Mardi Gras Grand Parade -

Mardi Gras Grand Parade

My first Mardi Gras

I attended my first St. Louis Mardi Gras Grand Parade Saturday. Wow! Ok, I had heard all the hype and seen the pictures, but there are just some things you just have to experience. Yes, it was cold. And windy. But it didn't appear the masses were too concerned with this. This parade is always in February so I guess they're used to it. In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't have to fight the masses for a good viewing spot for the parade. I was in the corporate village area so there was ample good viewing. The tents were also heated which was fantastic! Not to mention the ample number of porta potties. More on that later.

You can tell the people in the parade, on the ground and on the floats, were having the time of their lives. I did have to dodge a few bead bullets...not everyone was "tossing" the beads. As a matter of fact, there was a guy standing beside me that kept trying to nail the drivers of the floats with beads. What's up with that? Did I miss something? It's a real crack-up to watch everyone going for these beads like they're money falling from the sky. But, I was right there with them. You can't help but get caught up.

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After the parade, everyone spilled into the streets of Soulard. It seemed like there was a dj or a band blaring from every corner packing in the crowds. Some of the crowds in a few intersections were pretty much impassible. I noticed a lot of people on their phones trying to meet up with friends. That seemed like a lost cause. I'm glad I was just with my sister. If I was trying to keep up with a bunch of people, well, it would have been really tough.

I tried to figure out if there was one central area but it was just everywhere. The whole neighborhood. Everywhere you looked, just tons and tons of people. And lines of people waiting for the porta-potties. I'm sure that's just part of the whole experience, but I'm kinda glad I got to skip that part.

Things were pretty rowdy by early afternoon, right after the parade. Now I've never been to New Orleans, but I've heard the stories. Same drill here...if you want someone's beads, you have to show something. So I saw my share of breasts and had a few interesting propositions. People were hanging out of the balconies in the neighborhood, tossing beads back and forth. Quite the sight to see. I'm sure it continued to get even more interesting as the day wore on, but I was out by 2pm since I had to go to work! Do you have any good Mardi Gras stories for me?

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