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Saturday, February 18, 2012

Pensacola Mardi Gras Parade, 2012

Mardi Gras is a big celebration in the southern states.  It is not just a New Orleans festival.  And most towns don't celebrate  it the way you imagine if you are familiar with the New Orleans party!

There are parades in most towns along the Gulf.  There are two in Pensacola, one in Pensacola Beach.  Others will be found in Orange Beach, Foley and Fairmont, Alabama and a big series of parades in nearby Mobile.  In fact, Mobile claims America's oldest Mardi Gras celebration dating from 1703.  (New Orleans wasn't even founded until fifteen years after that.)

Pensacola's celebration extends for several weeks.

The weather forecast for the big parade on Saturday afternoon had not been good.  a 90% chance of rain had been in the forecast for several days.  Throughout the day there were multiple weather alerts posted and at times the radar looked way too colorful.  (Mobile, under that orange stuff on the map, postponed their Saturday parade for a day.)
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But with the parade scheduled to start at 2:00 p.m. we headed over to Pensacola and took up a position at Spring and Garden near the beginning of the parade route.
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People were joining up with their krews and the parade began on time under gray skies but with only very light rain.  Participants in the parade really only have one responsibility - they have to throw something.  Spectators catch.  Here you see a lot of outstretched hands from the spectators.
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Notice that the politicians never miss a parade. In this picture, you should see several sets of beads in flight.
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Linda is catching this set of gold beads.
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Other things thrown are candy, can-insulators, Moon Pies and an occasional teddy-bear.  Here goes some candy!
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This is a family affair so the marchers come in all ages.
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There are lots of different styles of floats
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And political correctness hasn't dampened the spirit of this mythical Indian tribe.
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By the time a half hour had passed, most people had caught at least a few beads.  But the rain was starting to come down a little harder.
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I had enough pictures and there is another parade here on the beach tomorrow.  We left early.


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