Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Carnival Season is almost here!

Mardi Gras Masks for sale at my neighborhood Walgreens
You know when a major holiday is coming up and you walk into Walgreens and walk down the seasonal isle to see things to decorate your home with? I'm sure in your local Walgreens right now, Valentines Day is the big thing, right? Well, that's not the case here in New Orleans. Valentines takes a back seat to Mardi Gras, also known as Carnival Season. The isles are filled with masks, t-shirts, and beads, beads, beads y'all!

Slippin' Southerns been here close to four months now and we are pretty settled in. We have a new apartment and a new shop in the city to make our wall art. We've lived through Halloween, Christmas, New Years. But that's just child's play compared to the party-storm that's brewing...

Mardi Gras Floats warehoused in Uptown
I recently passed by a couple of the large warehouses just blocks from our apartment that are housing some of the floats that will be slowly rolling down St. Charles Avenue in just two weeks. And let me tell you, they are amazing! They are so big and grand... it's breathtaking.

This all got me to thinkin'... So when I was out and about in the city this week, I keep asking everyone that I meet from taxi drivers to my neighbors around my shop on Constantinople Street, "Just how crowded is it going to get here during Mardi Gras?" The answers vary, but most agree that parking will be an issue and the crowds will be even a bigger issue. You have to decide which side of St. Charles street you need to be on the day of the parade. Since we are just a couple of blocks from St. Charles Street, we probably will close early on days when the Parades will be near our shop. Luckily, most parades are on the weekends but there are a few that are during the week.

The Mardi Gras Season goes from January 20th to February 12 or Fat Tuesday. Oh, and did I mention that this year, right in the middle of Mardi Gras, New Orleans is hosting the Super Bowl too?

Below is a photo of the front of our new shop with our big red gator over the door way. It's not real sexy... it's an old warehouse that Martin's Wine Shop used to own. In the true spirit of Mardi Gras, we've decorated our Red Gator with beads. The BURGERWOOD letters are a project I just finished for Burgerwood in New Jersey... check them out y'all!

Slippin' Southern's New Shop in New Orleans
I grew up about 4 hours from here, in Pensacola, Florida. I've never been to New Orleans during Mardi Gras season, except for one time in high school. I was in Marching Band with the Pace High School Marching Patriots and we marched in one of the parades. I have no idea which one it was.... I should check on that and get back to you on it.

More Mardi Gras Decor from Walgreens
Mardi Gras is big, really big y'all. It generates over a billion dollars in spending in New Orleans. There are 53 parades and the parade routes end to end would cover over 300 miles.

For more facts and history on Mardi Gras the best authority I have found so far is Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide. You can get to their on line guide here: AH's guide tells all about the history and the parade routs and dates on this site!

If you'd like to keep up with Mardi Gras events on your iPhone or Android, check out the local NBC affiliates app called "WDSU's Parade Tracker."

Stay tuned to this blog for the Parades that Slippin' Southern will be attending this year y'all!

If there's something you want to know or you want me to go check out for you... just ask!
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