Thursday, March 14, 2019

Party Animal

Hi Kids,
     I bet you didn't recognize me in my Mardi Gras mask! Do you know what Mardi Gras is? Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday. For hundreds of years, people celebrated Fat Tuesday by eating and partying before they began the somber period of Lent, 40 days before Easter.
     But they don't just party on that day. They start the parties 12 days after Christmas. That whole time until Lent is called Carnival or just Mardi Gras.
     The favorite dessert during those months is King Cake and it's served at almost every party. It looks like this -- 
     It's like a giant, oval, cinnamon roll with a yummy filling inside and icing and sugar sprinkles on top. When Miss Elaine and I went to Mardi Gras in Shreveport, Louisiana this year, we ate lots of King Cake. 
     Parties are planned by groups of friends called krewes. Many of them plan special balls -- parties with food and dancing. They have a king and queen and royal court and everybody dresses up and wears masks. 
     My picture above shows me in a Mardi Gras mask. We got to go to a museum and saw a whole bunch of fancy masks. This is me at the museum -- 
     Several of the krewes have parades with lots of big floats. All the krewes build floats to be in the parades. They even have a pet parade put on by the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux (meow). 
     Miss Elaine and I got to ride on a float in the Krewe of Highland parade. This is me getting ready for the parade -- 
      Here are some of my favorite floats --

People line the street waving their arms and yelling, "Throw me something, mister!"

    The most popular things to throw are strings of beads but other things get thrown, too. From some floats people threw plastic cups, snack cakes, packages of ramen noodles, oranges, avocados, stuffed animals and even hot dogs wrapped in foil. 

     This boy caught a lot of things. It was fun throwing things to the crowd. Some people even remembered to yell, "Thank you." I had fun at Mardi Gras. Most of the Mardi Gras celebrations are in the South in places that the French people settled. Do you think we should have a Mardi Gras parade? I do!