but good. I don't know the official count, but I'm thinking since we were 53rd in line, and a fast eye-count showed me another 15 or so in line behind us, so that means there were almost 70 entries this year. So, pics and commentary for the Kid's Parade follow.

Laisse le bon temps rouler!

What sort of parade is it without a
Guy On Stilts!

I had to include that because of the story--every year for both the Kid's Parade and the adult version Sunday the New Mexico Military Institute's Precision Rifle Team joins us. Why are these people driving to a little podunk town in the middle of Louisiana for a Mardi Gras parade? Because quite a long time ago they were passing through the town en route to a function elsewhere, and their vehicle broke down. They received such wonderful hospitality and assistance from the folks here that they decided to make Alexandria's Mardi Gras parades a regular stop from then on, and for the past 7 or 8 years that I can recall they have marched proudly (and skillfully--these guys and gals are GOOD) in the front ranks of the parade, with our uniformed police officers, our local ROTC units, and whichever high school band is best that year. And they've got a guy on stilts! How can you possibly go wrong!?

Okay, so here's the obligatory
Cute Pet Photo. I didn't get to see them this year, but the local humane society has a Walking Crew each year with adoptable animals from the local Humane Society as well as pets of people who just want to get out and dress their dog in strange coloured clothing.

A through-the-fence picture of the
Krewe of Boogaloo float, included here because these guys rock out loud. Literally. This was taken rather early in the morning, but during the parade there's about twenty folks up there, dressed in their trademark red and black, with the huge red and black Seuss tophats, all jamming to some really good music and about half of them are smoking cigars. How cool is that? Lemme go one cooler--their Krewe Rex wears a red tuxedo jacket over black slacks, a black vest with red tie and a red fedora, and the old-school Mardi Gras neckerchief masque, rather than the more modern domino or eyes-only masques. He marches out front of the truck pulling the float, and always has the best throws, as well as fancy dancing feet. I'll try to make it to the parade tomorrow to get you a good pic.

Boogaloo also has the BEST throws--red and black beads, cups, dubloons, you name it. Boogaloo rocks!

You knew it was coming--the pic of my

Daughter's 4-H Club Float!
Go Phoenix Magnet 4-H! That's the weerelephant there at the back, wearing her Mardi Gras gold sweatshirt, but it was so blinking cold under that overpass in the staging area that she stayed bundled up the whole time. Wellness over fashion, I say.

Here's a pic of the
Krewe of Phoenix 4-H 4th Graders ready to start throwing some beads, even tho the actual parade part for us was about an hour after this pic was taken. You gotta give 'em credit for excitement, tho--this was one ready bunch.

There's the
Weerelephant Again, masqued and ready with a handfull of throws. Boogaloo's float is in the background, as are a couple of freezing 'rents who were floatspotters, as was yours truly, trying to keep kids from falling under the wheels. Score: Spotters 3, Squished Children 0. Job well done, plus a spot on the live tele broadcast which me own mum saw, and recognised her son even under a tophat and a neckerchief masque.

The Weerelephant deserves a big pat on the back too, for Perfect Throw Management. Once she got her aim down she was firing throws off like a real Krewe veteran, and when the parade was finally ended she had used up every throw she had (that'd have been 22 dozen,) saved one string of purples for herself, and had enough odds and ends to toss a last few out to the stragglers at the last block. I'm so proud! One day she's gonna be the first female Rex, leading the Krewe of Irrelephants out there, I know she is. Watch for it.

Okay, so honestly I took this one because of the truck--it's very rare to see a restored late 60's GMC four-wheel drive truck around this town, and this one was pretty. Only slightly less important is the
Krewe of Hot-Flash Red Hats, and here you can see their Queen mounting her royal chariot to sit on the royal throne in the back of...some guys's truck. They had some very rare pink pearlescent beads, too. Cool.

And this is the view from the spotter's position. That bottleneck up there? That's where the parade route begins. That lasted for something like 10 city blocks, at 3 mph, with frequent stops for folks ahead of us lingering at the judge's stand for some extra flesh-pressing and favors exchanged for votes. Block after block of kids and adults and people of every description, all sreaming for beads and cups and little purple and gold and green stuffed animals. Crazy! And a hell of a lot of fun. It's interesting how worked up you can get a crowd of people by spinning a long gold string of plastic beads around your hand and NOT throwing it. *lol* I made four dozen strings (thanks to Munchkinn for the throws!) last the entire parade. What a power trip!

And so. I've got windburn in the second degree, leftover chillblains that have been lined up all morning to attack me because they never got the opportunity to get ahold of me under that overpass, and the beginnings of a whopper sinus headache. But, I've got memories now that I would not trade the world for. Making people scream with joy and smile and be happy for just a moment, all because I tossed them a sting of plastic beads. How can you beat it?

No comments: