One week ago today, New Orleans celebrated the coldest, rainiest Mardi Gras in over 100 years. Sure, the crowds were thinner than usual, but there were still crowds. The people were out reveling in the streets despite a steady downpour and frigid temps, because nothing can keep this city down when it’s carnival time.
Many assume that this holiday is all beads, boobs and booze, and it can be. But if you look beyond Bourbon Street, there is so much more to the season than that. Among many other things, Mardi Gras is a celebration of heritage and tradition, and a time for community and family.
Every year my family gathers Uptown to watch the Krewe of Thoth make its way from Henry Clay onto Magazine Street. Each of us has a favorite part of the parade that we look forward to – My mom just loves the 610 Stompers, while my dad is all about amassing throws. My little brother prefers to sit back and people watch, while my older sister admires the artistry of the floats. My younger sister and I both love the high school marching bands. I especially like the way the big bass drums make my chest vibrate.
Jason says that his favorite part is how easy it is to take photographs. “Once people realize that I’m not competing for their throws they let me move around freely, even up to the front row.” This was only his second Mardi Gras, but he knows that this kind of unrestricted access during a parade is something one should never take for granted. And so he put it to good use. Here are some of the photos that he took during Thoth this year, which offer a glimpse at a more personal carnival experience.