Ain’t no Party Like a Mardi Party

Just because I’ve lived in Louisiana my whole life certainly doesn’t mean I’ve truly gotten to party like the internet would like everyone to believe for Mardi Gras. As I’ve grown up, my parents and friends have driven me to experience more of the culture (at a safe distance from the insanities) and I’ve gotten to party with the rest of the Baton Rouge krewe. As the Mardi Party winds to a close, I rolled back to my hometown to party at the last parade at home, the iconic Spanish Town parade.

What even is Spanish Town?

Spanish Town is probably one of the most iconic parades featured in Baton Rouge. The parade is always the last weekend of Mardi Gras and serves as the ‘closer’ of the partying season. Given the name because of the route beginning on “Spanish Town Road”, the krewes circle through downtown Baton Rouge to celebrate with thousands of people coming in to experience the crazy pink parade. 

The parade’s mascot is a flamingo, where many of the floats take their color inspiration. The overall theme changes each year, This year, the theme was “Hiney Sight is 2020”, making it one of the more “raunchy” years. The parade changes from a less raunchy to more raunchy theme each year, swinging back and forth to make the parade more family-friendly. Even though the theme may be slightly raunchy, many floats do not go to the extreme and make sure to keep the environment safe for families and newcomers. 

What pushed me to go?

After living here for so long, I really wanted to experience the parades before I truly moved away from Louisiana. All I had heard beforehand was how raunchy the parade was and I couldn’t bring myself to go try without any of my friends. Last year, I ended up going with my mother on a whim and had the best time I’ve had at a parade in a long time. We ran into tons of old friends on and off the floats and I caught beads, stuffed animals, and many plastic cups. I had way more fun than I expected and really enjoyed the creative takes on the theme.

This year, I ended up bringing some of my friends down from Tech who also had never truly experienced Mardi Gras. We met up with a few other friends who have a float in the parade and they too got to be entertained by the crazy traditions of my hometown. Catching beads, animals (I even caught an inflatable flamingo this year), and plenty of other goofy items having us laughing for hours after the fact. Getting to share a tiny piece of home with my friends felt great, especially letting them see how Mardi Gras wasn’t some crazy, out-there experience that was super dangerous.

 

Mardi Gras isn’t for everyone, but I certainly loved getting to learn more about my home and the traditions I come from. If you can come to a parade, I highly recommend you go - it’s sure to be an experience you’ll never forget!