It’s Mardi Gras Again!

You know the let-down you feel on January 2nd after the holidays? That doesn’t happen in New Orleans. In fact, those wild ‘n wacky New Orleanians get MORE excited after Christmas because the minute the Epiphany kicks in on January 6th, Carnival Season begins. You can eat King Cake until Lent! You can go to parades! You can dress in my favorite colors, purple, green, and gold!

I’ve posted about Mardi Gras before and I’ll post again. Every. Single. Year. But I don’t want to post the same pictures all the time, so allow me to share some new ones and some new old ones.

Here’s a photo of a float commemorating the Desire streetcar line immortalized in Tennessee Williams’ legendary play, A Streetcar Named Desire. The line ran through the Quarter until it was discontinued in 1948. Knowing the narrow, pockmarked streets of the Quarter, it’s hard to imagine a streetcar line ever ran through there.

I’m including th photo below because the hotel in the background will look familiar to Bouchercon 2016 convention attendees, as well as a few of us hardy souls who paid a visit in 2021, even though the con was cancelled. And thank Goddess for that, since we wound up evacuating for Hurricane Ida.

Back to the Marriott in the background. It’s been a Quarter eyesore for years, although the views from the upper floors are lovely. I attended a few sorority formals in its banquet rooms. Pretty dull compared to the formal once held on a river paddleboat! But I digress…

Compared to current floats, especially those of the huge Super Krewes, this float looks like a papier mâché project I made in grade school. But I bet I got some great beads for throws! They were still tossing a few of the Czechoslovakian glass bead strands when I was in college at Tulane, and I was smart enough to keep the ones I caught. But I’ll get to that.

I get e-blasts from Fleurty Girl, a shop with several locations in NOLA and environs, along with a great website. This year, I impulsively bought two headbands. I posted these pictures on the Cozy Mystery Crew Facebook page to see which headband people preferred. What do you think? Have a favorite?

And finally, I created this small homage to my favorite city and its favorite holiday on the dresser Eliza bought in NOLA and insisted on shipping home in the back of her car. Those Czechoslovakian beads I mentioned are somewhere in that big jar, along with all the beads I caught during my three Mardi Gras. (I transferred to Tulane in the middle of my sophomore year, so I missed a Mardi Gras.)

The shoe was caught by a friend of Eliza’s at a Krewe of Muses parade. (Look up photos of the shoes the Krewe members create. They’re incredible.) Eliza caught the King Cake plushie at a parade. I needlepointed the streetcar and voodoo doll. I bought the photo from a wonderful New Orleans photographer I follow on Instagram, @nolajules68.

Here’s a closeup of the photo so you can see it better. Isn’t it cool? For me, truer words were never written: “There are a lot of places I like. But I like New Orleans better.”

So readers, which is your favorite headband? And… have you ever been to Carnival Season in New Orleans? Or anywhere?

37 thoughts on “It’s Mardi Gras Again!

  1. I like the headband on the left. I’ve never been to Carnival in New Orleans or anywhere. I don’t think I could handle the crowds for very long. I use a cane and would be afraid that I would be trampled. I would love to try the pastries and do a haunted tour some time. Visiting is on my list of places I must see.

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  2. I have to go witthe the one on the right, the sparkly one. Once thought about attending Mardi Gras, but I didn’t. Now I’m so not a fan of crowds I’m sure I would be disappointed. Ah well, I can dream?

    Ellen, did you see my picture of Wined and Died all alone on the shelf in Mystery Lovers? You are clearly very popular in Oakmont, PA.

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  3. Ellen,
    What a wonderful homage to your favorite city!
    I think you should wear both – left for days and sparkly for nights, like when you win your next Agatha (she confidently predicts!).
    I’ve been to the German equivalent- Fasching. In fact, my husband and I met, 39 yrs ago last week, at a ‘mandatory’ Fasching party when we were stationed together in Germany in the military. I was Charlie Chaplin & he wore a kilt. I always say it was his legs that got me.
    Thanks for bringing back some of my favorite memories!

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  4. Been to Mardi Gras twice – rode with the Krewe of Morpheus in 2018. The best time. The noise was deafening. Loved every minute of it and can’t wait to get back to New Orleans any time of the year (even in the summer).

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  5. Wow, love this, El! The next best thing to being there. It’s like a whole other world (a really fun one). Glad Eliza kept that dresser, which makes for a worthy NOLA shrine. I vote for the sparkly headband on the right–one can never have enough sparkle (especially at night)!

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  6. I like the sparkly one best, too. Wow, they used to throw Czechoslovakian glass beads?! I’ve missed out. As for the hotel, I had the absolute best view from my window. In spite of the cancelled con, and impending Ida, I had a wonderful time in NOLA that summer, and loved spending time with you. I’ve never been to NOLA during Mardi Gras, but I’ve been to a Carnival celebration in Germany, where it’s called Fasching. We were in Cologne at the time.

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  7. I’ve never been to Mardi Gras. I have been to the Mardi Gras parade in Nevada City, California. People wore fake boobs and threw beads. It was fun and gave me some idea of the “real” event in New Orleans. I bet the energy is amazing!

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  8. I favor the band on the left. I’ve been to N’awlins several times, but never for Mardi Gras, unfortunately. It would be fun if the Chicks could all make it to NOLA for Mardi Gras one year!
    My husband’s office is holding a Fat Tuesday dinner tomorrow night that will include crawfish, gator bites, and king cake. It was really good last year!

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  9. I have not been to Carnival season. Not sure if I would enjoy it or if the crowds would be too much for me. If I can’t get around, I tend to not enjoy myself.

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  10. My family was in Caracas, Venezuela for Carnival 1963. I was only six, but remember it pretty well: We were staying on about the fifth floor of an apartment complex with a playground down below, but weren’t allowed outside on the day of Carnival because there was a military coup going on, and with the addition of Carnival, it was a bit “hairy” (as my mom liked to say) outdoors. But the next day, my brothers and I were allowed to go play on the roundabout and swings in the playground, and I remember collecting lots of colorful streamers off the ground from the celebration the day before.

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  11. Ellen, I love the headband on the left and I have bought many things at Fleurty Girl in person (every year we went there) and online. I gave my best friend her last name framed in NOLA street tiles for Christmas. So, cool you like it also. I have never been to Mardi Gras, though my husband was there working for the week one year and got to go in the 1980s. When we started going to NOLA in the late 1970s for 6 years in a row at Memorial Day, we actually saw the real streetcar named Desire. It was at the end of the French Market for a couple of years. I do not know where it is now. We have also bought art at the French Market from Jim Tweedy. Last time we went, we met Dr. Bob and bought some of his art and viewed his shop. I love NOLA and hope that we can start going again. Covid stopped us from going every year for the last 7 years before for Thanksgiving or Halloween. As I told you before, we stayed at the St. Charles Inn, and you said that is where you stayed. They had several purses made for Mardi Gras on display, so besides shoes, they made purses and no telling what else. One year, we were touring the old Deco Airport which we just happened on the year before that, and it turns out a Krewe was holding a party there at that time but let us in to look around.

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  12. I can hear the crowd at the corner already and Zulu hasn’t even started yet! They still throw the glass beads, but they are becoming rarer and rarer every year.

    I’ll have to take a picture of all our Muses shoes sometime. Paul got one this year–he’s gotten at least one every year since 2009. I have never gotten one, but he shares his with me. 🙂


  13. Coming at you from Ash Wednesday, which is not NEARLY as fun as Mardi Gras. I’ve never been to carnival anywhere, anytime, but I have a hunch I’d love it. As for the headband, sign me up for sparkles, s’il vous plait.


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