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The Parade Scene


Drums on the Street.

Drums on the Street.

See? I kept my promise. Scenes from the street. Scenes from the Downtown Mardi Gras Indians Super Sunday. A huge second line. With as many people who could come out as possible. Or, so it seemed. Indians. Bands. Social Clubs. Guys walking on stilts. The whole thing. All in one place.

Bored yet?

I hope not. I want to tell you a little bit about what you are seeing. As the parade stretches out and the participants start getting hot and tired, the parade starts to wander. Spectators and photographers walk with the parade in the streets. Everybody joins in. That’s the real meaning of second line. A Big Chief once told me that even though I don’t mask, sing or play music I’m as big a part of a second line as anybody because I’m doing what I love. I’m adding something. I hadn’t thought of it that way. But, he’s right. I also do one thing that’s musical. I dance. A little. It’s the only way that I can find the beat, the rhythm and the feel that allows me to make these pictures.

So.

African drummers are a very big deal. I wanted to work very closely.

The stilt walkers, in many ways, act as spy boys, getting out in front of the parade and checking for obstructions.

The warrior leads the Big Chief. He chants, “Big Chief coming’, get the hell out the way.” (No, I did not drop out “of” the way. That’s how we talk down here.)

Well, you know… everybody takes pictures these days.

Big Chiefs circle. Pre-parade.

Shorty from the Original Pigeontown Steppers greets a friend while he is wearing last year’s East Suit. They’ll debut their new suits on Sunday.

Voodoo snake lady.

Indians rolling.

And, that’s it. I have to make some choices. Lot of Easter parades around this place. Not only do I live in the South where Easter is a big deal, but I live in New Orleans where parades are a big deal. Some of the parades are rolling at the same time. Sometimes the magic flows, but that still doesn’t mean I can be in two places at one time. I’ll figure it out.

Silts

Silts

Warrior says, "Big chief coming get the hell out the way."

Warrior says, “Big chief coming get the hell out the way.”

Many, many people with cameras.

Many, many people with cameras.

Big Chiefs Circle

Big Chiefs Circle

Shorty meets a friend

Shorty meets a friend

Snake Lady

Snake Lady

The parade gets on the street.

The parade gets on the street.

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