Watch Us In Your Living Room
Enjoy Very Local on the big screen.
Visit your favorite app store to download.

What does our ideal Mardi Gras look like? Forum on future of Mardi Gras looks for answers

We know, Mardi Gras is all about having a good time. But, you’ve got to ask, does that come at the cost of pulling 46 tons of beads from the catch basins?

by Mary Staes
October 17, 2018

We know, Mardi Gras is all about having a good time. In fact, it’s about having the best time. Sometimes, it seems New Orleans puts on a big party for everyone else, and locals can feel left out of our own show to pick up the trash left behind.

So, what does our ideal Mardi Gras look like? Can we host this glorious season in our city mean without having to pay the costs of pulling 46 tons of beads from the catch basins? How can all of us– parade-goers, businesses along parade routes and Krewes– be better stewards of our streets during Carnival season? How do we make sure to respect and preserve the legacies and traditions of culturebearers?

The Urban Conservatory on Thursday hopes to tackle some of those questions with the help of the community members who help make Mardi Gras happen every year.

The event is an opportunity for “parade goers and parade throwers” to come together to brainstorm everything from waste reduction along parade routes to locally made throws. Organizers hope attendees will leave inspired to start new Mardi Gras traditions that will make their Carnival experience even better, according to the conservatory’s site.

“At the root of it is respect,” Eness said. “Respecting those traditions in place. Even the waste reduction is about respect and dignity of our place and our traditions.”

The format for the forum starts with a large moderated panel discussion about the future of Mardi Gras before breaking up into smaller roundtable discussions. Panelists will include Jay Banks, District B Councilmember and a former Zulu king, noted historian Errol Laborde, Antoinette De Alteriis of St. Joan of Arc Society and the Costume Designers Guild and John Magill, noted author and Mardi Gras historian.

Roundtable discussions will include learning how sanitation, permitting and parade fees work; how krewes run and operate; how to tackle challenges facing our city’s culturebearers and crafting in the community.

When it comes to community crafting for Mardi Gras, the forum organizers plan to ask questions like: Can upcycling be scaled up to encompass the larger Mardi Gras experience? Are there local crafters and bead makers who can profit from being classified as a rare throw?

Another idea on the table is biodegradable or organic beads.

“It’s an alternative,” said Dana Eness, executive director of The Urban Conservancy. “Part of it is helping people understand how wide the variety is and what the possibilities are. They are great ideas, but just haven’t caught on yet.”

In the roundtable discussion entitled, “Off the Beaten Path,” the conversation will focus on the Baby Dolls, Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs, Mardi Gras Indians and the other culture-bearing groups that are the heart of local Mardi Gras traditions, but whose legacies are often left out of major conversations regarding Mardi Gras and its future in our city.

Click here to find out more about the event and RSVP.

Carver Theater
Getting there
2101 Orleans Ave, New Orleans, LA 70116, USA
Hours
Mon-Sun Open 24 hours
More Info

Mary Staes is Digital Content Lead for Very Local. She works with our freelancers and crafts content for our social media platforms and website. Before Very Local, she worked with CBS affiliate WWL-TV as a web producer and weekend assignment editor for about 4 years. She has also handled broadcast coverage for 160 Marine Reserve training facilities while she served as an active duty Marine. As a native New Orleanian, she takes being "very local" to heart. She loves being intertwined with the culture and figuring out how there are less than two degrees of separation between us all, whether...

More Local Stories

Top 4-07: the best vegan ice cream spots in Orlando

Looking for some. new non-dairy dessert spots? Here’s a list of Orlando vegan ice cream spots to get your sugar fix.

“Better than a tent” this Greensburg Airbnb is only $15/night 

The accommodations are minimal, but the price can’t be beat. This Airbnb shed is available just outside of Pittsburgh in Greensburg for just $15/night.

The Joy of Jell-O! Strawberry Pretzel Jell-O Salad

Is it a salad? Is it a dessert? We sent filmmaker Boaz Frankel out to uncover the history of this Pittsburgh picnic staple.

The Anatomy of a Nightmare: How Garfield Came to Kennywood

Our historical walkthrough of Garfield’s Nightmare answers many important questions, including whether or not Jim Davis – creator of Garfield – ever rode it.

A grab-and-go food guide to the MSY New Orleans terminal

Time. Most of us don’t have a lot of that. Even less so when we’re rushing to make a flight. There are still plenty of tasty options for the less leisurely travelers among us, though it helps to know where to find them.

The History of Candlepin Bowling

Candlepin bowling (which some might call mini or duckpin bowling) has been around since the early 1900s, after ten pin bowling was invented.

Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride: Join a few hundred cyclists for a bike ride in your underpants (Updated for 2022)

The monthly Pittsburgh Underwear Bike Ride promotes positive body image and safe cycling.

Guide to visiting all of the Fred Rogers’ sites in Latrobe, PA

Latrobe, Pennsylvania, is the birthplace of Fred Rogers. Less than an hour from Pittsburgh, here is what to see in Mister Rogers’ Latrobe.

Stitch: Inspiring Stories About Sports and Community

Sports create pockets of communities all across our country. For people of all ages who love the game, it’s more than just exercise: it can give hope, support, inspiration and a future

Tue. May 17 Primary Election Day in Pittsburgh

Tuesday is Election Day in Pittsburgh – we’ve got the details on where to vote and who is on the ballot

Chef Dee Lavigne expands the only Black-owned cooking school in New Orleans

Deelightful Roux School of Cooking is the only African American-owned cooking school taught by a New Orleans native, and her class is a guide to New Orleans’ food culture.

Brunchfaced: 14 Parishes brings Jamaican flavors Uptown

One word: rummosa. From the oxtail and eggs to the jerk chicken and waffles, you’ll feel like you’re on vacation at brunch.

Guide to late night food in NOLA // Where to eat after 10pm

While everyone is familiar with Clover Grill, the 24/7 diner that uses hubcaps to cook the hamburgers, there’s certainly more to the late-night eats scene than that. Here are a few of the spots night owls can get their grub on in the Crescent City regardless of neighborhood or craving.

Sierra Camille Kay’s painting puppet is a marriage between art and marionette

Kay pulls MiMi’s strings as she paints French Quarter landscapes, street performers, self-portraits, and anything else that she finds interesting.