Pooper scoopers and 6 more unsung heroes of New Orleans Mardi Gras
It takes thousands of people to put on New Orleans Mardi Gras, aka the world's best free party. While the krewes deserve credit, I'd like to thank some of the unsung heroes.
Why it matters: Everyone needs to work together to make Mardi Gras a success.
Pole-carrying truck: You, oh tall one, bring us joy because you signal the parade is about to start.
- Your pole marks the highest point on the floats and checks that everything will fit under the trees and power lines. It doesn't always work, but hey, nobody's perfect, right?
Tractor drivers: I see you in your John Deeres and Kubotas pulling the floats.
- Sure, you may hit the tree at that tricky turn on the Uptown route, but the vast majority of the time you get through the route with no problem. Here's to you!
Pooper scoopers: Horses are an integral part of Mardi Gras, but they aren't running to the portapotty to do their business. That's where the pooper scooper crew comes in with their wheelbarrows and shovels.
- One year, the crowd around me erupted in applause when the crew cleaned up a pile of horse manure that had been parting the marching bands like the Red Sea. It was a lovely Mardi Gras moment.
Bartenders and food service workers: Y'all are the real superstars of Mardi Gras. You are blowing and going for days, serving locals and tourists alike. Thank you for keeping our bellies fed and our cups full. Huzzah!
Band parents: Thank you for keeping us safe from the trombones with your reminders to "get back." You are doing the Lord's work.
Street-cleaning crews: You are the magic of Mardi Gras, transforming a trash-covered party venue into a clean streetscape in under an hour with your army of rake-carrying workers and Zamboni-like street sweeping machines.
- And you usually reward those of us stragglers after the parade with a few extra spins and a wave. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Catch basin gutter buddies: Your simplicity masks your incredibly important job — keeping beads out of our drainage system.
- Our relationship with you is a little more complicated after the flooding rains earlier this month, but we still appreciate you, boo.
Bottom line: We all work together to make Mardi Gras the most magical time of the year. Thank you to the krewes, float builders, neighborhood residents for sharing your space, police, city officials and all those who play a role.
- I'll see you on the route.
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