John Howell Column

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 16, 2010

John Howell Sr.

Mardi Gras fans go from Dat to Fat Tues. parade

The February 7 Dat Tuesday parade celebrating the Saints’ Super Bowl victory followed by Sunday’s Krewe of Bacchus parade with Drew Brees as King created hurricane-in-reverse traffic leading into the city.

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Sunday’s perfect parade weather coinciding with Valentine’s Day and the chance to catch a throw from the Super Bowl MVP kept people surging into Uptown New Orleans near the intersection of Napoleon and Magazine Streets, the traditional starting place for many parade queues.

Bacchus was the fifth Uptown parade on Sunday, following the krewes of Babylon, Okeanos, Mid-City, and Thoth. People just kept coming. The neutral ground on Napoleon had been staked out, perhaps for several days prior to Sunday, by family groups claiming the public space for their parade viewing with trips of yellow “Caution” tape and other impromptu boundaries.

And still people kept surging in. The parade going to the parade can be as fascinating as the parade itself. Every curbside car length for blocks in every direction was occupied by a vehicle and still unparked drivers kept looking for a vacancy. The sidewalks filled with families pulling kids’ wagons and wheeled ice chest filled with parade fare, heading to Napoleon to pack themselves in beside those who had arrived before them.

I’ve posted a few photos from Sunday’s parades at

The weather cooled here Sunday night, but the skies cleared Monday with a promise of clear, sunny but windy and cool for Fat Tuesday.