Mardi Gras day in New Orleans is an adventure, a whirlwind ride filled with moments and memories that will be part of conversations for years to come. It’s a day that can’t truly be explained, only experienced. The best tactic is to have no plan other than to wake up at dawn - already in costume - and let the day take you.
This year, our Fat Tuesday began on bikes at 7am, when we braved the freezing temperatures that had descended on New Orleans overnight and began pedaling. The first stop was Washington Avenue, where we watched the Half Fast Marching Club, known for marking the start of Mardi Gras day. From there, we raced to Jackson Avenue to see the Zulu King, whose glorious hot pink plumage made us almost forget that we couldn’t feel our toes. The Marigny was our next stop to join the St. Anne's Parade as it worked it's way towards R Bar, taking in the all the quirky sights and sounds that the parade holds. From there we wandered, getting absorbed by crowds parading through the streets of the French Quarter. Upon realizing our cups were empty, we circled back to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop for a Mardi Gras mandatory Purple Drink, and ran into many familiar faces - some unrecognizable in their costumes. With exhaustion setting in, we headed under the interstate to see the Mardi Gras Indians, whose dances and rituals ended were the perfect cap to what was nothing less than a magical day.