Mardi Gras in New Orleans was a strange and wonderful time. Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday, but the celebrations leading up to the actual day last for about two weeks. Besides the celebrations around the Super Bowl, the peak of Mardi Gras for me was marching in the Krewe d'Eris Parade on Sunday the 14th of February.
Eris is an unauthorized parade, as described on NOLA.com
"As Sunday night slithered out and Lundi Gras scuttled in, The Vieux Carre was swarmed by the filthy vermin of the Krewe of Eris, a wild and phantasmagoric walking (and bicycling and wheelchairing and shopping-carting) krewe dedicated not to misrule but to no rule at all. Unorganized, unauthorized, un-permitted, and unconcerned, the Krewe of Eris is an open-membership tribe honoring Eris, the goddess of discord and strife. In the mythology of the Greeks it was Eris who threw the golden apple that sparked a feud between vain deities, revealing the pettiness and weaknesses of the powerful, and thus the Krewe of Eris gives the lie to the grandiose and flashy motorized superkrewes, mostly by being much, much more fun."
I was part of the Hula Hooping corps, coordinating with our friends in the flag corps. We marched at the front of the parade along with a luminous dragon and a marching band. The theme of the parade was "light and pleasure" and along that vein my friend Aviva and I both got LED hula hoops, and our third hooper Jamie Lynn marched between us to catch some of our light. We all decided to dress in costumes of white and gold. I had a fun marching band hat with gold horns made by a talented woman named Jade. The rest of my costume I got from second hand shops.
Marching for about three hours with a hula hoop was both exhilarating and tiring. I had so much fun tossing it as high as I could and catching it, watching the swirls of light making pretty patterns in the sky. The crowd loved us, and was us. People seemed to wander in and out of the parade, adding to the chaos and beauty of it. We had rehearsed a routine but found it impossible to carry out. It was all just fun and celebration.
Since I was hooping I could not photograph the parade itself but I found some cool photos online on the Wandering Dreamers blog and also on l*ght//motion's flickr page. Below are some of the photos I took before the parade...