It's Lombardi Gras

February 16 2010

Wow! This is one of the biggest Mardi Gras seasons I've seen in a long time! And every parade has a Saints player ... the entire city is living its dream ... many are calling it "Lombardi Gras"

The Sunday before Mardi Gras, there are always parades throughout the day before Bacchus in the evening. Along St. Charles Avenue, both sides of the avenue and the entire neutral ground (median) was filled with people having picnics, barbecuing, playing music and enjoying the beautiful day.

It was as if Mardi Gras began in earnest when the Saints won the NFC Championships; parties were held throughout the city -- any excuse to party in New Orleans! -- new songs were even created.  My nephew recorded a song "Party in the M.I.A." in his sound studio; and it took off on the radio.  The girl who sang the song was invited to many places throughout the city to sing the song and crowds were always gathered dressed in their Saints-themed shirts -- fleur de lis, "Who Dat" ... and black and gold. People who don't know one another are high-fiving; after the NFC win the happiness was palpable. Our office went to a Saints store -- Geaux for the Gold -- and all picked out Saints jerseys and shirts .... even for our dog ... Saints fingernails ... and of course, "Who Dat" Saints car flags.

After the Superbowl, you would have thought it was Mardi Gras day .... tenfold. We watched the game in our home with family and every time a touchdown was scored, fireworks would go off around the city. After the game, I ran outside and stood on the picnic table -- people were coming out of their home and running up and down the streets, fireworks were going off in every direction. We watched some of the post-game show and took a ride to the French Quarter -- it was closed to traffic but 2 hours later, I recorded the sounds on Canal Street -- cars honking, people yelling "Who Dat", people second-line parading, and hanging out of the windows of their cars. It was amazing and impossible to describe.

The Saints parade was held on Tuesday; the number of people at the parade far exceeded the number of people in the city. I took pictures of people on top of roofs and watching the Saints parade from every level of multi-level parking garages.  The city is positive and happy; we are enjoying the moment; living the dream.

This year, Drew Brees was the captain of Bacchus .. and as he paraded down St. Charles Avenue, he stopped to toast Sean Peyton who was parading the very next night as captain of Orpheus. Tom Benson, owner of the Saints football team, was in the Endymion parade. As the Zulu parade passes now, many Saints players are on the floats. Jimmie Felder is the King of Zulu this year; and Rex will follow with Robert Hunter Pierson, Jr. as King.

Today, Mardi Gras Day, the unofficial theme of the day is Saints because we still feel the euphoria. Zulu is throwing black and gold footballs as one of its throws. Every parade has a tribute to the Saints; and many costumes do, too. One of my favorites is a pig with wings -- it's funny to see male news announcers on TV dressed in pink with wings and pig noses! Another is the pig (hat) whose wings flapped whenever the man pulled the string. Another great group was a family of fleur-de-lis. Their head peeked out of the top of the fleur de lis ... each costume said something different ... "Bless you, Boys!" "Believe Dat!"

I will put up the audio file and pictures of the above this week when I return to the computer!

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