Tuesday, February 24, 2009


On February 24, 1857, a parade of floats and costumed merrymakers appeared on the streets of New Orleans.

Presented by a social club called the Mistick Krewe of C
omus, the festivities were the first Mardi Gras.

Today, dozens of “krewes” (Carnival organizations) stage
parades over a two-week time period.

And hundreds of thousands of revelers from all over the world eagerly take part in the pageantry.

My holiday-loving friends, Mo and Vince, hope you are in the mood to enjoy Mardi Gras.

one of their favorite celebrations.

They love
the larger-than-life parade floats, the jazzy marching bands, sequins, rhinestones, and the

beads, beads, beads!

Photo by Dan Mayers

Of course, Mardi Gras also brings gumbo cooked up in large cauldrons on street corners all over New Orleans (see my Feb 5, 2008 post for more parade photos and a great Gumbo recipe), great jazz blaring from loudspeakers everywhere in New Orleans, and KING CAKES.

Photo by Dan Mayers

In 2003, I was on a photo shoot in New Orleans during the week that leads up to Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras. I interviewed Arthur Hardy, longtime publisher of the annual “Mardi Gras Guide” and a nationally recognized authority on the history and collectibles associated with the festive season.Photo by Dan Mayers

I also had the thrill of riding on a Mardi Gras float.

Part of the fun was going bead shopping in a warehouse that was the size of a baseball stadium. I'm the masked woman behind Dan.

The bead "shop" was filled with more "throws" (beads, toys and other kitsch that riders can throw to parade viewers) than I ever imagined! They packed our beads in colorful nylon bags to make them easier to haul up the narrow ladders that lead up to the floats.
Throwing beads to an adoring crowd really makes you understand why dressing up as Santa Claus at Christmas is so much fun.

This Mardi Gras, Vince chose an elegant mask with white feathers.

Mo chose one with jewel-tone peacock feathers.

Got beads?


NeereAnDear said...

Well this looks like a blast!! How exciting that must have been too much fun getting into the festivities and being on a float ...

I do love the masks that Vince and Mo picked out... fab taste they have...

You are a real cutie too!!
Love the clown outfit...

Thanks for the PARTY!!


Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

Happy Mardi Gras to you too!
Have you had your king cake?

NeereAnDear said...

Ok Barbara... why is it that every time I write something on your blog... of ALL the blogs in the Kingdom of Bloglandia...and of course one that belongs to a former editor of a magazine and at present a writer..... I always manage to leave out punctuation or spell something wrong?


Kathryn Bechen said...

Love the cat! Kathryn

Donna said...

Wow, looks like lots of fun! Mo and Vince look just fabulous.

Love all the beads!

Have a great day!

Julie said...

When you have time, please come read a story I posted about my husband and keep him in your prayers.

Your kitty is adorable!

Tracie~MyPetiteMaison said...

Hi Barbara,
What a cute post. Love your kitty cats with all their beads... party animals, so cute! Your photos look wonderful. I've never been to Mardi Gras, the closest I've come is a dear friend sending me a box of beads, cups and other goodies from the celebration this year which was very sweet. Thank you for sharing your story. Happy weekend!

infamousmorris said...

Oh my goodness! Mo is gorgeous. Of course, I have a thing for black and white kitties (I'm a bit of a collector). I love his little face (or her?)!

istanbuldailyphoto said...

A very cute cat. Decorations were great and worthy to him.