Saturday, March 12, 2011

Camp Lejeune Represented at Mardi Gras!

You know how I posted earlier about the USMC Band practicing in our neighborhood?  I guess this was why....

Photo by Lance Cpl. Natasha J. CombsThe 2nd Marine Division Band marches in the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parade Feb. 16, 2010, in New Orleans.
Posted: Thursday, March 10, 2011 12:00 am
The Big Easy knows how to throw a party.
Revelry rang in streets throughout the world as the good times of Mardi Gras celebrations rolled through once again.
Beads broke out, feathers were fluffed and King cakes were cooked in the Creole city of New Orleans, March 8.
Fat Tuesday may have been the peak of the parties, but the momentum had been building for days with colorful and elaborate parades celebrating the unique culture.
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune was well-represented by the 2nd Marine Division Band, who were invited back this year to participate in the festivities. The band kept a strict and busy schedule, playing in several parades and performing for the crowds.
While feasting and fun is required, there is more to the story of the biggest party of the year.
Dating back to the 18th century, the jubilation began as a way to commemorate the French heritage of the Creole population of the bayous and to enjoy the last day of indulgence before Ash Wednesday and the Lenten season.
"It’s a chance to live it up before you give it up," said Leslie Carroll, a military spouse and native of the Cajun capital. "It’s a day where New Orleans lives up to its motto – let the good times roll."
Carroll continued that having the 2nd Marine Division Band showcased is a good reminder of the importance of the Marine Corps to the visitors who come from all over the world to celebrate.
"Of course, there’s no band as impressive as the United States Marine Corps’," she added.
New Orleans has always held a certain romance and lore, and since the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the city and its signature celebration has been in the spotlight.
"On Mardi Gras day, New Orleans puts its lust for life on parade," said New Orleans’ mayor, Mitch Landrieu, in an open letter to visitors. "But you will also find that every day is cause for celebration in a city that is imbued with the Carnival spirit."
Local celebrations may be hard to find, but after Beaufort, N.C.’s, first bash, be on the look out for more frolicking next year.

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