Thursday, March 3, 2011

First Mardi Gras Parade

There are way too many Mardi Gras celebrations (including a dog parade) going on in the area to see them all so we had to pick which ones we wanted to attend. Our first parade was on Sunday in Scott, a little town near Lafayette. Lori Harvey, who is staying at Betty's, is from the area and acted as our guide so we could get a prime location to watch the parade and catch beads. We arrived a couple of hours before the start and still had to walk a ways to get to the spot. The streets were lined with people, but at our spot we did not have anyone behind us so there was less competition for the coveted prizes.

Of course decorator Nanc put a new flag and beads in front of the rig to keep us in the spirit. The flag has the traditional Mardi Gras colors which represent justice (purple), faith (green) and power (gold).
The King Cake is now a Mardi Gras tradition that dates back to the 12th century where it was baked on January 6 to celebrate the Epiphany, the three Kings' visit to the Christ Child. A small token was hidden in the cake as a surprise. After the French brought the tradition to Louisiana in the 18th century it changed into a Mardi Gras custom. A small baby figurine was hidden in the cake and whoever found it was allowed to choose a mock court and host the next king cake party. In 1870 the Twelfth Night Revelers began using the cake to choose the queen. A large wooden replica had little drawers that contained silver and gold beans. Picking a silver bean meant you were in the court and the gold bean made you the queen. Today the cakes, which come with a variety of fillings and are still decorated with the traditional colors, come with a plastic baby to be hidden in a the cake. The person who gets the baby must then buy the next cake. As you can see by the picture the cake has been very popular here at Betty's.

While walking around before the parade we saw this great homemade Cajun Camper called The Little Whatever Building. The owners Calvin and Marlene saw us taking pictures and invited us in. It had most of the comforts of home including the little porch where they could kick back, drink a beer and watch the parade. They even invited us to stay at their place if we ever go to Breaux Bridge for the Crawdad Festival.

The parade started with police cars and firetrucks, local politicians, and the queen and her court.

Then came the floats that ranged from small wagons to double deck trailers to the old school bus that had been converted into a fifth wheel. Many of the floats had music and a common feature of all the floats was the port-a-john so the revelers could relieve themselves along the parade route. Everyone on board was throwing beads, but we soon discovered that not all beads are created equal and the goal is to get the nicer beads or other prizes they were throwing. They threw toys, dolls, candy, cups and tokens.

Here are a few of our crew begging for beads. I had to ask myself why are we standing here begging strangers for small trinkets? But when I got a couple of "nicer" things I knew the answer, this is a real hoot and a great time was had by all.

Nanc and a few of the partyers on the floats. How about that set of beads on the guy in the middle. What did he have to do to get those????

From Betty's: Linda and Jim; Nanc, Tom and Georgie; Rich and Terri.

Mary Beth and Tony; George and Judy; Jim and Bobby; Jim and Nanc

While some people wore all the beads they got we put most of ours in a bag. I think my neck would have been hurting if I wore all of them. A few people weighed their beads and they had over 25 pounds per couple. No children were harmed by these adults in the collecting of these beads. All those beads and this is only the first parade. We all made signs to show we were out of towners in hopes of getting better gifts. We had people from Quebec, Vermont, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Michigan and South Dakota. The signs did work as several in our group got some better prizes. We even lucked out and received a handmade doll and a fleur de lis teddy bear.Nanc with the nicer beads in hand and a sack full of other beads and trinkets. I really love the louvered glasses and the "big" beads. We have four or five more parades planned for this weekend through Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras). If this little parade in Scott was any indication, we are looking forward to a fun fun time.

LAISSEZ LES BON TEMPS ROULER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Molly & Bob said...

I always enjoy your blog, but never more than when you are at Betty's. Thanks for sharing the good times with us!1 Y'all have fun and give Betty a hug from us!! Hugs to both of you!

Sherry and Charley Dilworth said...

Tell Betty we said hello and that we hope to get back to see her someday soon!! Sounds like you two are having a grand time!

lewis'lifeontheroad said...

looks like the two of you are having to much fun! we just started our blog for our trip to Alaska. check us out at