Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Homeward bound

Curious how my hometown's first post-Katrina Mardi Gras is faring, so will give review on Mardi Gras day. Consider Bacchus (Sunday night) to be, if not the king of Mardi Gras, then clearly the most popular. Rex - the official king - is now a depressing parade. Sparse crowds, kids tossing away Rex doubloons: rather a run down affair. By contrast, the crowds for Bacchus are overwhelming & Endymion is almost the same. Even Monday is now being called Lundi Gras & has its celebrity parade as well. A sharp contrast to my youth when Mardi Gras was a slightly bigger affair than Sunday, but now tons of folks come in town for the weekend & then leave on Monday as we're doing.

Can remember how mom used to throw a Sunday night fete because there was no competing parade. Back in '68 though she was prescient enough to know that that would be her last year since folks would want to see Bacchus & the celebrity de jour. Sure enough, the attendance was lite at her fete & she discontinued it for years, before starting her pre-post Thoth fĂȘte; sadly Thoth has had to move their route, so no fĂȘte this year.

Have heard some grumbling from displaced folks that the city should concentrate on rebuilding. Can sympathize, but New Orleans lives & dies off tourism, and is nearly (completely?) broke - they need the cash flow badly!

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