Mardi Gras Etiquette

Well, it’s officially Mardi Gras time…the big parades roll in the city starting this weekend.  I think they actually start Friday evening…not quite sure.

I’ve decided that, since people keep asking me mardi gras questions and I have a lot of  transplants(non-born and raised Nawlins folks) who pass through here and read this blog; to give a few pointers to those who plan on visiting for Mardi Grass…yep, I said grass.

I know it looks all discombobulated and all but, believe it or not, there are some real rules to Mardi Gras that most visitors just don’t get so here they are.

Here’s the most important one…the one that will stop you from getting into a fight.

1.  If a rider on a float makes eye contact with you, points at you and says, “here catch”….that don’t make it, YOUR THOW.  If I get it before you…it’s mine.

In fact, that’s my job…to get it before you do.  Most visitors miss this point and think we are going to just stand there so they can catch the bead or whatever…..NOT!  We will straight jack it right outta ya hand if you ain’t holding on to it tight enough.

Don’t get offended…it’s Mardi Gras.  If you can’t stand the heat…you know the rest.

2.Please, please, please.!  Don’t cross the street while the bands are moving.  Wait until the band has passed and then cross.  That’s our babies playing those instruments, they can get hurt if you bump them while they are playing.  But more importantly for you….YOU don’t want to get hurt.

The chaperones here mean business and will lasso your ass if you even attempt to cross  through the band lines…I know…I was a chaperone for many years….I could hook you and throw you back into the crowds faster than you can say…WHO DAT!

3.  When you see the bands coming, push back…people here get that and don’t need to be told.  Ya can’t stand in the street when the bands are coming..only for the floats.  The chaperones will push you back if you don’t move on your own.

St. Aug don’t need no chaperones…everyone here already knows that, Aug don’t break their lines for no one so, if you don’t want to get hit….move back.  You’ll get a warning from the color guards after that…be prepared for those mallets to hit you upside the head.

4.Natives are real accommodating to children who can’t see because they are too far back.  So if you see me telling a bunch of kids they can stand in front of me…that’s what we do…  and race don’t matter much. I’ve had a bunch of white people take my kids to the front of the crowd so they could see and vice versa.

5. Natives are NOT accommodating to grown folks who cross the street and then stand in front of them so they can all of a sudden be in the front of the crowd.  Do not do this…cross the street and keep moving. That is, if you don’t want beer poured over your head from the dad who is standing on a ladder looking down watching everything.

Besides, natives and other folks have been out there all day(for Endymion…three days) babysitting “their spot” and now here you come all willy-nilly trying to move in it….it ain’t gonna happen.  They gon make you move bruh.

6.  If you are trying to catch d0ubloons(that’s the coins they throw)….don’t reach down with your hand!!

We will step on it!!!!!!

No offense but, everyone here was raised that way.  When they throw doubloons from the floats…YOU STOMP the doubloon  first, wait until the crowd eases up a bit and then bend down and pick it up.

7. No one owns the neutral ground…that’s the median to other folks.  That’s why it’s called “neutral ground” here.  People always ask how can they buy a spot on the median…ya can’t.  First come, first serve basis…find a spot…stake your claim…and there ya go.

8. Happy Mardi Gras is an actual greeting here…it’s like saying Merry Christmas to everyone…use it and you’ll begin to blend in.

9. Yeah, we eat heavy meals like ribs, jambalaya, beans, chicken, burgers,crawfish,etc. at 7am…it’s mardi gras.

Popeyes start selling chicken at like 4am on Mardi Gras Day…go get some!

10.We don’t do that “show your tits” thing on the parade route…that’s where the families are.  Go to the Quarters with the rest of the perv’s if that’s your intent.  We have kids out here on the route…out here, we’re grilling, boiling, eating and having fun.  No one cares about your girls….

I am sure I forgot some…natives, let me know which and I’ll be sure to post.

Other than that, chill out and enjoy Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras 2010 will be extra special that’s for sure!




6 thoughts on “Mardi Gras Etiquette

  1. One of these years I’m going to make to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. I was planning to go to Mobile for the Mardi Gras this year but decided I need to save those $$ for my wedding festivities.

    Sounds like a bunch of fun, but like you said – I would have to get my mind ready.

  2. Looks like you’ve got most of it covered. I would add that on occasion there is a loophole for rule #1: If the rider is throwing something to a child, (especially when it’s a stuffed animal or toy) it’s not cool for adults to intercept those. That’s when you should play it off like you were helping and hand it to the kid.

    Oh yeah, one more: There’s only one time when it’s acceptable to throw things at a float–King Kong in Bacchus. (Which is now a whole Kong family I think). Any other time, you’re just being an ass.

    Damn, you had to go an mention Popeye’s didn’t you? LOL

  3. I’m glad that Dereck mentioned the Kong family…as I aim for the heads of each one every year. If one should get slapped across the face with a bead b/c of an awkward throw…well, shake it off, lol.

    You push, touch, knock over my child…yep, we’re gon’ fight. I’m not fiesty until it comes to my kid.

    One exception to the “your catch” rule is Zulu, simply b/c they have to hand over the coconuts. And usually, you get the most attention with a child on your shoulders. Come by and swoop my coconut…dat’s yo ass, Mr. Postman!

    That’s all I got for now. You got it well covered.

  4. @Dereck,yeah I forgot about the grown folks taking the toys for the babies…
    It’s been so long since I’ve been to a Bacchus parade that, I forgot all about the Kong family. Someone was retired last year…King Kong, Momma Kong or Baby Kong, I forget which.

    @LB,that’s true about the coconut.You know someone will get their hand torn off trying to swoop somebody’s

  5. Howyaknow I had my first bowl of jambalaya at approximately 7:30 am??? Your rules are so true to life but you forgot to add that in the family area of parade routes, you’ll never meet a stranger!!
    Loved this post….reminded me of how much I enjoy being a part of the fiyah on the bayou!

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