The Saturday before Fat Tuesday, we had a full day planned participating in all sorts of fun Mardi Gras festivities. I took one last look at the event calendar and realized that there was going to be a Mardi Gras trail ride that started and ended very close to our hotel. It was called the Carlyss trail ride- Carlyss being the next rural town over from Sulphur. I was planning on going for a run in the morning anyway, and Austin had some work to do, so I put Landon in the stroller and started off. Turns out, it was less of a trail ride and more of a long parade. We got to the route just as the last floats were rounding the corner and we saw the trail riders on horseback pass. We had missed almost the entire parade! Well, I was dressed for a run and Landon was expecting me to run, so we started running on the side of the street along the parade route. I was running slightly faster than the parade was moving, so it took about 2 miles, but I made it to the front of the parade!
|Floats and horses|
These parade floats were not anything like parade floats I have seen before. Those with more people on them actually had a porta-potty attached to the back of the float. I didn’t know until I reached the front of the parade, but the route is 14 miles long and they go about 5 mph, so I’m sure people needed to have a portable pit stop along the way. Many of the floats had BBQ grills on them with people cooking things even though it was only 8:30 in the morning! The drinks were flowing too, and everyone seemed to be having a great time. Many of the floats were equipped with speaker systems blaring music, so I didn’t have to provide my own workout music! Because it was a trail ride in a fairly rural area, there were more floats and people on the floats and things to throw than parade-watchers. That meant that we were the targets of many people throwing things of the floats. The objects they throw are called “throws.”
|Landon and some of his “throws”|
As I ran, people saw me coming up on the floats from behind. Some kindly held out beads or toys or stuffed animals for me to grab as I passed. Others tried to throw stuff at me, which I rarely caught because it was off the mark. Since there weren’t other people around to scoop up the “throws,” I stopped and picked up everything that was thrown to me as we went. By the time we reached the front of the parade, Landon was almost completely covered in stuffed animals. He had a few balls, cheese n crackers, fruit snacks, tons of beads, and candy. I had mistakenly placed some of the thrown candy in his snack pouch in the front of his stroller and he did not waste any time eating it all. When we reached the front of the parade, I started walking because I did not want to surpass the front truck. I talked with the people in the truck for awhile, and they asked me if I wanted to do the whole route. I declined, as it was very long, but I told them I just wanted to get to the front of the parade so we could see all the floats and horses. It also meant that some floats threw stuff to us twice. Most recognized us and we just waved as they went past us for the second time.
|Cowboys and floats with port-a-potties|
I’m not sure if there were more people on the side of the road in “downtown” Carlyss. I’m not even sure there is a downtown Carlyss. The only people I saw on the side of the street were the residents that lived in the houses along the way who came out of their houses as the parade passed. I could see why this was called a trail ride instead of a parade. It definitely had more of a country feel. There were also some krewe floats that are not officially recognized in Lake Charles that made there appearance here. It was funny to see some of their names. There was even a girl just standing in the back of a pick up fire dancing!
I’m really glad that I got to share my love of parades with Landon. Now he loves them too!