Mardi Gras Under The Bridge

One way to avoid the rain was to have your Mardi Gras celebration underneath an overpass.

The annual “Mardi Gras Under the Bridge” was well attended.

WGNO News Reporter Darian Trotter gives us the history of the celebration, and a look at this year’s party.

“Sun don’t need to come out,” Derrick Hulin said. “We so pretty we gonna shine anyway.”

Despite this year’s cold, wet weather hundreds of revelers gathered under the Claiborne I-10 overpass to celebrate.

And they stayed dry during “Mardi Gras Under the Bridge.”

“Cause we love the Mardi Gras,” Quintocha Johnson said. “We ain’t missing no Mardi Gras, no!”

The annual tradition dates back decades to an era when African Americans were not welcomed to participate in Mardi Gras.

So an alternative celebration was born.

“It’s great that the tradition carries on even though it had such a terrible beginning,” Daniel Collotte said.

The Krewe of Zulu remains the most prominent Social Aid and Pleasure Club.

But this celebration places an emphasis on brass bands and Mardi Gras Indians even in soggy conditions.

“We’re Mardi Gras Indians baby, we come out any type of weather rain sleet don’t matter,” Big Chief Derrick Hulin said. “We gonna have Mardi Gras one way or the other.”

“If the birds can wear feathers and they get wet, Indians can come out in the weather and do the same thing and dry out and be ready for super Sunday.”

But there were fewer Indians out this year.

Big Chief Darryl Montana and dozens of others opted to sit out; because they didn’t want to ruin their elaborate costumes.

Montana says in most cases a year-long effort goes into creating the works of art.

“And the amazing thing about his suit, I got a chance to have everything I ever wished for and I made this suit in six months,”  Montana said.

The party continued under the bridge with the usual attractions; including food, music, and dancing.

“You know we’re under the bridge so we don’t have to worry about the rain,” said Collotte. “It’s a little cold but I’m enjoying the outfits, I’m enjoying the music, a lot of fun.”

Another chance to see the Mardi Gras Indians and their works of art awaits March 16th in Uptown during Super Sunday.

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