Mardi Gras 2013

Just inside a room on the second floor of the Louisiana State Museum's Presbytere, there's a large baby doll dress, big enough for a woman to wear. And one did.

The costume and the baby bottle next to it belonged to 85-year-old Miriam Batiste Reed, who was known as a baby doll and one of the first women to parade in Mardi Gras. The bottle and the dress are part of a new exhibition, They Call Me Baby Doll: A Mardi Gras Tradition.

Pink Chicken Feet Honor Spanish Town Parade Mainstay

Feb 14, 2013

Pink plastic chicken feet were tossed from several floats at the 33rd Spanish Town parade. The unusual throws were an homage to a board member of the Society for the Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana who knew how to be creative with limited resources.

Heavy rain that forecasters worried could wash out Fat Tuesday parades did not appear as feared. And parade-goers Uptown came prepared.

There was a threat of rain in New Orleans, today. But revelry doesn't stop for dark clouds.

In fact, as The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports, "this weather actually is perfect" was a refrain repeated over and over:

It's Fat Tuesday, the final day of indulgence before the fasting and penance of Lent begins. While the revelry in New Orleans tends to grab the spotlight, you can find some fascinating Mardi Gras traditions elsewhere.

From chasing chickens in Cajun Country to catching MoonPies in Mobile, communities all along the Gulf Coast have their own way of marking Carnival season.

The Fatted Ox

It's Mardi Gras, and down in New Orleans, the King Cakes, beignets and other gustatory delights are flowing freely. But if you prefer your culinary temptations with a side of history, allow me to introduce you to the calas, a Creole rice fritter with a storied past.

In less than an hour, the McDonogh 35 High School marching band — including the flag girls, the dance team, the majorettes, the color guard and the actual band — needs to be on the parade route five miles away. It's the peak of Carnival season in New Orleans, and high school marching bands form the backbeat of Mardi Gras.

The Orpheus parade will start 30 minutes earlier today, following Proteus, the New Orleans Police Department announced today. The 5:30 p.m. start is 30 minutes earlier than normal, and due to expected inclement weather.

Orpheus will make a hard right onto the riverbound side of Canal Street, turn onto Tchoupitoulas and take a left onto Henderson to the disband area.

Bust Out The Beads

Feb 11, 2013
Grant Morris / It's New Orleans

In Out to Lunch’s first Annual Commander's 25-cent martini (x7) Mardi Gras business lunch, Peter Ricchiutti abandons all hope of a serious Mardi Gras conversation and goes for dancers and beads with Bustout Burlesque creator Rick Delaup and Zombeads founder Anne Rolfes.

Eugenia Uhl

High school marching bands have two main seasons: football and Carnival. But unlike football season, where bands briefly entertain sports fans during half time shows, Carnival season is a marathon of long songs, marching, and discipline. It’s also a time when the musicians, not the athletes, compete.

Eve Abrams visited two of New Orleans’ rival high school marching bands: MacDonough 35 and Warren Easton.

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