Saturday, January 26, 2008

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

"Throw me somethin' Mister!"

Laissez les bons temps rouler!-----let the good times roll! Well, it looks like they're beginning to roll--in Shreveport, at least. This evening marks the first of the large Mardi Gras parades that take place in the city. The Krewe of Centaur is rolling down the streets surrounding my neighborhood as I type. Residents and visitors have been staking out their parade spots since early morning and as I went for a walk this afternoon, the smells of burgers and bar-b-que chicken were filling the air. Music was playing and people gathered around the duck pond and nearby streets. And the same scene will be played out again next Saturday as another parade rolls down the same path.

Being a "fair-weather parade goer", I decided to sit this one out. It rained until early morning, leaving the ground pretty muddy and the temperatures never rose to the expected highs today. The sun never even came out. So instead of gathering more beads and dabloons, I am curled up at home in front of the fireplace.

It does bring back lots of fun memories though, of Mardi Gras parades of the past. When the girls were young, we went every year. Ron and Carol would park their truck on the main street early in the morning and in the middle of the afternoon, we would walk down there, carrying drinks, snacks and chairs. Sometimes we walked to the KFC to buy chicken for our picnic, but other times we just ate snacks and visited. Jana and Callie would bring
balls to toss around and sidewalk chalk to draw on the blocked-off streets. Then as the years passed, the girls began going to the parades with their friends instead of family. But, upon returning home, they always sorted the enormous heaps of beads, cups, dabloons and other trinkets and compared each other's loot. In fact, some of it is still stored in special Mardi Gras bags out in the storage shed.

Now, with no children to entertain, I tend to stay home and watch some of the parade on TV.
Sometimes, if the weather is just right, I walk up to the parade route with Ron and Carol at the last minute to watch the floats pass, but I usually enjoy the quiet of being here while all the madness is going on around me.
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