Feb 24, 2011 - 10:25 am
Despite what you've heard about Mardi Gras, it is 90% a family affair and the monkey business is relegated to the French Quarter. The streets of the suburbs and other family neighborhoods are lined with ladders that have special seats for the little kids to watch the parades and be in prime position to catch throws. There are usually 1-3 parades a day for the 2-3 weeks prior to Mardi Gras. All parades throw beads, toys, stuffed animals, coins called doubloons, etc and the night parades have lighted throws (what the Chinese can do with batteries is amazing). Most have a special throw--ours are those ridiculous plastic chickens and, this year, we spray painted them silver and then hot glue feathers, bits of material--let your imagination run wild!
So I am riding in the Krewe of Eve which is in the burbs and heavily attended by famiiles. No body parts are ever seen, I promise.
It is the krewe's 25th anniversary and we are throwing silver footballs, Eve dolls with silver accessories, silver beads, etc. It is expensive to ride, but what fun to watch the happy faces of the children!
The Krewe also donates money to the local food bank, Toys for Tots and Habitat for Humanity. Most krewes give to their "signature" charities. What seems crazy to outsiders is big business here and also a unique way for the community to give back. There is crazy stuff in the Quarter, but the Quarter is a very small section of the city.