Sunday, February 10, 2013

GUMBO COOK OFF, PARADES AND FUN.

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The gumbo cook off was a tasty, wonderful, loud mob scene. We went late and spent about two hours. This is outside the Civic Center which had gumbo booths we didn't ever get to.
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From above, you can see what it is like. You pick up a bowl and taste and walk to the next booth.
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Inside the building, it was the same, gumbo booths around the perimeter with about 30 booths and every one tasting different.
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The Krewes compete for best gumbo and they don't stint on ingredients. Sausage, chicken, ham, bacon, duck and at this booth a hock in every bowl. OMIGOSH! Everyone I tasted was better than Steamboat Bill's gumbo. You can't describe the flavors, and how they differ, but I was in foodie heaven. We would beg them to give us one SMALL bowl, then Jim and I with two spoons would  taste. Everyone throws what they didn't eat in the garbage. I quailed at the waste.
Krewe du le Originales et les enfants
These ladies are from Le Krewe Du Le Originales Et Les Enfants. Toni, on the right,  has a son in the State of Washington at McCord Airforce base, Jim's old stomping grounds. We may be going to their ball and chicken run.
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This Sasquatch looking guy, a big guy, poses so you can't see a bit of his flesh. He was very proud of his costume and wanted to show us how he can become very small. DSC02397 (Copy)
Can you tell we are having fun.DSC02401 (Copy)
While you taste, the band plays and people dance.
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This character, we assume from the winning Krewe in the parade the night before, walks around holding this scepter?, or whatever it is,  with his entourage. He makes a swing periodically through the crowd to much applause and noisemakers, and hoots.
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At one point, a member of a different crew stole the prize and everyone hooted and yelled.DSC02430 (Copy)
When the band identified a Krewe, they all hollered and made sure you knew who they were.
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Members of the Entourage from the winning Krewe, danced along with everyone else. The Krewe is the Madelaines.
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These two women were the best dancers on the floor. The woman on the right  moved so fast, it was hard to get a picture of her.  Cajun and Zydeco tunes are  jumpin'. It was wonderful to watch the dancers.
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This woman was, I think, trying to help the band play and dance at the same time. I might mention that this fun fueled event is not fueled on alcohol. Beer is available, but people don't seem to swill and get drunk. We enjoyed the spirit, the mobs of friendly people and hated to see the end of all that good food though we could eat no more.
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Then we went to the children's parade. Many cars carried "winning, elected" children honored for something.  A local event of some type  decides who rides an honor, from very young like this tiny girl on top of a car throwing candy to teen-aged kids.
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Everyone loves a good band.
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This little girl was standing next to me.She and her mom kept offering me candy the kids picked up. I gave her my beads before we left.  Kids are so photogenic and responsive.
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We weren't sure where the dog parade was; we were told two different sites. So, we followed these dogs.DSC02449 (Copy)
This little puppy is only seven weeks old.
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The dogs have to be registered, and this great dane could hardly stand still. It took five people to get her dressed for the parade.
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It looked worth the effort.
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These two ladies were pointing at me, trying to get their sweetie to face the camera.DSC02466 (Copy)
Like a true princess,  she did!DSC02481 (Copy)
Beautiful.
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A handsome brace of..., well, whatever they are. DSC02476 (Copy)
This woman was hugging, and cooing and comforting her baby who was shaking and reluctant to be part of this mob of dogs.
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She finally got brave enough to peer away from her mom's knees. DSC02506 (Copy)
There were cute kids everywhere. This little girl was peering warily at Jim as he tried to get her to smile.
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Little brother kind of waved at me and moved closer to his sister. Shy, but he wanted his picture taken too.
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And this little girl too. The kids love the camera.
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This little fellow wasn't sure he wanted his green glittered spike photographed. I told him I had a redheaded grandson and then...DSC02435 (Copy)
...he gave me a big smile and showed off his missing tooth. I love it when kids respond like that. DSC02524 (Copy)
After the dog parade, we went to the second floor in the Civic Center where a Zydeco Band was playing.DSC02525 (Copy)
All these bands play "modern" washboards, two of them. Quite a difference from the first Cajuns who used a washtub, washboard or whatever made sound to get their joy and spirit across.
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We watched the dancers for about an hour. This couple were outstanding dancers. For a big guy, I'm guessing, 6'6, he could really move in those heavy boots. And, her too, dancing in boots. Fantastic.Pam, Hawiian nurse age 65
Sitting next to me, Pam, a 65 year old nurse who still works. She was originally an entertainer in Columbia. I loved her hair and she was obviously very proud of her beautiful tresses. Oh, that I could have hair like that. I'd show it off  too. So much talent and beauty in one day. Wowzer, baby, wowzer!

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