I have never been to Mardi Gras. And, up until last month, I’d never even been to New Orleans. I’d long wanted to go, but my schedule and that of a Katrina-ravaged Nawlins never gelled. But I’m thrilled I finally got there. I loved it. Food and history all mixed in with a polite Southern party.
Still, I may never get back for the actual Mardi Gras. (And, to be honest, at this age, I’m not sure I want to…) So I’m extra glad that Bitty and I made a trip to Mardi Gras World. It’s where all the floats are made for the krewes in the parades and it is literally a warehouse stock full of history.
Here are some photos of the process that goes into making America’s biggest party. The building process for the next year begins the day after Mardi Gras.
Sketches of 2014 floats
Floats are increasingly made out of Styrofoam, which is stacked then carved into shape
This figure has undergone some carving
After carving is completed, the figure will undergo papier mache and painting
Post-papier mache, this figure is in the process of being painted
One of the many finished products stored in the warehouse that may be re-papier mached and reused in the future
And, finally, here are the real jesters goofing around at Mardi Gras World:
This past weekend, Bitty and I went to Solvang for the Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon. Bitty ran the half marathon, I drank the wine.
Bitty post-race eating some of Solvang’s famous Danish Aebleskivers
Our friends Gretchen and Steve went also. Gretchen ran while Steve watched with me and their… child.
Steve and his son, Kumba
Rafiki, the cartoon version of a mandrill, in The Lion King
While some might argue that Kumba looks like Steve, he is a mandrill monkey (like Rafiki in “The Lion King”). Steve runs Saving Wildlife International, which is dedicated to helping people develop an awareness of and commitment to nature. Plus, he’s got a LOT of cool wild animals.
Kumba’s only two years old, so he’s got a lot of growing to do. Oh, my…
Saving Wildlife International is a non-profit organization so please check out the website at www.wildswi.org and witness Steve’s other children and all the good he does.