Today is Fat Tuesday; the last call for Christian indulgence and an all-out party for folks of any institutionalized system of belief (or lack thereof) . . . a day that rarely disappoints.
The city of New Orleans and it’s surrounding parishes have been in full-blown Mardi Gras mode over the past couple of weeks as locals and tourists alike have celebrated the Carnival season. Even our troops have enjoyed the spoils of the season as our Dad recently attended the National Training Center (NTC) in Louisiana. He and the troops ventured into a local eatery and sampled delicacies (alligator!) and in return, they were draped with Mardi Gras beads.
Prior to his mobilization, our family said we’d eventually travel down to New Orleans for it’s famed fun, food and music. So in the meantime, there’s no better substitute than for Our Dad’s Flag to spend some time with the true artisans of this spectacular annual tradition. We recently recruited Mr. Barry Kern of Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World to host the flag.
Many thanks to Mr. Kern and all at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World for hosting Our Dad’s Flag and paying tribute to all our service members and proud families who display a Blue Star flag!
Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World is responsible for many (if not most…) of the elaborate floats that bring Mardi Gras krewes (society members who host the different parades) their incredible “wow factor.” They build or refurbish themed structures and sculptures that always get crowds cheering. Setting the industry gold standard . . . well, they pretty much are the industry . . .they have been in business since 1947 and employ some of the world’s best float builders and artists.
Need more Mardi?
The French-Catholic tradition known as Mardi Gras was born in Louisiana and surrounding areas by settlers back in the late 1600s, early 1700s. Soon after, the idea was reinforced by Spanish influence of Carnival. The colors purple, green and gold became the traditional colors of the season signifying justice, faith and power. Beads in these colors and commemorative doubloon coins are often tossed to the crowd from the float krewes. Parades throughout the Mardi Gras season draw thousands of people hoping to see the magnificent floats, catch some beads and coins, hear awesome bands play and spot the celebrities that participate. This year, the prided role of Bacchus XLIV was given to funny guy Will Ferrell and he rode through town on the King’s Float. In 1875, Mardi Gras became a legal holiday in Louisiana and remains one today – rollicking good fun for all.
For more information on the great floats created by Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World be sure to visit http://mardigrasworld.com/ and visit them on facebook where you’ll find some fantastic pictures of their work. Also, for a comprehensive and fun history of the Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans, visit http://www.mardigrasneworleans.com/. (Fair warning: the pictures on this site will make you want to run out and buy a king cake! Mmmm!)
Give it up, take it up
Following the festivities of Fat Tuesday, many folks start to “offer it up” during the Lenten season. Our family takes the idea of giving up one step further by also, taking up. So for the season, what bad things will you give up? What good things will you take up? You’ve got the rest of today to think it over. But for now, enjoy Fat Tuesday. Indulge!
Seems that we issued some letters accompanying the flags with the wrong email address so let it be known that we’re at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Hopefully we’ll get some good pictures of the flag visits now!) Thanks for reading all about the travel adventures of Our Dad’s Flag and be sure to share this, tweet all about it and like us on Facebook. This project means the world to us and our Dad but in the big picture . . . it serves as a very special tribute to ALL service men and women in the Armed Forces and their families.
P.S. – This is a busy week for Our Dad’s Flag!
Apparently, there is some guy named Oscar that folks are buzzing about . . .