It's hard to believe that it was only a week ago I was in New Orleans for a MasterMind Photo Conference and got to enjoy the St Paddy Day Parade that ran right past the host studio. Trust me… once you have seen a New Orleans parade you will be spoiled and find any of the local efforts sub par at best.
In New Orleans it is really a city wide block party that a parade happens to run through. Five hours before anything starts the streets are jammed with people line dancing, tents are set up with food cooking as BBQ's blaze and giant pots boiling crawdads and jambalaya get started.
Over 500 pounds of Crawdads met their end just with our group of photographers and family friends. Boiled with Cayenne and black pepper, tobasco sauce and a ton of garlic after the first few your mouth and lips were on FIRE!
Parking is insane for 3 blocks on either side of the main roadway. The already narrow streets are jammed with cars stuck every which way as far as you can see!
My group of photographers had no fear venturing out into the street with the thousands of locals all reaching for beads, trinkets, cabbage, onions and carrots all tossed from the floats. All the food was gathered up for a soup the next day also finishing off the last of the crawfish.
The highlight of the parade of course was the floats. Armed with $1200 in beads each thrower would toss to the crowd for hours from the two and three level moving art pieces.
My only disappointment was that Bourbon Street had lost much of it's musical charm. During the evening only the Preservation Hall played anything sounding like Jazz and no where was the Zydeco I was hoping to listen to live.
Now that I have had a taste of Nawlins and have been invited back to ride on a float and toss beads during the Mardi Gras I know the Rodeo Parade next month will be a touch to tame for my liking!