Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mardi Gras: Day Four -- Lundi Gras!!

Okay, I fell behind on the blog while down in New Orleans.

The final two days were probably the best and busiest days that I was down there so that would explain not finding the time to blog about my experiences.

Let's go back to Day Four -- Monday, Feb. 23:

This was Lundi Gras, the day before Mardi Gras.

Lundi is a french word that translates to Monday, so it makes sense.

We kicked off Lundi Gras with a festival hosted by the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

It was held at Woldenberg Park, located just along the Mississippi River in the French Quarter. The scene was beautiful. The only steamboat in New Orleans -- the Natchez -- cruised in the harbor behind the festival. It was a great day and the weather was gorgeous. I'm guessing somewhere in the 60s/70s with a bright sun.

People were dressed in some festive costumes and the food vendors were selling all the Louisiana cuisine that you could ask for.

They had it all crawfish, jambalaya, red beans and rice, shrimp po'boy, fried alligator wrap with crabmeat and artichoke sauce, etc. You could just smell the Cajun aroma. It was great. Of course, I had jambalaya, red beans and rice and bread pudding. It was good, it was!! :-)

The Zulu members, who wore grass skirts and black face painting, paraded and danced around the outdoor festival taking pictures with people. It was a big year for the group because they celebrated 100 years since its founding.

Several groups performed on the stage including the Rebirth Brass Band, which fuses together the sounds of jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop.

Crowds of people, which included young and old, danced to the sounds that have become synonymous with New Orleans. They even performed Levert's Casanova. The trumpets sounded great!

After leaving the festival, it was time to pick up a New Orleans dessert specialty known as King Cake.

Everyone had been making a huge fuss over this cake. What is it? Well, basically it's like a cinnamon-roll-like cake covered with icing and Mardi Gras-colored sprinkles. Some cakes can be made with various fillings. If you have a sweet tooth this is definitely the cake for you!! Just be careful not to chew or swallow the tiny plastic baby figure that is placed inside each cake. The person who gets the baby is supposed to buy the next cake. Go figure!

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