Wednesday, February 18, 2015

surviving a new orleans mardi gras ball

have you ever witnessed something so absurd you felt compelled to write on it?

i did last weekend.

as i've written on previously, i am no stranger to the mardi gras world. i was born & raised in fairhope, alabama. i was riding in parades before i graduated kindergarten. beads, moonpies and fighting soccer moms over teddy bears in the middle of the street was all a normal part of my childhood. mardi gras? yeah bro, i got it. no need to try and fill me in.

last weekend, i went to new orleans for the endymion krewe's annual parade and ball. luke bryan performed, everyone was so friendly and wonderful, and it was an amazing time. however, a new orleans mardi gras is another animal entirely than the customs in alabama. mobile may have invented the celebration, but new orleans took it and ran a freaking marathon with it. the sad truth is, i didn't believe this until i witnessed it for myself.

it wasn't the parade madness that surprised me. or bourbon street, really. all were just as i expected: smelly, silly and kind of unreal. what truly threw me for a loop was the endymion ball. not all balls are quite to this scale (was held in the mercedes benz superdome, by the way, no big deal) but i've got some tips for you if you ever find yourself at a ball held by one of the super krewes in new orleans. these are 110% serious.
  1. bring a helmet. i sincerely wish i were kidding. here's the thing, the parade comes into the superdome. i thought i was prepared, but i was oh so wrong. my friend mike and i were squashed up front by the barricades awaiting the parade to come into the dome, and we took a look around: people were wearing freakin' helmets. how absurd, i thought. and then the parade came in, and flamethrowers went off, and fireworks were everywhere, and they started throwing. this was throwing beyond what you experience on the street. my face is bruised.
  2. bring a tarp to put on your table. yeah. seriously. this was a thing, too. everyone's tables with their food, liquor and belongings were covered in tarps to protect from the immiment hellshower of teddy bears, frisbees and beads. a table up front was left uncovered by some newbies, and everyone around them collectively freaked out and found them a tarp. serious business, y'all.
  3. wear tennis shoes, baby. call me tacky, i do not care. this was the best choice i made all night. everyone is in floor length dresses, and you can get away with it. the nikes were my best friend. the floor was unwalkable by the end of the two hour meteor shower from the floats - kind of like what you'd imagine swimming in one of those toy claw machines would be like. you turn around and oh, a giant stuffed banana and plastic jewelry, and oh look, there's a medallion in your hair.
did i have fun? oh yeah. will i ever go to another new orleans ball? i'll let my bruised face speak for itself.

what are your mardi gras experiences?


  1. I am so jealous! I'm not really a big parade fan, but I've wanted to go to the Endymion extravaganza for years

    1. Definitely go if you get the chance! I just wouldn't go again ;) hahaha


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