This past weekend my family and I went to Baton Rouge, Louisiana for Mardi Gras. We make the trip every year. We are from there and go back every chance we can. We attended the Spanish Town Parade which is downtown at noon the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. The kids got a lot of Mardi Gras beads and my youngest got a lot of stuffed animals and flowers. Those on the floats love to give things to small kids. We had a great time.
The Spanish Town Parade is a small parade and is fun because it is less crowded than in New Orleans and your kids can catch a lot of stuff. The people on the parade floats throw mardi gras beads, doubloons, moon pies, stuffed animals, candy, balls, cups, footballs, flowers. Some odd things we got this year were a smiling painted coconut hanging on a mardi gras necklace and plastic poop. Of course a few of us got hit in the face with incoming beads. That’s one thing that you really got to look out for. One crazy thing thrown was a real chickens foot.Â My nephew picked it up and put it in his backpack and I told my husband that it looked real so he threw it out. Gross. I don’t know if it was voodoo or what. They aren’t supposed to throw stuff like that but some do.
I was surprised to see more than one person walking around with a boa constrictor snake wrapped around them. I also saw these two gigantic poodle looking dogs with Tigers carved on their fur. I’m like this is Baton Rouge, no LA. The floats at Spanish Town are kinda cheesy since they don’t have a big budget. For the awesome floats you gotta go to New Orleans but then you’ll have to put up with the large crowds, rowdy people and cops looking to give you a parking ticket.
When I tell people that we took the kids went to Mardi Gras they are shocked. True, Mardi Gras can have a rowdy beer drinking reputation. But, you can take your kids to family friendly Mardi Gras parades that are held in the daytime because there will be other families with kids just like you. When you find a spot to set up camp make sure you’re not by any teenagers and you’ll have a good time. If you go to a parade at night time, that’s a different story. The later the parade, the drunker/rowdier the partiers will be.
I wish there was a Mardi Gras parade somewhere closer to Memphis. I’d love to go to a parade on Fat Tuesday but Baton Rouge is 5 1/2 hours away from Memphis so you can only go there on the weekend. New Orleans is about a 45 minute drive from Baton Rouge. The kids even get out of school for Mardi Gras in Louisiana. Surprising a lot of people who live in Louisiana don’t go to the parades. I guess it’s a tourist thing. lol
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