With the damage of Hurricane Katrina still evident, a condensed Mardi Gras is going on in New Orleans this week as the tradition continues. The people of New Orleans decided that they must maintain the traditions of the city even after the calamity that occurred, and by having an abbreviated Mardi Gras in 2006 they are able to show the resolve of the city.
Streets once filled with downed trees drummed to the sound of marching bands and children crying “Here! Here!” as masked revelers tossed beads, plastic cups, toys and trinkets from colorful floats.
“Cool! An American football!” Simone Cohen said as her four-year old daughter Olivia handed over her latest catch of party favors on historic St Charles Avenue in Uptown.
Many of the floats had satirical themes, like a Spartan float titled “Mandatory Evacuation: the places we should have gone,” decorated with a replica of the Eiffel Tower.
Another titled “Your levee system: a real life fairy tale” had a massive Humpty Dumpty sitting on a wall. But while the mood was festive, the parades, like New Orleans, were just a shadow of their former self.
With more than half of the city`s residents still scattered across the country, the crowds were painfully thin.
And with the cash-strapped city still unsure how it will pay the $2.7m cost of Mardi gras clean-up and extra policing, the parades were shortened and condensed onto a single route.
In a normal year, it would take all day for five parades to march from Uptown to the French Quarter. On Saturday, it took less than 90 minutes. via GG2.net.