Sure, it’s early, but who cares? Happy Mardi Gras! Hundreds of people of all ages cheered, screamed, raced to pick up candy and beads and danced to exuberant New Orleans jazz today in downtown Fayetteville, and I was smart enough to join them.
Regretfully I must admit it was my first real Mardi Gras parade — and half of my family’s from New Orleans! Disgraceful. I know it was only a sliver of the revelry coming soon on Bourbon Street, but it was still a good time.
It was a balmy 60 degrees, though even that isn’t warm enough for some Southerners.
The parade was infused with Brazilian influences, like the people practicing capoeira above. Carnaval, of course, is also going on as I type.
If you missed it, Fayetteville’s having another parade Tuesday night, with a bit more of the drunken raucousness befitting Mardi Gras, I imagine. Otherwise I hope your town marks the occasion.
Thanks for looking!
I underestimated downtown Springfield, Mo., on Friday night. With the First Friday art walk, at least one high school’s homecoming, Halloween coming up and the square’s usual contingent of punk teenagers and low-income adults, there was no shortage of interesting people and interesting images.
One boy with a neon green shirt rode around the square on a neon green bike. Another guy, with purple hair and purple shirt and purple bike, taught how to play a harmonica to a grizzled old biker dude with a beer gut. Teens clumped together, skateboards in hand, looking around as if searching for a challenger to their dominance. A rock band played Stevie Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely” across the street. Women loaded dozens of bridal dresses into a trailer for a tent sale the next day. A boy in costume as the Tenth Doctor ran around with a sonic screwdriver and a ukulele. Two women carefully applied zombie make-up to two other women. More restrained and respectable-looking couples and grandparents and families milled around, going from restaurants to galleries to bars, then to the live jazz band in the square. It felt like all life was there, to borrow a phrase from one of my favorite movies.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my images of it. In other news, I think I’m getting better at this street thing.