Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What are people saying about Mardi Gras?!

Every year, at the end of February or in the beginning of March, thousands of thrill seeking, fun loving, men and women flock to the New Orleans area with the intent of participating and being a part of Carnival Season and the notorious Mardi Gras Day (Fat Tuesday). This year was no different as New Orleans was the designated spot for spring breakers and tourists alike. I’ve been in the city during Mardi Gras for three years now and I can honestly say each year is a new, exciting and invigorating experience. The culture that this city embodies alone is enough to draw people here, but throw in some purple, green and yellow decorations and you’re sure to attract an interesting crowd!

This year, I decided to talk to a couple of my local and non local peers in an attempt to capture their thoughts on Mardi Gras and I was able to come up with a consensus response: They love it! For the people who grew up in this city, the joy of Mardi Gras not only lies in the festivities but also in the tradition that they have been a part of long before they knew what they were celebrating. During this time of the year, families both young and old, gather together to cook and eat and also pick out their spots to watch and enjoy the many different parades that go on. It’s not unusual for some families to even dress alike in costumes while taking in some of the parades as a tradition. Whether it’s taking in the eccentric Zulu costumes or the extremely bright floats of Endymion, there’s a joy that people experience while aimlessly trying to catch the artistically, ornamented Mardi Gras beads. Another anticipated event that a lot of my peers admitted to looking forward to is the Zulu Ball. They all claimed to love the idea of dressing up in beautiful gowns and enjoying the sounds of musical greats like this year’s guests, The O’Jays and Frankie Beverly and Maze, while they danced and mingled with friends and family.

The people that come from out of town who aren’t so familiar with New Orleans like to indulge in the many different seafood cuisine the city has to offer as well as frequent the local bars and the infamous Bourbon Street for a good time. For them, Carnival season and Mardi Gras Day is for them to forget about their worries and enjoy the streets, music and people who gather to participate in the parades. While there are some people who choose not to participate in the Mardi Gras festivities for reasons like money, weariness or repetition, the majority of my peers all agreed that Mardi Gras season is a time to really enjoy themselves and make lasting memories!

Rabiat Saraki

NPN Intern

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