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Photo-Essay: An Animated Mardi Gras

Now that I'm living in the middle of the country again, some things are closer than they used to be, including New Orleans. Phyllis and I visited friends who live in that city's Uptown neighborhood in February, in the days leading up to Mardi Gras, and we saw several of the dozens of parades, most notably the 1,000-man parade sponsored by the "krewe," or social club, named after the ancient Egyptian god Thoth. According to advance publicity, the parade consisted of thirty-seven floats ( I didn't count them) and more than a hundred units all together, including two dozen marching bands.

Every Mardi Gras parade has a theme, and Thoth's was "Artists and Illustrators." That meant, as a practical matter, that most of the floats were devoted to characters from animated cartoons and the comics, ranging from Barney Google to the Lone Ranger to Spongebob Squarepants. Seven of my photos from the parade—chock full of gloriously off-model, copyright-infringing characters—are below. As is customary for all "krewes," the men of Thoth tossed goodies to the crowd—beads, "Egyptian footballs," and the like—but nothing cartoon-related. I had my heart set on snagging a DVD of Prince of Egypt, but no such luck.


Mighty Mouse




Woody Woodpecker


[Posted March 14, 2004]