Everywhere else today is just Tuesday, but here in New Orleans it is Mardi Gras. I’ve been out making new images this lovely day, but here is a look back on a few of my favorite images from Mardi Gras past. Happy Mardi Gras!
Music and Mardi Gras go hand in hand, so marching with the band is the best way to experience the St. Anne’s parade on Fat Tuesday. Starting from the Bywater neighborhood, bedazzled, costumed throngs dance to the beat as the parade meanders into the Marigny clogging up Frenchman street with revelry before tumbling into the French Quarter and dissipating into the streets.
The Pussyfooters is a marching club of bubble-gum bedecked ladies who dance and perform in multiple parades during Mardi Gras season. I don’t know how they do it, but I do know there is a port-a-potty involved and it looks like oodles of fun.
Policemen keep the crowds off of the parade route to make way for the annual Bacchusaurus float from the Krewe of Bacchus during their annual meander through Uptown. Streets become littered with uncaught beads and empty plastic sacks that held precious clutches of beads. At these parades you could almost stand still on the sidelines and still get covered in beads without much effort at all. Showing skin is certainly taboo during these family affairs. Children sit in makeshift benches affixed to the tops of ladders that families roll down to the parade route to establish a good spot to be able to collect beads. “Throw me something, mister!” is the call.
Men dressed as Skeletons take a break at the Backstreet Cultural Museum in the Treme neighborhood on Mardi Gras day. Early on Mardi Gras morning we’d pile into our friend Kristian’s suburban and troll the streets looking for the Skeletons in action, making a racket and bringing the city to life, threatening, “You next!” I still have yet to see them in action.
This is the single frame I took at the Ernie K-Doe Mother-in-Law Lounge on Mardi Gras morning 2009. My merry band arrived at the bar to have an early morning drink with Miss Antoinette before the day got into full swing, only to be greeted with the sad news of her passing. At the time I didn’t quite understand the significant of Antoinette K-Doe, the widow of Ernie K-Doe, the lounge’s namesake who still lived on at the lounge as a life-size, dressed-to-the-nines mannequin in the lounge. As we left the lounge in a somber mood it became clear what a presence Miss Antoinette was in the city as the local radio station, WWOZ, broadcast the news of her passing. I can’t say that I ever met her, but I won’t ever forget that morning.