Mardi Gras, Schmardi Gras

So we went along to the mardi gras parade on Saturday. We had such a fantastic time last year that I was really looking forward to it.

This year? It was okay.

We knew it was going to be a challenge with our little darling approaching two years of age and very resistant to any kind of containment, but we thought the two hour wait before the parade would be an opportunity for him to cut loose a bit and run off some of his energy. Last year we had stacks of space – about 20 metres long and the full width of the road. The kids were riding bikes and scooters and running around while the adults sat back and talked.

This year we were closer to the front of the parade and they had floats packed in side by side as well as end to end. We were jammed in between a bunch of trucks and all up had about a quarter of the space we had last year – and there were more of us.

There wasn’t room for everyone to sit so I stood from the moment we got out of the car at fox studios (where we parked) at 4pm until we got back to the car at 10pm.

We did a lot of walking. Our group met at Town Hall and it took us over an hour to walk there from fox studios. Then we all walked down to the parade meeting point in Oxford Street – only about 15 minutes, followed by 15 minutes of forcing our way through an enormous crowd. The entry point worked differently this year, and not in a good way. As we were going to our waiting area the kids and I all got battered by a very cranky woman going against the crowd, shoving people out of the way while saying sorry in a decidedly un-sorry way. The actual parade was about a 45 minute walk and then we had another few minutes back to the car.

So yeah, probably not that much walking really I guess, but with the hours of standing around in between, it felt like it.

Hugo was crazy in the marshalling area. We took his harness because we knew he’d run off into the crowd, and he did his best to make sure everyone noticed the resemblance to a leash by spending most of the evening on all fours, barking. I can’t tell you how many drag queens nearly went ass up because they didn’t spot him down there till the last second.

When the parade finally started, hugo was totally petrified. Lots of the floats had very loud music and it freaked him out completely. Leigh got him out of the stroller, where he was attempting the fetal position, and carried him. He tucked his knees in under his chin, put his head on her shoulder and refused to look up the whole way. But if we asked him to wave he’d poke his little hand out and do a funny little wave without ever looking up.

By the time we got home the kids were both asleep in the car. We plonked them into bed and drank diet coke till 11pm. We are party animals.

We really didn’t see much of the parade at all. Just the PFLAG float in front of us, the Come Out Suburbia float that was next to us in the waiting area and the people behind us. We really have no feel for how well the parade reflected this year’s theme (nations united) or what was funny, or political, or anything really.

I’m still planning to join in again next year though. Hugo will be three so he won’t need such close management and I think the whole thing will feel less stressful.

We took a few pics, but I am incapable of keeping my eyes open so I look totally drunk in every shot (I wasn’t, in case you’re wondering – I am a teetotaller). See what I mean?


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Danny said,

    Vous et votre fille semblez très français.
    Peut-être l’année prochaine, le famille et moi serons présents.
    Grand peut être ! !
    Votre ami.

  2. 2

    red15 said,

    Ma fille porte des pyjamas de Singapour! :p

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