Early February has not historically been the most interesting time to have a birthday. It’s the dead of winter, usually cold and dreary. But there have been some notable birthdays. Like in 2006 when the Steelers won the Super Bowl on my birthday. That was exciting.
This year, the peak of Mardi Gras festivities happened to fall on my birthday weekend. As I have said numerous times, one of the greatest revelations upon moving to Louisiana was learning that Mardi Gras is not a day but a season, lasting a month or two, depending on the date of Easter. I have been fascinated by the mystery and traditions of Mardi Gras since I arrived in Louisiana. I’ve been to all the various parades, the gumbo cook-offs, even a Mardi Gras ball. I've eaten more king cake than I care to admit. But until this past Friday, on my birthday, I’d never ridden on a Mardi Gras float.
Let's get this party started!
I was privileged to embark on my maiden Mardi Gras float experience with the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) for the Lake Charles Merchants’ Parade. They ride a float painted with a big green alligator motif.
Me and Megan Hartman, my contact at the CVB
Participating in a Mardi Gras parade from a float is a completely different experience than being a spectator. It’s a different perspective, looking down at the throngs of revelers who call out, dance, and wave their hands in hopes of catching beads and trinkets. "Hey, throw me somethin', mister!" I have no way of knowing exactly, but I must have tossed a thousand strands of glittering green, gold, and purple beads.
I’m all about experiencing Louisiana from as many different angles as I can. This weekend, from atop a Mardi Gras float, I added one more to my list.