In which Kate takes one hundred selfies…
Tuesday night billed itself as the introduction to New Orleans, with an outing that celebrates New Orlean’s most famous festival – Mardi Gras. And, I’ve got to tell you, all the other nights and events are going to have to step up their game to even be in the running to beat this event.
I missed the earlier Pirates and Scallywags party, but managed to catch up with a few of their number while waiting in line to get in:
We were heading in to Mardi Gras World, a Mardi Gras museum, full of old floats from previous Mardi Gras parades. The floats are absolute works of art, and cover everything from religious iconography to Americana to pop culture. It was an absolutely amazing experience to wander among all these icons, taking pictures and finding hidden treasures. Some of them were big enough to almost touch the warehouse ceiling (the dragons especially!), while some were fun-sized for our convenience.
We were greeted by a Mardi Gras jester at the door:
And then ran into the Sphinx just inside the door:
We were at the tail-end of the queue, so we didn’t have as much of the crowd to deal with.
There were hundreds of floats, statues, and figures. Here were some of my favourites:
One of the true highlights was receiving my very first New Orleans beads. (No, Mom, I didn’t do that).
After the tour (which ended much too quickly – I could have happily spent hours poking around the displays), we were shepherded into another warehouse, set up with tables, a dance floor, and a number of food stands around the outside. Each food stand was sponsored by a different publisher or group, and each was a New Orleans speciality.
While people were milling around, picking up swag from the tables and getting something to eat, we were treated to a local band that played a lot of cajun-influenced musics, crowd-pleasing covers, and what they referred to as ‘Swamp Pop’. It was music to dance to, and music to make you feel good, and they soon had the crowd singing and dancing.
The atmosphere was fantastic, and I am going to import the whole thing to Australia and make a fortune. Or maybe just have a really good time. Either or.
Then, just to provide me with a thrill of a lifetime, we ended up sharing a cab home with this guy. Meet Kenya Britain. He was ON THE WIRE!! THE BEST TELEVISION SHOW EVER!! LIKE EVER! I MEAN MAYBE GAME OF THRONES WILL GET UP THERE, BUT IT WAS THE FRICKIN’ WIRE!!!
Next up: RT Day 3: Days of Beads and Authors