This weekend we made a fast trip to Southern Louisiana for Mardi Gras. We actually went to see our grand-daughters, but it sounds more exciting to some people to say that we went for Mardi Gras.
Each year we try to get to Louisiana during Mardi Gras time to see a couple of parades. It is always interesting to see the reactions of people when you tell them you are going to Mardi Gras.
Due to the way the news media has focused on the activities of those who "visit" and go the French Quarter "after" the parades, all many think about when they hear the words "Mardi Gras" are activities occurring in the French Quarter; i.e., flashing women, drunks, and crowd surges!
MARDI GRAS PRINCESS WITH HER THROWS
This is not Mardi Gras. It has nothing to do with most Mardi Gras celebration. Unfortunately, sleaze makes news, so every news camera visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras heads for the spring break crowd on Bourbon Street, and does not give adequate coverage to the majority of the parades which are family oriented.
MARCHING BAND AT MARDI GRAS PARADE
We attended the Carrollton Parade and the King Arthur Parade. The Carrollton Parade has been running since 1924 and is one of the most popular parades of the Mardi Gras season. The King Arthur Parade has been running since 1977, and is an afternoon parade on the first Sunday of Mardi Gras, commonly known as "family Sunday". The parade routes of these parades are lined with families. Many people have step ladders with boxes built on top of them for small children to sit in so they can see over the heads of others, and have a chance to catch the throws from the floats.
REBEKAH IS GIVEN A FLOWER FROM A MARDI GRAS FLOAT
The tradition of throwing of trinkets to the crowds was started in the early 1870s and is a time-honored expectation for young and old alike. You go to a Mardi Gras parade to try and get as many "throws" as possible. Popular throws include cups, beads, doubloons, and stuffed animals. We came home with a trash bag full of beads. Autumn and Rebekah got many stuffed animals. The favorite thing the girls got was a large plastic blow up hammer. Rebekah carried it all the way back to the car after the parade was over.
AUTUMN WITH THE HAMMER SHE RECEIVED AT MARDI GRAS
REBEKAH GETS TO HOLD THE HAMMER
We had a great time at the parades. Rebekah and Autumn really enjoyed themselves. Rebekah liked the beads, but would not keep them around her neck. I guess she didn't like the way they felt. When Autumn was her age, she wanted all the beads around her neck. She put so many beads on that she fell over from the weight.
REBEKAH AND AUTUMN AT MARDI GRAS
AUTUMN WITH MARDI GRAS BEADS AND STUFFED TOY
After watching two parades we were all tired and hungry. We stopped in Metarie and ate at Zea Rotisserie Grille. We had a wonderful meal and a very enjoyable time. The restaurant won't be forgetting our party anytime soon.
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I was born in 1956 in Madison, Tennessee, while my parents were attending Madison College. I grew up along the Front Range in Colorado, attending schools in Longmont, Brighton, Boulder and Loveland, Colorado. Two years after graduating from Campion Academy, I married my sweetheart, Regina. We lived in Loveland, Colorado for six years before moving to Mena in western Arkansas.
I love the people of Mena and the friendly easy going way of life here. I have owned and operated my own business since moving to Mena. I enjoy the natural beauty of western Arkansas and being out of doors.
My newspaper column in The Mena Star, An Arkie’s Faith, premiered on January 7, 2016. In March 2017, I published my first book, titled An Arkie's Faith, using articles from the column.