America's first Mardi Gras (found on MardiGras.com, this is only an exerpt)
"The explorers eventually found the mouth of the Mississippi River on March 3, 1699, Mardi Gras of that year.
They made camp a few miles upriver, named the spot Point d'Mardi Gras and partook in a spontaneous party. This is often referred to as North America's first Mardi Gras.
A couple of decades later, Bienville founded New Orleans and soon Carnival celebrations were an annual event highlighted by lavish balls and masked spectacles. Some were small, private parties with select guest lists, while others were raucous, public affairs.
Collectively, they reflected such a propensity for frolic in the local citizenry that historian Robert Tallant wrote in his book "Mardi Gras" that "natives would step over a corpse on the way to a ball or the opera and think nothing of it."
Parades officially began in 1838.
On Ash Wednesday of that year, The Commercial Bulletin read: "The European custom of celebrating the last day of the Carnival by a procession of masqued figures through the streets was introduced here yesterday. "
Mardi Gras was a LOT different when I was a kid growing up in New Orleans- it was a family event. Here's some footage we found on youtube (this is not my footage- I do have some but it has to be converted to digital yet!) that gives a better idea of what it was once like:
Here are a few of my personal pictures from Mardi Gras past- from late 1970's or early 80's, and then there's one from the Mardi Gras before Katrina.
On the above picture, I am standing below the balcony of Patout's on the 500th block of Bourbon Street, across from the world-famous Chris Owens strip club. We had rented the balcony, and my husband took the picture of me down on the street from up there.
Here's a Mardi Gras ball doll I made a few years ago:
And here is a Mardi Gras tree I made last year:
I want to make a couple of acknowledgements- first to Tracie of My Petite Maison:
I want to show you some thing I won from her blog, and she went above and beyond with what she gave! This gorgeous bottle she made specifically for me; also, the Paris picture book and the Porch magazine (which Tracie has some lovely things in, btw) were both wonderful. The tags and antique papers were also just fab- and the whole package smelled divine, what with the real lavener buds in there. Thank You so much Tracie!
Last but not least, look at these gorgeous and sweet smelling handmade soaps i bought from Savon Marie: They were simply the best smelling soaps and so very pretty! I know I won't be able to use them, just to smell and look at! You simply must go and check her out, you won't be disappointed.
Thanks everyone! - Marie Antionette