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Throw me Somethin’ Mister!

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photograph from the 1970s in the French Quarter feature a man in a trench coat with a paper mache alligator head in fron to fsome barricade with a police bus and police officers in the background
Mardi Gras in the French Quarter, early 1970’s. Copyright Vernon Terrell

Today is Mardi Gras in New Orleans and I am not there.  Instead I am here in Washington, D.C. at work.  For some reason, this year I’m a little sad about missing all of the festivities.

I have no costume to wear, and no beads or doubloons to catch.  I will not be there to stand on a ladder with a seat for children watching the truck parades, waving as Rex goes by, or yelling “throw me something mister!” as the floats pass by.  I will not be there to marvel over the ensembles created by the Mardi Gras Indians.  But, earlier in the Carnival season I did  have some king cake that I shared with my colleagues, and I do have the opportunity to use a photo taken in the French Quarter by my father some time in the early 1970’s.

Since I did a more business-oriented post last year for Mardi Gras, I thought this year I would provide further information for those who get a little confused about the words and concepts swirling around Carnival and Mardi Gras.  The most common guide is by Arthur Hardy who has been publishing the Mardi Gras in New Orleans : an Illustrated History for many years.  If you are looking for something more historical, the Hand Book of the Carnival, Containing Mardi-Gras, its Ancient and Modern Observance was published in 1874 and has been digitized by the Library and is available on the Internet Archive.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Comments (2)

  1. Hey, Ellen, come on by my neighborhood for our annual Mardi Gras parade, right at the Clarendon Metro station in Arlington 7:30 tonight. Throws, convertibles, floats, politicians, kids, dogs, everything but Rex and Indians.

  2. Laissez les bons temps rouler, y’all!

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