For some folks at FOX10, like Bob Grip and Renee Dials, Fat Tuesday 2014 was their 30th and 37th Mardi Gras Day. For me, Tuesday was my FIRST EVER Mardi Gras – where I witnessed my FIRST EVER parade, The Order of Myths.
Over the last month or so, I’ve listened to people talk about the parades. I’ve watched our incredible coverage, I’ve heard about how fabulous the Mardi Gras balls were – but unfortunately I wasn’t able to experience anything leading up to Fat Tuesday.
I was informed last week that I would have the opportunity to cover Mardi Gras in downtown Mobile, instead of sports and I was so excited! Sports is my passion, but being able to “work” and cover such a historic event in the place it originated – is a once in a lifetime experience.
When I first got downtown, I was disappointed about the weather, but I soon realized just how much fun the day was going to be. Folks lined the street waiting for parades and the aftermath from the morning activities was evident. Beads, Moonpies, and so many other items that had been thrown from the floats were scattered throughout the downtown area.
I was so impressed with the floats themselves – I’ve never laid eyes on something so creative and massive – it was so impressive and fun to watch. Immediately my attention was drawn to the AMOUNT of “throws” that the riders tossed to the people on the streets. Thousands and thousands of beads and snacks were flying out everywhere – and I’m talking BOXES and HANDFULS of them – not just a couple at a time. I couldn’t stop laughing! HA! Someone truly could be hurt by the dozens of beads that are tossed! :) At one moment – I had four boxes of oatmeal cream pies thrown at me at the same time – by one person … let me just go ahead and say that left a mark, for sure.
At the end of the parade I brought home a bagful of “throws” I “caught”: stuffed animals, swords, light sabers, footballs, and beads upon beads and so much more. Everyone was so happy, everyone was so nice and smiling about the fun to be had.
As I reflect on the day, I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to experience such a historic and fun time for Mobilians. Today made me feel like I was a true southerner – despite being from Ohio. Tonight I will go home with a bagful of goodies and food that will last a couple days – but more importantly, I’ll go home with memories that will last a lifetime.