After church and lunch today, we decided to attempt the big Alexandria Mardi Gras parade. The parade was supposed to start at 2pm and that is about what time we got there. However, we parked and walked to this Family Friendly “No Zone” (no alcohol, drugs, cigarettes) near the end of the parade line. We found a not so good spot in the corner of the lot. We had a stop sign kind of in front of us and a group of high school girls all along the barricade in front. It was OK though. We really weren’t to catch a bunch of stuff. We were just there to check out the “big” Alex parade. I don’t know what “Krewe” it was or the theme but I am thinking it was some kind of musical theme.

One of the first floats…

From February 2012


How Sam started the parade…

From February 2012


From February 2012


From February 2012


Another float…

From February 2012


Our group of high school girls in front of us…

From February 2012


Sam started getting interested…

From February 2012


He got a bead and then wanted down so he could play with it…

From February 2012


From February 2012


Then he wound up on my shoulders…

From February 2012


I hope you can see this guy’s mask. It is one of those clear plastic ones. They freak me out- I always think they are going to go rob a bank or something. HA!

From February 2012


Watch out for flying beads!

From February 2012


From February 2012


About the time that Travis took the picture above, the chaperone of the group of high schools came up and told us that we could go down to the fence and try to catch some stuff. Up until this point, she had been strictly keeping others away from the area but we never asked to go up there and we didn’t stand near them. Apparently our politeness/respect/whatever paid off. She told the girls to let us through. Sam and I wound up on the front row right at the barricade.

From February 2012


Do you see the girl on the far right in the picture above? She is about to throw a yellow feather boa. Well, unbeknownst to Travis, that boa became Sam’s. One of the girls beside me caught it and wrapped it around Sam. He was so excited. We only stayed down there through about 3 floats because high school girls scream LOUDLY and HIGH PITCHED. It hurt Sam’s ears something awful. He had a panicked look on his face when the float would stop (the judging stands were across from us) and all the girls would start screaming. The girls were good to Sam though and hooked him up with quite a few beads. 🙂

From February 2012


When I first saw the girls, I thought they were in some kind of at-risk program. While Sam and I were down there amongst them, Travis talked with their leader and she was telling him that they were a part of the Youth Challenge program. They were responsible for manning all the booths, the port-a-potties, and cleaning up the trash for the NO Zone. They also can’t keep any of the stuff they were catching. She also told him that by the end of the night the majority of them will have gotten in trouble. It makes me so sad. They were really sweet girls and were really kind of Sam. I just feel bad that they are all so young and have already been in so much trouble that they are in this program. However, they seem to have a leader who genuinely cares for them. So that is a bright side.

We left immediately after Sam and I climbed back out of the crowd. This was all occurring during Sam’s nap time and so he was exhausted!!

From February 2012


Thankfully, we brought the yellow car with us…

From February 2012


As we maneuvered through the crowds in an unsuccessful attempt to get back to our car, Sam fell asleep. We had pulled the cover down over him so beads and stuff wouldn’t hit him and I “rolled” the windows down so that it kind of kept the wind out and the noise level down somewhat. In order to get into the NO ZONE we had to cross the street. Therefore, we couldn’t cross the street again until the parade was over. It really wasn’t that big of a deal since Sam was asleep but if he had been fussy or we had been having to carry him that would’ve been a whole different ball game. Whew!!

It was a decent parade. It isn’t up to New Orleans standards, but that can be a very good thing- I didn’t feel like I needed to constantly look over my shoulder. However, I decided the parade in Mississippi was better. Alexandria has a children’s parade on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday but it was rained out yesterday. I think we will just start going to Nereids and then trying to hit the Children’s Parade in Alex from now on- no more “big” parade. 🙂

🙂
Steph