It was a glorious day for Mardi Gras! Perhaps a tad hot, but we’ll take it over rain. Hard to complain when you’re in the midst of celebrating such a joyous day!
But… if I can complain… about something, for just a moment… it would have to be the start time. I’m not sure why the parade started two hours later than it normally does. Our group heard a couple of different reasons, from the need to share police officers from other routes, to the shorter truck parades making Mardi Gras end too quickly last year. Either way, the result of a later start time meant a much, much later end time. Whether or not this was on purpose, our group unanimously agreed: it was way too late for us.
Our family stands on Bonnabel, and the parade is usually past us and we’re packing up to head home by the time the first float even reached us this year. I know some people standing at the beginning of the parade were happy with the later time, but for those of us at the end, it felt, well, endless.
We waited and waited. And waited. We tried to keep the spirits high, but that meant we also had to keep the kids hydrated and sunblocked and entertained. We tried to explain it would be a long day of waiting, and we would have to keep being patient, but that was hard even for us adults to remember.
By the time the parade finally reached us, we were pretty done. Even those riding in the parade mentioned what an incredibly long day it was for them. We had used up a lot of our Mardi Gras energy. Of course, we powered through and made all the memories, but I’m not gonna lie: it was harder this year.
Obviously, a late Mardi Gras is better than no Mardi Gras at all. I’m not sure who makes the decisions, but if anyone out there is reading this, the people at the end of the parade are hoping for a return to the 10:00am start time. Heck, I think we’d even split the difference with an 11:00am start!
Regardless, we’ll be out there year after year, for 10:00am or for 12:00pm, reveling in the kind of magic only this city can provide. But I know, as a mom on the parade route, I’ll be hoping for that magic earlier in the day.