Sunday, November 27, 2016

Louisiana: My Second Mardi Gras Parade


2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.


In my first year in South Louisiana, once I cut my Mardi Gras teeth on the equivalent of a "bunny slope" at a ski resort - the Carencro Mardi Gras Parade - it was time to have a go at a big-time spectacle.


2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.


That would be the Church Point Mardi Gras Parade.

2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.


The parade starts around 1:00 p.m. I'm no novice to parades, and I like to find decent parking, scope out my parade-watching spot, put a claim on it, and then go wander. I arrived at Church Point, I don't know, about 9:30 or 10:00 a.m.

Hohohoho, what a neophyte I was! At first, after I'd parked my car (wasn't too terrible finding a place), and walked over to the main drag, I thought maybe I had my times wrong. I saw one older woman sitting in a chair right next to the main street. Just sitting. I asked her when the parade was going to start, and she said, "Oh, about 1:00." I asked how long she'd been there. "About 9:00," she replied. Holy moly.

I walked down the street, away from the commercial area and toward a more residential area. I saw a line of decorated Mardi Gras trailers, with people walking between and around them. Maybe some of them, to describe it more accurately, were weaving a bit between and around the trailers. They all seemed very happy.

Some people had parked flatbed trailers along the parade route and populated these with chairs.

2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.

2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.

More than one had a personal porta-potty.


I found a decent spot, and as time passed, pleasant neighbors joined me. I would discover later that one of my woman neighbors was gifted in the ways of cajoling jello shots from the parade participants.

Before the parade began, a headache invaded my good vibes. At first, I fretted about this because I rarely get headaches. But then I remembered

2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.


The parade start time is "around 1:00 p.m. because it depends on the return of the courir de mardi gras riders from their traditional countryside search for chickens. (I posted this introduction to the courir de mardi gras a few years ago. Unfortunately, Pat Mire's excellent Dance for a Chicken, which is a documentary about the origins and traditions of the courir de mardi gras is no longer available for public viewing).


2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.


Drinking mass quantities of alcohol on horseback is part of the tradition.

2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.


The Church Point Mardi Gras Parade is long, long, sha. But so entertaining.


2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.



A slide show of the parade below:

Church Point Mardi Gras Parade 2014
2014 Church Point Mardi Gras Parade. Church Point, Louisiana.


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