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Thread: The NEVERENDING Mardi Gras thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    The NEVERENDING Mardi Gras thread

    The last couple weeks of 2011 were pretty dreary for me, so it was with great pleasure that I anticipated January 6. Kings Day, Epiphany, Twelveth Night are all names for the first day of the MG season.

    Last year I somehow connected to some local musicians, and visitors, who walk around playing music on Fat Tuesday. That was great, and many in the group are now friends on FB.



    Just last week I messaged one fellow (in this below vid, he's Yellow Hoodie!Baritone) and inquired about additional chances to play with a group. And was connected to a band performing in three (so far) parades the week before the Big Day.



    So this is exciting. Will be spending several more days there, soaking up atmosphere, eating King cake and gumbo, riding my bike, playing my horn, and wearing my favorite color combination.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Can you find me?


  3. #3
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Another one.


    Pink Tailcoat!Baritone mentioned having trouble with confetti down the horn last year. So he now has a bell cover.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Veloise,

    Thanks very much for the thread! It is quite nice to see the sights and sounds from my motherland during the Carnival Season.

    This year I decided to take the day off for Mardi Gras. My observance of this High Holy Day ( ) was not nearly so much fun as yours. I watched some parade footage on the Internet, listened to some New Orleans music and had mostly a quiet and reflective Fat Tuesday.

    I recall as a child, when my family lived in New Orleans, going to the parades. The night parades were so wonderful, though you had to keep an eye out for flaming drips from the flambeaus. The sights, colors and sounds of a parade seemed more intense at night.

    Once I got to be in a parade - playing an Indian in a Garden District parade (traditionally black people are Indians, but in the late sixties, the high-faulting folks in the Garden District didn't want blacks walking through their neighborhoods, so they recruited white middle-class cub scouts and boy scouts instead) I enjoyed it right up until the point they opened up the gates of the Hospital for the Incurables and the whole parade marched right through.

    And on Mardi Gras the family went down to St. Charles Avenue, uptown from the K&B, to watch the Rex parade. We always stuck around until Rex had passed and left after about an hour of the Elk parade.

    When we moved across the Lake, I rarely made the trip into New Orleans for Mardi Gras, going instead to the parades in Covington and the Madisonville Boat Parade. Carnival outside of the Crescent City has its charms - smaller parades, smaller crowds, more children in the parades, more of a family atmosphere and the parade didn't last too long so no need to find a bathroom. After the Mardi Gras parade in town we would usually go in costume to a friend's house to party and get sufficiently liquored up. Ah the good times!
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Bourbon Street Parade

    Yes, that's a crescendo as the protesters slither past.


  6. #6
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Saints

    A couple more years of going to Mardi Gras, and my baritone-playing friend will recognize it when I play it.


  7. #7
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    March band fantasy camp, Winter City supports Fat Tuesday event

    This year I made a quick trip. Fell in with the band appearing at 5:31 (I'm in the back row).




    Planderella,
    next year!

    Had to fly 1 due to our local DDA giving a grant to a bar district to pay for 30 strolling musicians. I put out the word, netted 16 players, am coordinating two bands tonight. (More pics on FB for friends. I made a point of experiencing NOLA mass transit.)

    ~~~~~~~~~~
    1What happened to the roll of wide Mardi Gras ribbon that I'd carefully packed into the bag I checked for the return? TSA couldn't possibly have confiscated it...right??

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    DDA's MG event

    The band I played with is in here at 1:33.
    http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/2...up-Fat-Tuesday

    The other ensemble I pulled together, Fat TUBASday, is here:
    http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapi..._river_default

    And here (video):
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10152573647110227

    I gotta say, this was like herding cats. Some participants were very responsible, while others pulled crazy stunts like calling the client to ask about music ... cancelling at the last minute ... not responding to my month-out invites, then texting me an hour out to ask all the pertinent questions that pertained only to those who had RSVPed and committed to perform (and be paid for it).

    The client is happy, bar patrons were happy, and likely it'll be bigger and better next year. I will admit that I prefer walking short distances outdoors in snow rather than in the NOLA rain.

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    March 4! Exalano Day!

    This year MG is fairly late, which makes for 56 days of "the holiday season."

    My plans include:
    --walking in the Chewbaccus parade with the "Browncoat Brass," a pick-up ensemble attired in get-ups from "Firefly," an obscure (?) sci-fi show
    --same weekend as two of the parades I've wanted to see, 'tit Rex and Barkus
    Here's the absolutely best photo from the Barkus search
    and a good one from 'tit Rex
    --along with a couple dozen other parades

    Locally, I've become the institutional memory of the bar district event. Last year they accepted the first musicians to sign up, and this year I am the talent coordinator (doing some vetting).

    On top of that, my church is holding a MG party/benefit. Our venue will be on the strolling musician route, and I'll end my evening at that fabulous indoor party with my friends. And sleep at home in my own bed.

    Exalano Day

  10. #10
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Love the firefly getup. We need some MG fun down here, but this city is a little too uptight for that kind of sin.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Having never been to a Mardi Gras parade I confess I am puzzled/intrigued by the themes one sees in pictures...or lack thereof. Are there certain recurrent themes for floats and/or costumes or is anything fair game? I admit this is a holiday that I culturally have some difficulty getting my head around.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    satire

    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Having never been to a Mardi Gras parade I confess I am puzzled/intrigued by the themes one sees in pictures...or lack thereof. Are there certain recurrent themes for floats and/or costumes or is anything fair game? I admit this is a holiday that I culturally have some difficulty getting my head around.
    Having spent some time in the Muses parade looking at the floats...they are all hilarious commentary on public figures or circumstances. Many of the walking units are an excuse to dress up in wild outfits with friends...look up the Krewe of the Rolling Elvi. There are some that present dance routines similar to the briefcase drill teams or marching lawn chair brigades. Several of the groups offer double-entendres (e.g. the Muffletas, named after an iconic sandwich, and dressed up like 50s diner waitresses complete with round trays).

    Anything that's in the news (Chris Christie, the record low temps, gluten-free King cake) is fair game. If all else fails, wearing regular clothing in purple, green, and gold is the equivalent of the Christmas necktie or loud sweater.

    Here are a couple of parade insider views. You can see that the spectators get into it too.



    Filmed from the skull-on-a-stick which can be seen in the above vid at 0:18
    Last edited by Veloise; 28 Jan 2014 at 6:49 PM.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Having never been to a Mardi Gras parade I confess I am puzzled/intrigued by the themes one sees in pictures...or lack thereof. Are there certain recurrent themes for floats and/or costumes or is anything fair game? I admit this is a holiday that I culturally have some difficulty getting my head around.
    Of course Mardi Gras parades and the making of floats are major industries in New Orleans. They start making next year's floats two days after Fat Tuesday (Ash Wednesday, being a holy day). And of course there are beads, doubloons and other trinkets to be selected and ordered. Costumes have to be selected and made.

    New Orleans and the French Quarter, get the most attention. But there are parades elsewhere prior to Fat Tuesday, as well. As a kid we always went to Rex (one of the two major parades on Mardi Gras day). We went to at least one night parade too. After we moved north of Lake Ponchartrain, we attended the carnival parades in Covington. They would have one night parade that used the floats from a New Orelans parade (I would love to have seen those floats coming across the Causeway - that must have been a sight. The Mardi Gras parade in Covington was pretty short - with a few local floats, lots of big trucks with revelers in the back, a few bands and majorettes. When I was a teenager my friends and I would go to the Mardi Gras parade in Jefferson Parish, which was pretty good.

    One of my favorites was the Madisonville Boat Parade. People would decorate their boats and go up and down the Tchefuncta River, tossing beads, candies and such, to people on shore.

    Mardi Gras is a big family activity. People think it is all drunken debauchery, but most of the people at the parades are sober and with their kids. They might be a little loud and boisterous, but they are there with their families, enjoying the big party day before Lent.
    "I am very good at reading women, but I get into trouble for using the Braille method."

    ~ Otterpop ~

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Spot-on

    Good article, IMHO, and it got a nod from Planderella too.

    10 Reasons Mardi Gras Makes You A Better Person
    9) You Become an Expert at Accessorizing

    The fashion police would have a field day during Mardi Gras. The outfits are sequined, gaudy, outlandish and totally acceptable on the streets. We New Orleanians do not just break the rules of fashion during Mardi Gras, we smash it into tiny pieces and toss it down the sewer. It is the only time of the year purple, green and gold is acceptable to wear as a color combination. Sort of like that no white after Labor Day code.

    10) Becoming a Craftier Person.

    Martha Stewart stand back, you have not seen a New Orleanian during Mardi Gras work their magic. I never picked up a glue gun before I was in a carnival krewe, now I am attaching sequins to outfits and working with wirework, paper mache and painting like a back water Cajun Monet. And it is not just costumes, the people here come up with new devices to catch beads like the bucket on a stick or my personal favorite the upside down umbrella connected to a mop handle. And some of the ladders people rig up to hold their children make me sometimes cringe at their ingenuity and pray they have a good insurance provider.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Happy Fat Tuesday!

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