Once the holiday season is over, most people take all the decorations down and put the tree away...here in NOLA, people just change the decorations!! It is quite common to see Christmas trees with GREEN, PURPLE, AND GOLD ribbons, fleur de lis, jesters, masks and all sorts of Mardi Gras things decorating the trees! I've seen these decorated trees at the grocery store, the bank and even at the dentist office!!
MARDI GRAS TREE:
is a Christmas tree decorated in a Mardi Gras motif. Some Louisianians set up a tree with enough decorations to establish the Mardi Gras theme shortly after Twelfth Night, the beginning of Mardi Gras season. When they return from the parades and parties with bags of throws, they add to the decorations on the tree. By the time Fat Tuesday arrives, the tree has become a beautiful display representing all of their Mardi Gras memories for the season.
And, having a real tree indoors is an excellent reminder that Spring is just around the corner.
~Shady Pond Tree Farm, Pearl River, Louisiana
Our Mardi Gras festivites began with the Eve Parade that rolled through Mandeville on Friday, February 25th. We joined up with some families before the parade and had a picnic dinner. Then we all went to the parade together. I forgot my camera...so no pictures of the parade...but we had a great time!! :)
I did get this cute picture of Edd and Thomas at the Eve Parade with my phone!!
Dan and Melissa came the following weekend. We'd talked about going to the Orpheus Parade that rolled through Mandeville, but it was pouring rain!! Bethany, our die-hard parade attendee, came home pretty loaded!! :) I'll blog about the fun with Dan and his family next! :)
Thomas had a Mardi Gras parade at his pre-school too! Here he is with his friend Annabella! We borrowed our neighbor's wagon, decorated it and I pulled it around while Thomas and Annabella threw out our left over Mardi Gras beads from last year. The kids who didn't bring a wagon were in the parade crowd. The pre-school next door also came to collect beads!! :)
Here is Thomas with Patrick after the pre-school parade. Patrick goes to church with us! :)
March 7th, Monday, was Lundi Gras! We met up with some friends from church ~ The Howells: Jen, Annie, Alec, and Ashton and the Pankaus: Keyth, Tiffany and Annabella. We went together into New Orleans for the festivities and parades!! Our first stop was down by the Mississippi River! We parked on the West Bank and rode the ferry across!
There were a bunch of different bands playing!
There were people who were dressed up too!!
We found some people who were doing face painting. A bunch of us got our faces painted! Here is Thomas!! He wanted to be a dinosaur!!
While we were waiting for everyone to get their faces painted, we got to listen to the pipe organ on the Natchez! :)
Once all the faces were painted, we went walking along and stopped to see these guys perform across the street from Jackson Square. They were pretty amazing!
While they were performing a couple who had just gotten married marched past in their Second Line Parade!
After a morning down in the French Quarter, we headed back across the river and then went over to St Charles Avenue to get ready for the parades!
Alec, Bethany, Annie, Aimee and Mattie :)
Edd and Bro Pankau waiting for the parades! Bro Pankau is a LSU tiger!! :)
The Pankau Family ~
Tiffany, Annabella and Keyth :)
While we waited, Edd and Keyth grilled hamburgers!! :) We hung out and enjoyed each other's company along with all the crazy parade sites!! :)
These parade ladders are all around. The little kids sit up in the box on top of the ladder. The "high-tech" ladders will have shoots that lead to buckets for the kids to drop their THROWS down!!
We also saw some pretty interesting things like the truck with a couch and awning and the Mardi Gras party wagon that parked right next to us fully equipped!! INCLUDING A GENERATOR TO POWER THEIR MUSIC!! :)
FINALLY IT WAS PARADE TIME!!
The first parade was PROTEUS!
Bethany was pretty excited about the light up hat she got from Sis Pankau!!Here are some of the cool THROWS we got from the PROTEUS PARADE!! :)As it got dark, we were anxiously awaiting the start of our second parade!!
Here it comes!! The ORPHEUS PARADE!!! :)
Here it comes!! The ORPHEUS PARADE!!! :)
There's Bethany in the pink hat trying to catch some THROWS!!!
The thing to yell is, "THROW ME SOMETHIN' MISTER!!"We had a blast!!! It was so much fun everyone woke up super early for the 2nd day in a row and did it all again for the MARDI GRAS PARADES!!
Well most of us all went...Andrew got sick in the middle of the night, so I stayed home with Andrew and Thomas. We watched a few minutes of the MARDI GRAS parades on TV.
Edd said that it was TONS BETTER because so many more people were out and they were all dressed up...like for Halloween!!