This year was my first Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Like many, I’d read about it, heard stories from others, and even watched TV clips of the festivities. Living it was truly magical. The City is so alive with the energy of community and celebration it’s an awesome thing to experience.
We enjoyed the festivities on St. Charles amongst family and friends. Each day we hit the sidewalk on the avenue and staked out our area, where we met up with some of the same people day after day. Everyone has their favorite spots. Generally, they come back year after year. We watched parade after parade after parade, about 15 in all, and joined in the merriment of asking for beads as the beautiful floats came down the street. Celebrities aboard floats, such as Will Farrell, Harry Connick, Jr., and Cyndi Lauper ride with everyday people, and all of them have a blast.
What I loved most about the entire five days of parades was how the people came together. People helped one another and shared food and drink along with the conversation. They helped the kids get to the front row to get the beads and looked out for one another. Each day when we returned to the same area, it was like we were having a bit of a reunion with the same people we’d met up with the day(s) before.
While the City is known for its festivities, often too much of the focus is on the wild side of the French Quarter; there is a part of New Orleans that is truly magical. There is something special about the way Mardi Gras brings us all together in one place, focusing on one thing, FUN. If you haven’t experienced it, please consider adding it to your “list”, I promise you won’t be disappointed.