Friday, February 17, 2012

It’s Mardi Gras Time, Y’all

7 months ago, yesterday, I was throwing colorful beads to everyone at my wonderful wedding reception. I could not have imagined how much my life would change when I moved to my new home in Louisiana. This state has a culture unlike anywhere in the world (and by World I mean the few states I have visited, oh and Mexico). There are a few rules I have learned. First, for the most par there is only 1 college people are obsessed with, and that is LSU. Next, food is a lot spicier here, you just have to adjust to the shock. Finally, there are important holidays in this state, Christmas, Easter, New Years and MARDI GRAS. The latter is what brings me here today…

This year is the 32nd Mardi Gras Parade in Bogalusa, my new home town. The official name of the parade is the Music City Carnival Association or MCCA parade. Mardi Gras 2012 will be the maiden voyage for the ladies of Vogue, of which I am honored to be a founding member. Being from Jackson, I did not understand all that went into Mardi Gras. The parties begin before Christmas and are large to-do’s. There are big floats, big beads, and crazy costumes. You might have to take out a loan to pay for your “throws” for the parade, but you do not care as long as the day is sunny and warm!

The King and Queen are chosen from those belonging to a Krewe, and the names are kept closer than your Mimi’s Banana prize winning Pudding recipe. This year our Queen is Carmen Jones and her king is Will Branch. Queen Carmen could be seen at each grand party decked out in a big tiara and sometimes her full-length mink coat. Every mother wishes and prays that her child will be chosen as a young page and a Maid or Royal Guard when they are in high school! Everyone is so lovely!

Our theme this year for the parade is MCCA “Loves A Party.” Our party theme is a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. The 22 Ladies of Vogue will be dressed in corsets, black mesh skirts and black wings!

Another Mardi Gras tradition would be the King Cake. Now everyone has his or her favorite, you can have Paul’s Pastry, Randazzo’s , Gambino’s or make your own…..I personally love one from a local bakery called Big Easy. You haven’t had a true King Cake till you have had one filled with something amazing like cream cheese or even pralines.

We are lucky that we live only about 45 minutes from New Orleans, our parade is nothing in comparison to the full glitz of the parades in the Crescent City. I mean Will Farrell is Bacchus this year!!!

As I leave you, remember a few pearls of wisdom from Sister Belle:

When it comes to parades, Mardi Gras parades offer amazing sights, jazzy music, and plenty of surprises. Many other parades have float riders who throw candy, but how many throw beaded necklaces, cups, and stuffed animals? You never know what you might catch at a Mardi Gras parade. It pays to come prepared with a large, empty bag!


• Arrive early. If you arrive too close to parade time, chances are good that you'll be unable to find a parking space, much less an open spot to stand.

• Pay attention to floats. They have riders who will throw things to the crowds. If you aren't watching, you could get smacked in the face with beads!

• Obey the barricades. They are there to keep you safe, not to spoil your fun.

• Stay put. Chasing after a float to beg for a throw won't get you anything. Riders will ignore you. Stay put and wait for the next float.

• Step on the throws that you want to claim for yourself. Of course, if it's a Moon Pie that was thrown, be careful not to squash it! Placing your foot over items can prevent others from snatching up your treasures. Bending over to grab things in the frenzy could result in crushed fingers or a bumped head. Play it safe and wait.


SHOW YOUR BOOBS! There is never a good time to do this ladies, not even in college…..

Until next time

Hugs & Kisses,

Sister Belle