Laissez bon temps rouler!!! That means “let the good times roll” and is always shouted at Mardi Gras- Mardi Gras itself is the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and it’s the last hurrah before the season on Lent and deprivation. While I don’t give up anything for Lent, lots of my friends do. I’m Methodist and we just don’t do that part of Lent.
Mardi Gras as a wild party time actually started in Mobile, Alabama and any native of the area will make sure you know that if you even so much as breath that you think it’s a New Orleans tradition that they stole- shoot, that can even get you shot- literally!!
Pensacola, where I live, also has a long history of celebrating Mardi Gras. I was actually a contestant in the Miss Mardi Gras pageant when I was a senior in High School. It was at our beautiful Saenger Theatre and was a great time. I now belong to two Krewes. Krewes are the clubs that sponsor balls and ride in parades and throw beads, moonpies and other goodies. I used to be in three but left one when there was an influx of people that seemed to get mean and belligerent when they drank. It seemed there was a fight every time we got on the float. I decided it wasn’t fun to be around mean drunks and left that one.
One of the ones I belong to is the oldest in Pensacola- it’s called Les Harlequins. We wear black and white costumes with the Harlequin diamonds and hold a black and white ball every year.
The other one I’m in is called The Maids of Luna and we also have a ball but the theme changes from year to year. The really fun (read that as not fun) thing about it, is they announce the theme at a meeting 10 days before the ball and give you a paper bag with a part of your costume and you have to be creative and come up with the rest. My favorite was the year they gave us each a green sheath dress in different colors of green – we were doing a sprng theme and the green was the stem of your plant. I made a sandwich board (like the old ads) and glued a lot of scrapbooking paper flowers on it and lettered “I’ve been de-flowered” It was a huge hit!!
Anyway, have a great Fat Tuesday! Eat King cake, drink til you fall on the floor and be sure to yell Laissez bon temps rouler a few times! (I can’t even do it well when all I’ve had is unsweet tea to drink!)
Here’s a song from Mobile: