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Mardi Gras

Fred's Lounge - Keeping Cajun Music Alive

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Fred's Lounge - Keeping Cajun Music Alive

Fred’s Lounge in downtown Mamou, Louisiana isn’t a big place. In fact, depending on which way you’re driving, you could drive past it and never know you missed it. It’s not fancy and if you weren’t aiming for it, it probably wouldn’t entice you to stop by its appearance. Fred’s is only open for about six hours a week, from about 8 a.m. to about 2 p.m. every Saturday morning, so if you came through Mamou at any other time it would be closed anyway. But during those six hours, it is a magical place to be.

For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I have a very special place in my heart for the Mississippi Delta and for the Delta Blues in particular. If you visit Clarksdale these days, in the very heart of the Delta, you can find live blues seven days a week, although it’s taken a concerted effort over many years to make that happen. It’s amazing, but it exists in a museum state. By that I mean that while you can see it in a great juke joint like Red’s, you will watch it sitting down on what was once the dance floor…

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Mardi Gras Parades

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Mardi Gras Parades

There are a LOT of photos in this post. Mardi Gras parades in Louisiana are some of the most vivid, colorful, vibrant, sensory overloading events in the whole world. The colors, the costumes, the floats, the music and the excitement are all overwhelming. They are joyful and happy events marking the biggest celebration of the year in the state. Photographing them is a true joy, and all of these photos make me extremely happy. In these photos I want to show you the floats, the riders, the spectators, the bands and walking groups that make up the Mardi Gras parades. There are also a few of my favorite kind of Mardi Gras shot - trying to capture beads in mid-air between thrower and catcher. There are six parades featured in this post. The first is the Krewe of Slidellians from Slidell, Louisiana. The following night parade is from the Krewe of Rio in Lafayette. The next daytime parades were the Krewe of Carrolton followed by the Krewe of King Arthur on the same day taken from Lee Circle in New Orleans. There are two photos from the Krewe of Nyx nighttime parade in New Orleans, and finally are a few from the huge Spanish Town parade in Baton Rouge, the pinkest event I’ve ever witnessed. I know there are probably too many photos for one post here, but it was hard to cut it down to just the ones I included. I hope you enjoy them and I hope you can feel the excitement and happiness I tried to capture here. More than anything, I hope they make you smile.

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans

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Mardi Gras in New Orleans

It was wonderful to be back in Louisiana for the end of the Mardi Gras season this year. I got out to see parades in several different towns, and then made my way back to New Orleans for Fat Tuesday itself. It’s a wonderful time of year to be in Louisiana, and for those who have never been, it is so much more than the booze fueled tourist mess you’ve seen on COPS and Girls Gone Wild. It’s full of food and fun and family, parades throwing beads and stuffed animals to kids sitting atop ladders, good vibes and a chance to let your hair down and relax. I needed to let my hair down and relax a bit this time around, and Mardi Gras has been just the cure to the February blues I needed.

I started my Mardi Gras this year with a quiet walk through the French Quarter just after 8 a.m. I was surprised at how few people were out and how quiet it was. The street cleaners were just finishing up on Bourbon Street which gleamed in the morning sun. Jackson Square was empty and there were plenty of open seats at Cafe du Monde. I always love walking around the French Quarter early in the morning, but it was amazing to see it cleaned up and waiting for the revelers to come out and play…

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Snapshots: Mardi Gras Costumes

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Snapshots: Mardi Gras Costumes

It was amazing to be back in Louisiana for Mardi Gras this year. I got to catch parades in Lafayette, Baton Rouge, Slidell and New Orleans, and spent Fat Tuesday in the Big Easy with friends. One of the best parts of Mardi Gras are the wonderful costumes people wear. Much like Halloween, you can go as absolutely anything for Mardi Gras, and people do. My favorites are always the really colorful and intricate costumes, especially those that are handmade and obviously took a long time to create. I spent much of the day wandering around the French Quarter, Marigny and Bywater neighborhoods trying to catch the spirit of the day through people’s costumes. I hope you enjoy these photos of my favorite Mardi Gras costumes from 2019 in Louisiana.

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