Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Mardi-Gras Celebration in New Orleans in 1827

 

Mardi-Gras

 

This week marks the 193rd anniversary of the first Mardi-Gras celebration in New Orleans. This event just cries out for a visit. Of course, there are some precautions needed, so take this list and try to stay out of trouble.

Top Ten Things Not to Do at the First Mardi-Gras Celebration in New Orleans in 1827 by John W. Howell Β© 2020

10 If you are there, do not stand in the french quarter, expecting a big celebration. If you do, at best you’ll miss some crowds. At worst, you will lose the party. (You see, Ken, St Charles street was where the celebration started with a bunch of college students who were trying to duplicate the fun they had in Paris the year before. It looks like you may have to come back next year. Then again, since you are a time traveler, you can pick any year.)

9 If you are there, do not ask Tiny the WWF champ for some doubloons. If you do at best he won’t hear you. At worst, since Tiny missed his last three obsessive-compulsive paranoia group help sessions, he will not be sharing his doubloons today. (In fact, Kamal you have now caused him to believe you will try to steal his stuff. Don’t worry about the landing after that helicopter spin. Tiny usually tosses his opponents into the crowd. Most of them are pretty soft. The crowd, not the toss)

8 If you are there, do not take off your shirt,Β expecting someone to toss you something. If you do, at best no one will see you. At worst, your lack of a shirt will have been noted by the sheriff. (Looks like you are being written up, Kiley. Not for your public display, which one would expect but for the fact that you frightened several of the horses. How bout you put that shirt back on, okay?)

7 If you are there, do not go into a pub and order a Hurricane to drink. If you do, at best you won’t be understood. At worst, the barkeep will think you are making weather jokes and toss you out. (That’s because the Hurricane was invented at Pat O’Brians bar during World War II when whiskey was in short supply and rum plentiful. It looks like your landing on the street was less than dignified, Kameron. Don’t touch anything until you get a shower.)

6 If you are there, do not ask when the parade will begin. If you do, at best, people will not know what you are talking about. At worst, they will think you have been overserved and call the police. (You are a little early for parades, Kevan. The first did not happen until 1857 when the Krewe of Comus began the idea. (No matter how you try, Kristopher, you are not going to convince that policeman that you haven’t been drinking. Β Maybe they will name a parade after that wacky guy who kept asking where the parade was being held. Or perhaps not.)

5 If you are there, do not shout at people to throw you beads. If you do, at best you’ll get some strange looks. At worst, people will wonder if you have lost your mind. (The problem is, Kenton the idea of tossing beads from a float came about in the 1880s when a guy dressed as Santa started the tradition. Here come some guys with a costume they want you to try on. Yeah, they don’t call it a straight jacket for nothing.)

4 If you are there, do not tease the constable’s horse. If you do, at best, you’ll have your foot stepped on. At worst, the constable will take offense since he considers his horse a part of the family. (Also, Kofi you are courting a bonk on the head since the constable got a new billy club for his birthday, and he has been itching to try it out.)

3 If you are there, do not ask the Beignets vendor if he has one that is jelly-filled. If you do, at best he just arrived from France and can’t speak English. At worst, you have asked the president of the Keep the Beignet Free from the New World Contamination Society. (It is now time to put those running shoes to the test, Kristoff. That guy has a big knife, and I think he intends to do you harm. He had vowed to murder the next person who denigrated his precious Beignets, and the last one just left.)

2 If you are there, do not let a kid bet you that he can tell you where and when you got your shoes. If you do, at best you only lost a ha’penny. At worst, you were so sure he couldn’t, you bet him all your cash. (You now know, Kiernan that the kid told you you got your shoes on Bourbon Street right now. I guess you have no choice but to pay up. Besides those four big looking guys seem to be with the kid.)

1 If you are there, do not add Tobasco sauce to your gumbo until you taste it. If you do, at best you’re from Texas and can stand the heat. At worst, you will need a gallon of water and three days to recover your voice. (Running around screaming about the flames in your mouth will get you little sympathy, Keiren. You will be labeled a tourist from that time on, and people will avoid you at all costs.)

53 comments

  1. LOL! Great tips to stay out of trouble, John. I’m curious, have you ever gone to Mardi-Gras? Happy Monday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I was working my group authorized the sponsorship of a float in five parades. Never got there to ride it. It almost killed our folks on the ground there. They were useless for two weeks. Didn’t repeat it. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sounds like a future Top Ten to me! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ha hahaha. Same thing on car racing. We sponsored a car and I never saw a race.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good advice to avoid the pitfalls. Be fun to see a side-by- see comparison of the first and latest Mardi Gras.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be fun. πŸ˜€

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  3. Great travel tips, John. My favorite was the advice not to touch anything. The last time I was in NOLA, I walked down Bourbon St early am. I had to avoid the spray trucks that seem to wash everything away.

    The kid betting on the shoes made me laugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Cost me five bucks to get the answer. Well worth it. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great laughs, John. Tiny was in rare form today, and surely you heard me laughing at #1 all the way from Massachusetts.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I thought I heard somethng. I looked out back but nothing was there. Thanks, Jennie 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Tiny is everywhere. I’ll make sure to try and be where he’s not!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That will be tough. He gies new meaning to the term omnipresent. Thanks, Marc. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Too funny, John. I was in New Orleans about 19 years ago, with a friend, prior to Mardi Gras. We stayed in the French Quarter. It was an interesting place, to say the least. I’ve always wanted to go back for the Mardi Gras festivities and see what has changed and how much they are charging these days for those $10 drinks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The drinks have to be $20 by now. The last time I was in New Orleans was just before Katrina. I woul dlike to go back too. Thank you, Mary.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. mmmm tobasco and gumbo – yum yum

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yum Yeeeeooowwwww

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Can I get free stuff if I tell everyone my name is Marty Graw?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yep you can. Hahahaha

      Liked by 1 person

  9. There’s never been a more solid piece of advice than the try the gumbo first.
    I’ve been to two Mardi-Gras celebrations. One before kids and one after kids turns out totally different experiences. Giggle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll bet they were different.

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  10. How timely, my friend! Thanks for the tips, though Mardi Gras in New Orleans has become a rather dangerous place to visit, especially considering how many Coastal cities have pretty tame celebrations of their own!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. Thanks, Debbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I would love to visit New Orleans… dunno about going during this crazy time, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Do not breathe the air. I thought you were on a cruise.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I have to get to the boat πŸ˜‰
        It leaves from Miami

        Liked by 1 person

      2. For some reason I thought you were leaving last Sunday.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. You’ll know by my silence… I’m bringing nothing but my phone – to take pictures!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. And a change of clothes I hope.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Of course! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  12. I didn’t know much about Mardi Gras, John so this is very informative for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m glad, Robbie. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Give ‘Marty Graw’ a FREE DRINK! and a HIP, HIP, HOORAY for “Grinders”!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There you go. I think Marty was pals with Arthur Rittus

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  14. Lol! My how times have changed, but not the gumbo! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nope. Still the same.

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  15. On this list, I have no further questions for Tiny. I’ll drink whatever they give me and see the sights (if there were any back then). But second thought – were they called the Big Easy back then?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Was called the little hard then.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Spare me NOLA — I’ll take the Cajun country celebrations every time. They get just as drunk, but they throw chickens along with the beads. What’s not to like?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What’s not to like indeed. (of course a chicken full in the face might not be a good thing.) Thanks, Linda

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I knew as soon as I saw the title, I was in for a treat!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I’ve been to New Orleans a couple of times, but never during Mardi Gras – not much for crowds.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Great advice. Especially the part about not letting a kid bet you that he can tell you where and when you got your shoes. Show’s you’ve been doing your research. I wasn’t aware of that. My only time in New Orleans (18 yrs. of age) was when I was hitchin’ to California and got picked up by this guy that was passing through New Orleans. He was telling me about it and telling my 18 year-old self about the bars. He asked me if I wanted to hit a bar or two with him. Of course, I said yes. Then he said I could have my choice of bars. One that played blues or one that had strippers. Guess which one I chose? I was a virgin at the time.

    So I’m sitting at the bar with my new friend while this woman pranced on the bar in front of me. She and all the other girls knew what a cherry I was. But I didn’t know that at the time. I thought I was so cool. But they knew better. She winked at my friend and laughed. He nodded and back smiled.

    All too soon it was time to leave. So we got back in his car and headed west. On the outskirts of town, he pulled into a motel parking lot. “I’m gonna hit the hay. You’re welcome to share my room if you want,” he said.

    Now, you gotta understand this guy was macho-plus. Six-foot, three inches tall. Deep voice, cowboy boots, the whole nine yards. I’m a kid. 140 pounds and wet wet behind the ears. Green beyond belief.

    Well, I took him up on his kind offer. When we got in the room, I laid out my sleeping bag on floor over against the far wall. The guy turned off the lights and got into the bed. Things were quite for a little while. Then out of the darkness I heard, “You can sleep in the bed if you want.”

    “No, thank you. I’m cool.”

    “Please.”

    “No … thank you.”

    He started to cry. I stayed where I was. I went to sleep and was surprised when I woke up the next morning not dead.

    I rolled up my bag and left while he was still asleep. I went out to the road in the early morning mist and stuck out my thumb and left New Orleans and my friend far behind.

    That is what I think of when I think of New Orleans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a great story. I think you were lucky the guy was content to cry himself to sleep. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What do you mean, “Thanks for sharing?” You know me. Give a platform and I’m gonna go on and on. No … thank you for allowing on your site to go on and on.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Anytime. Your stories are terrific.

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