Now that the Super Bowl is finally over, everyone in Louisiana can finally focus on what matters most this time of year: Mardi Gras. Not to say that we here in Louisiana didn’t appreciate the media exposure, the economic boost in sales from tourists, and the semi-holiday this past weekend. But it’s Mardi Gras season, and that, above all else, has been permeating our minds and atmosphere since Twelfth Night (the 12th day after Christmas). Our bakeries have been churning out king cakes and our breweries have been concocting specialty brews just for Mardi Gras (just like most large breweries have seasonal ales to celebrate spring, summer, fall, and winter; Louisiana of course thinks that Mardi Gras rightfully has a spot as the fifth season). And finally, at long last, Mardi Gras weekend is nearly upon us!
The finishing touches have been put on the floats. The Carnival krewes have finished making their special prizes to hand out on the parade routes. The smell of boiling crawfish is in the air and one can hear the sound of marching bands blaring their way up St. Charles. Flambeau’s are getting ready to light their torches.
If you’re in Acadiana, you’ll be getting ready for the Courir de Mardi Gras (fat Tuesday run). The capuchons (a cone-shaped ceremonial hat) will be donned along with other traditional costumes, horses will be mounted and led from door-to-door, asking for something for the community gumbo pot. Good luck to you if offered a chicken! I am sure that once you catch it, the chicken will make the gumbo that much better.
The tractors and trucks are getting fired up in Baton Rouge. Considered more family friend than the raucous New Orleans parades, you can be sure that the streets will be lined with parents and their children, with shouts of “Throw me somethin’, Mister!” ringing through the air.
In sum, Louisiana has gotten a 4 day breather because of the Super Bowl. We are all ready for Mardi Gras to kick back into high gear down here, to get back to our normal way of life. Luckily, Louisiana residents have such a common “joie de vivre” that a 4 day break from Mardi Gras for the Super Bowl has hardly seemed to faze us. But now the real celebration is about to get started. Finally, we are about getting back to what Louisiana does best this time of year – Mardi Gras.