A large crowd grew on the streets of downtown last night to see the first Mobile Mardi Gras parade of the season roll through the streets. The Conde Cavaliers have chose the them Ports of Paradise. Their floats are built by a New Orleans float builder so they have a different style than the majority of the Mobile floats. The Conde floats are very boxy except for a figure on the front. The airbrushed paint on the rest of the float however is very bright. Big Bertha, a 1943 search light, lead the parade, followed by the organization's three permanent floats. The first permanent float was is a large train followed by the organzation's emblem float which was rebuilt this year. The new emblem float has the head of a horse on the front and Fort Conde on the back and the third had the head of Chief Slac on the front. Marshals, marching bands, truck bands, and fillers such as the ABBA Hillbillies and thirteen theme floats completed the parade.
After the parade several of the girls from one of my Mardi Gras organizations had been asked to work the doors at the Conde ball. We gathered to see what doors we were working and took our places. We were suppose to take up tickets and tell the ball guests where to go to be seated, look for dress code violations, and above all ID people to keep underage people from coming in. The ABC board has really been cracking down on the downtown bars and are suppose to have undercover agents at the balls as well as city police to look for underage drinking. The Conde ball is known by most other organizations for letting in a lot of underage people, especially girls. We stopped many people and turned them away but one masker who claimed to be the ticket chairman and a past board memeber forced us to let in several underage girls, two of whom were 17 years old. He swore they would not be drinking but of course that is silly. We finally got fed up and left it to the police to work the doors and went inside to try and enjoy the rest of the ball. I missed the tableaux because we were trapped at the front door. Later in the night I saw the two 17 year old girls at one of the room bars ordering drinks and beer. Imagine that!
Luke made it to the ball after the tableaux and I found him on the dance floor when I went to look for doubloons. There were lots of people I knew there, some of whom I have not seen since last Mardi Gras. The ball was lots of fun. When the ball came to a close Luke and I went over to Dauphin street to Monsoons for a couple of drinks.
There are several parades today but none in Mobile. The Tillman's Tricksters will roll throught Tillman's Corner today at 1pm. Then the Krewe de Spaniards will celebrate in Old Town Daphne at 4. Finally, the Krewe de Carnival will parade in Spanish Fort at 6:45.
Read the Article from the Mobile Register
Visiting Ports of Paradise
9onde Cavaliers set bar high by showering revelers with throws
Saturday, January 22, 200510y LEE DAVIDSON