Wednesday, April 23, 2014

New Orleans Easter Parades

Some of you readers (those older than 3 years of age) may know about Bourbon Street. The few blocks in the French Quarter part of New Orleans is home to some of the craziness that makes NOLA a hub for drunken debauchery.

Of course, I still had a few years to go before I'm legally allowed to drink, but I decided to take my parents there anyway so I can check this off my list.

However, Sunday mornings on Bourbon Street are very different from Saturday nights there. Especially Easter Sunday morning.

As we mentioned in prior posts, the big reason we came down to New Orleans this Easter weekend was to check out the parades they have. Did you know there are actually THREE different Easter parades in New Orleans?

10AM - The Historic French Quarter Easter Parade
1PM - The Chris Owens Easter Parade
4PM - The Gay Easter Parade

I wasn't sure if I were dressed appropriately for any of the parades, so I told my father I needed to go shopping. Get used to hearing that, Dad!

Since we didn't go wild the night before, we made it to the first parade just as the cars were lining up to start the procession through the French Quarter. This was clearly the older crowd's parade where grandmothers would dress up in their Sunday's best including big fancy hats. They'd ride on top of convertibles and horse drawn carriages handing out candy and small toys to the children watching from the sidewalks.

We were standing next to a middle-aged man wearing tuxedo with coat tails and a top hat. He looked like the Mad Hatter, and (if you asked me) he acted the part as well. First he would throw out beads, plastic toys and candy to the nearby children. Not totally out of place given the setting. But my father took mine away as my parents came to realize he was a bit mentally unstable.

When the parade started, he would run up to the grandmothers in the cars and try to pry the candy and toys from their hands instead of letting them toss it out to the children on the sidewalk. When the grandmothers withdrew their offering from the strange 45 year old man, he would expressively pout in frustration and disappointment. We then quickly moved to another location on Bourbon Street. But since I was an adorable 2 year old (and not a creepy older man), the grandmothers were actually quite generous with their gifts to me!

But that old person's parade soon ended and we weren't going to stand in the street for another few hours waiting for the 1PM Chris Owens parade to start. So we went off to get some lunch at Felix's Restaurant and Oyster Bar on Iberville Street (exactly where the 1PM parade was scheduled to start from).

After a tasty lunch, we walked up to Bourbon Street where we saw the festivities getting prepared. We scored some great seats just a block away from the beginning of the procession and took advantage of some great photo opportunities.


It was around 2PM when we decided to make our way back to the W New Orleans and to pack for our 5PM flight home. There was still the 4PM Gay Easter Parade later on that afternoon, but something tells me it really wouldn't be appropriate for 2 year olds like me.

Overall, this was the first Easter parade I've been to (we spent Easter 2012 in Bermuda and Easter 2013 in Argentina), so I don't have much to compare it to, but I definitely had a great time in New Orleans and even picked up a few new toys as well!

1 comment:

  1. Very brave of your dad to overcome his fear of old people so you could enjoy that first parade!