This Fat Tuesday, the rest of the country looks on while New Orleans shows they still have what it takes to get their Mardi Gras on. Even though many locals are still feeling the effects of the BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, this has been the most successful Mardi Gras celebration in years. Although tourism officials say it's too early to tell if we're talkin' full recovery here, hotels have been near capacity, planes have been fully booked, and the French Quarter has been filled with tourists, according to Reuters. So, that's good news!
Still, that doesn't mean that everyone has forgotten what the city's been through. Some people even used New Orleans' disasters as inspiration for their Mardi Gras costume ...
The AP reported that one 58-year-old man named Al Logue dressed up as a one-man oil spill clean-up crew. Logue is actually an oil field consultant from Louisiana, so he didn't have to search very far to find his costume. He used a hard-hat helmet he already owned and a BP-branded sweatshirt from work he did with the company in Alaska. He also carried kitchen napkins to "clean up any mess he might encounter." Wryly funny, huh?
Logue told reporters:
The only thing I had to shop for was the Jim Beam and that was to ease the pain of the oil spill.
Another couple that always dresses up in Elvis-themed get-ups wore oil-stained jumpsuits with Elvis-style capes, then glued plastic birds and crabs to their costumes. There was also a group of 50-something women who wore T-shirts with slogans like, "Broken Promises," "Brazen Polluters," and "Bloody Pathetic." The ladies handed out makeshift voodoo dolls with a photo of former BP CEO Tony Hayward pasted to each, and Sylvia Beyer, the spokesperson for their group, told the press:
We just wanted to stick it to BP. We put more time into these costumes than BP did in their disaster plan.
Wow -- biting words! Good for them! You gotta love these folks for taking Mardi Gras as an opportunity to blast BP. Logue and others wearing oil spill-inspired costumes figured that there had to be more to it than drinking and dressing up. With their politically charged duds, they actually pledged their allegiance to The Big Easy. It's really just awesome to see so many people come out and stand up for this city that has done an amazing job keeping its spirits high.
After all, there's no better time for it. It seems like now more than ever Mardi Gras has become more than just a wild, crazy, and colorful pre-Lent tradition. It's also rightfully, hugely a celebration of the city of New Orleans itself.
What do you think about the anti-BP costumes at Mardi Gras?
Image via Infrogmation of New Orleans/Flickr