The first one put on by the Krewe of Gemini was the better of the two. The floats were all themed after fictional characters. VERY COOL. Everyone is in costume, all throwing TONS of beads, dubloons, balls, cups, and random toys. The parade was about an hour and a half long, but we waited over 5 hours to see it! We were in the no drinking zone. The city designates this whole park as a family zone, so it wasn't as crowded as some of the other areas. This meant little competition for goodies and easy access in and out. We had porti potties near us, so that was good. Luke spoiled the kids, buying them cotton candy and trent a confetti gun. That thing was super cute! As much as he hates people, I think he had a good time. The kids were just beside themselves. We do NOT have parades like this back home! I have NEVER seen anything like it. People were camped out in trailers and tents, BBQing to save their places. That was insane. These people go big! Next year we will just tailgate too!
Today, Luke had to head back to Houston. When he left we loaded up in the car. We grabbed some lunch, parked right where the parade was staging, and walked about 5 blocks to the start of the "throw zone." We only had to wait a bit over an hour, which by comparison seemed like a breeze. There were throngs of people. By the time the parade actually started, we were 5 and 6 people deep on the street and sidewalk. Further down the route, it was much worse. We also didn't get nearly as much STUFF as the other onem but better beads and cool little toys and candy. But the coolest thing? Well, really 3 things. #1. One of the BBQ places threw HOT DOGS! #2. One float threw MOON PIES!!! Trent and I each got one. #3. Crawfish beads! They are red with a 4 inch crawfish on them! So freaking cool. This was by far a community parade. The floats weren't as good, more kids groups, and many more people there. We had a great time chatting with the folks around us. One man even gave the kids half of what he caught! He gave the other half to his niece... so I guess we can't fault him! We gave him one set of the crawfish beads!
I was thinking about taking the kids to the children's parade down on the boardwalk tuesday evening, but after giving it some serious though, I gave up on that. The fat tuesday mess will be REALLY bad in downtown on the other side of the river, where all the clubs are. And there is only ONE tiny entrance/exit for the freeway by the boardwalk, and just around christmas time it would take me 20 minutes just to get from the exit 1/4 a mile from parking! It was rediculous. So I will just keep them at home! Maybe I can appease them by buying a king cake.
I will leave you with a couple of photos from today, nothing special. Just what I snapped real quick between or during getting whacked in the FACE with beads! Yep, and I didn't even get the beads that hit me! Awesome! Can't wait till next year...