Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Mardi Gras!!!

Happy mardi gras! This past weekend I went to celebrate carnival for real in a small coastal town called Granville. It was the 138th anniversary of the festival! I was exactly how I imagined carnival in France to be! We arrived Saturday evening and hung out with my roommates friends. We then put on our costume and headed out. In the streets there were a lot of drum lines/ marching bands performing and EVERYONE was in costume. I was like an even bigger and better Halloween. There was also a real carnival (ie, spinning rides and games) and I rode on the bumper cars, which was crazy because I swear they could get up to 15 mi/hr and if both cars were going full speed head on you felt it. Of course, there were no seat belts. And everyone was drunk. It was obviously very, very safe. Not. It was a lawsuit waiting to happen, but apparently the French aren’t so sue-crazy like us Americans and my friends and I lived, so it was ok, and actually really fun. There were also all your typical rides and games, just like you’d see in the US (though I didn’t spot a whack-a-mole unfortunately).

It was a pretty small town with narrow, winding streets, so I think the actual number of people wasn’t a lot but it seemed like a lot. It was small enough that we saw the same people several times and were able to talk with them which was really cool. Even better, they often wore the same costumes for the whole week (carnival goes from about Thursday until Tuesday) so you could easily spot them again and rekindle your friendship.

On Sunday afternoon Kristen and I woke up to watch the parade. The parade was over two hours long, with all homemade floats that were very clever and well thought out. Kristen and I camped out in the main square, where there was a huge throng of people and we were able to get pretty close to see the floats. There was tons of confetti as well. Literally, tons. Apparently something like 10 tons of confetti were brought in for the event. Amazing. You’ll see in the pictures I posted that it was everywhere. So amazing! I can’t recall ever going to a real confetti parade like that. Luckily the day was gorgeous and the whole town came out and it really felt like mardi gras. Kristen and I then wandered the city, looking at different costumes, stopping in different bars and sandwich shops to dance to music (yes, sandwich shops!). It really was an amazing weekend, and we even conspired to stay an extra night as Sunday night is when they have fireworks apparently. Unfortunately, I had work the next day so we grudgingly left at 8:30pm.

I originally took over 300 photos. I tried to narrow it down, but it is still over 200! I hope you enjoy!