We are camped outside Madisonville, LA in a clean, scenic state park campground, Fairview – Riverside. In some previous years we have been in the Riverside section as the Krewe of Tchefuncte paraded past us, going first upriver and then a bit later, right back down. These are not fishing boats, no, no, typically costing more than an average residence in town. They are polished yachts full of well-dressed or costumed, drunken revelers (save the pilot, who thanks to Coast Guard regulations don’t you know, is likely merely tipsy). The boats then moor alongside the Madisonville municipal embankment and the crews of the krewe come ashore for a street festival complete with music, food trucks, beer vendors and Main Street restaurants peddling mixed drinks in outdoor stands. That’s what they do in a normal year, but not this year.
The Krewe of Tchefuncte regretfully cancelled all Mardi Gras activities in accordance with the Governor’s efforts to slow down Covid 19. That’s the word from their official website. This parade may have included some of K of T’s yachts, but not necessarily. At first I thought they were just a bunch of rich guys practicing for some future Trump float parade, but on their second pass we noticed the banner on the lead yacht “Krewe of Quarantine”. These are some crazy guys and gals who have found a weak excuse to party.
Other years have featured parade themes and yachts covered with decorations. This year these had an occasional purple, gold, and green flag or several feet of party tinsel in those Mardi Gras colors. LSU’s athletic teams and band would wear those three colors today but for the fortunate accident of the dry goods store where its first football coach purchased some fabric scraps to be sewn onto the Tiger’s otherwise all-white jerseys. It seems the store had some purple and gold left over from Mardi Gras, but the green had been snapped up on St. Patrick’s Day.
Kat took some excellent pictures on this day of perfect late winter weather in south Louisiana. Odds are a few of the yachting party will acquire Covid from today’s activities, but everybody is getting corona virus fatigue from these long months of semi isolation, masking, and fear. And as we came to know when we lived down here twice previously, those who dwell south of Alexandria (halfway between New Orleans and Shreveport) love a rousing party. It’s just in their blood.
Now, if we can get some vaccine in there … maybe next year there can be a real Mardi Gras. Keep your fingers crossed and roll up your sleeves!