One of the really cool things about Mardi Gras is going to the very formal Balls associated with the parade. I don't know the history or the traditions but I do know that they are a lot of fun. The convention center is huge. The areas are sectioned off making huge rows for the parade to come and go in and out of the tables. The decorations are festive and the music is loud. There is dancing and eating. You must be in a formal floor length gown, a tuxedo or a float costume to be allowed inside.
After an hour or so of dancing the huge doors are opened and the floats and the bands start to enter. Here the floats are introduced. As the floats roll in and out of the tables, beads are thrown just like outside.
The Orpheus Krewe is a newer one on the scene from what I have been told. It was organized originally by Harry Connick Jr. from what I have been told. We did not see him last year at all but this year he was on a float. I only wish he would have sang as well. We hear from a couple we met on the street the night before that one of the first years, Harry's float broke down in front of them. Instead of getting upset he just put on a concert. The Krewe is there to entertain you and that example has been set from the beginning.
LSU is a big deal in these parts. LSU baseball coach Paul Mainieri was on hand to celebrate their season with the crowds.
The little ones love the Imagination Movers.
These guys knew to point out their Saints affiliation.
Did you hear a rumor that the Saints won the Superbowl? That trophy has been shared with the entire city. New Orleans Saints coach Sean Payton was holding the thing high for all to see. He also took it into the crowds (with guards close at hand) for pictures. The fans could touch this symbol of victory.
Is that a train inside the Convention center? Yes it is. It is a super long float with 5 cars hooked together. Turning the corner isn't easy but it sure if pretty to watch with the confetti blowing out the smoke stack.
It is a feeling that you just can not describe. Watching this huge float roll past while screaming for beads and trinkets to be thrown your way.
My favorite float was soon to follow. It was a two car float that was all about Angel food and Devil's Food. They were beautiful floats.
Then I got to see what I came for there on the top of the second car was J. The masks are gone now that they are inside the building. What a fun feeling to look up and see the love of you life throwing beads out. He is so much fun, I only hope that in the years to come the children will get to visit New Orleans with us and see their Daddy throwing beads from a beautiful float.
Something tells me that the crowds were thinner that night than last year. It was just above freezing around midnight. That is very rare in New Orleans so J found that there were less kids standing around than last year. Either way it was a fun night and we brought home a few bags of beads for our own children to play with.
J is proud to now be on the Krewe and we look forward to next year's adventure in New Orleans!