[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]New Orleans is a city that celebrates through a colorful variety of parades all year long. No matter what time of year you visit, you are likely to observe (or participate in) a parade of some sort. Parades occur for many reasons; most are known as Second Line Parades, and of course some of the most renowned parades are the cornerstone of the celebration known as Mardi Gras – where multiple parades happen daily, over several weeks.
What is a Second Line Parade?
Visitors experience a city’s culture on the walls of museums and galleries, on the stages of theaters and musical halls and even on the plates of local restaurants. But in New Orleans, culture also comes bubbling up from the streets and one of the most unique local expressions of this sort of culture is the second line parade.
Second line parades are the descendants of the city’s famous jazz funerals and, apart from a casket, mourners and a cemetery visit, they carry many of the same traditions with them as they march down the streets.
There are dozens of different second line parades put on throughout the year, usually on Sunday afternoons, and held in neighborhoods all across the city. They range in size, level of organization and traditions, but in all cases they will include a brass band, jubilant dancing in the street and members decked out in a wardrobe of brightly colored suits, sashes, hats and bonnets, parasols and banners, melding the pomp of a courtly function and the spontaneous energy of a block party, albeit one that moves a block at a time. These parades are not tied to any particular event, holiday or commemoration; rather, they are
generally held for their own sake and to let the good times roll.
The History of Beads at Second Line (and Mardi Gras) Parades:
The throwing of trinkets to the crowds of Mardi Gras was started in the 1870’s by the Twelfth Night Revelers, and is a time-honored expectation of young and old alike.
In 1827, some students, returning to NOLA from their studies in Paris, donned costumes and danced in the streets, as they had seen maskers do in Paris, They threw flowers to the crowds watching them, and later threw flour.
In 1872 the King of Rex tossed sugar coated almonds to the parade goers, which was similar to the festival customs of the English Renaissance era. In 1884, Rex started using medallions instead of trinkets. These medallions are represented by today’s doubloons. The doubloons are aluminum and anodized in many different colors. They depict the parade theme on one side and the Krewe’s emblem on the other.
During the late 1800’s, inexpensive necklaces made of glass beads were thrown to represent the jewels of royalty. The beads were an instant hit, and have remained a cornerstone of modern-day Mardi Gras (and Second Line) parades.
We highly suspect that our PECAA Members will bump into a Second Line while at the Annual Meeting. If so, don’t be shy…jump on in & enjoy the festivities – and if you get the chance, be sure & collect some beads!
Give back to the Edna Karr High School Marching Band and help us reach our goal of $10,000!
We are accepting donations for our first PECAA Gives beneficiary, the Edna Karr High School Marching Band. The money raised will go toward new musical instruments for the students. To learn more, go to pcom.cloudroots.net/pecaagives. Donate now online through our GoFundMe page. Simply click on the button below to donate now!
Are you excited yet? We are! We’ll meet you in NOLA for the 2016 Annual Meeting and a true taste of Big Easy culture! Visit pcom.cloudroots.net/2016-annual-meeting for complete details.
There is still time to register and secure your spot at this can’t miss event! Please note that each individual person from your practice who plans to attend will need to submit their own separate registration form. Five total people, including at least one doctor, may register for the meeting.
You are responsible for booking your hotel room at the New Orleans Marriott. Please note that registering for the meeting does not mean your hotel room as been booked. Click the link below to book your room now through PECAA’s online reservation site: