NEW ORLEANS(WGNO)—Carnival is over a month away, and for our Mardi Gras Indians like Big Chief Dow Edwards it’s crunch time, and they’re happy to be back on the streets this year.

According to Edwards, “I’m very excited I really wanted to wear this suit that I’m making last year, but with the COVID uncertainty and the mayor cancelling, I put together a suit for just that day, but now I get a chance to bring the Timbuktu Warriors to the street the way it deserves to be.”

Edwards is a former NFL player and local attorney and he gave us the rare chance to see him sew this year’s suit. This is all we can show you of the colors, but to give you an idea of the work going in, check out the stitching on the back of this one panel. Most suits require several panels. Edwards’ father was a shoemaker and in tribute he uses material his dad once used on his suits.

“Authentic crocodile back straps on it. All of my suits for the last 5 years it’s always going to have crocodile in it as you see on this suit with the crocodile leather on it and that leather crafting is something my father gave to me, and it just comes out of me,” said Edwards.

The excitement is building for this year’s Mardi Gras and the reveals for the Indians across New Orleans. Edwards also share how he knows when he’s hit a home run with the new suit

Edwards said, “When the person in that crowd gives you that ‘Ooh!’ When you get that ‘ooh,’ you know you’ve completed your assignment. The people tell you from their excitement.”

You can see the Chief Dow Edwards and the Timbuktu Warriors beginning at 9am on Mardi Gras Day. They will head out from the corner of Amelia and Magazine Sts.