Sean Payton holding Lombardi Trophy from Car Sun Roof        Patrick Semansky / AP

In the middle of the 2010 Carnival Season, our New Orleans Saints managed to kick butt on the favored Indianapolis Colts, and win the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy for the first time in their 44 year history.  A parade has been planned since the Saints entered the playoffs, win or lose. We WON, so count on a big, oversized, extremely crowded parade. The route is entirely downtown, and slightly shorter than the traditional Carnival parade route down St. Charles Avenue.

It was estimated by police that up to 15,000 Saints fans came out to New Orleans International Airport to greet the team on their return from Miami, where Super Bowl 44 was played. Based on that enthusiasm, you can expect the Saints Parade to draw crowds comparable to Endymion. The route is entirely down town, and slightly shorter than the traditional St. Charles route.

Very cold weather and blustery winds generally cut Mardi Gras crowds up to one half.  It’s quite possible tonight’s Saints Parade will have smaller crowds as well.

Floats for the Saints Parade are being donated from the major Mardi Gras Parading Krewes, including Bacchus, Endymion, Alla, & Zulu. According to Blaine Kern Productions, producer for the parade, the Super Bowl Saints Parade will be the greatest, over the top Super Bowl Parade ever.  However, the throws won’t be Saints logo throws, as all of those were purchased over the last several months as the Saints became hotter than a pistol.  I hear that the Saints players will throw some NFL footballs- apparently, they control a good supply. As for bands, the best local Parade bands- U.S. Marine Marching Band,  St. Augustine, Jesuit, McDonough 35, Carver, St. Mary’s Academy, and many more. The Budweiser Clydesdales are making a special appearance as well.

I could not have asked for a better outcome of last weekend. Mardi Gras is in full swing. What happened last weekend? The populace of New Orleans came to their collective senses in the voting booths, and threw away the politics of race and divisiveness. An amazing 67% of voters chose a white candidate, Mitch Landrieu.  Why? There are a couple of key reasons.  First, he was the best candidate by far. Second, buyers remorse. Landrieu lost closely to Ray Nagin in the last Mayor’s election, and after 4 more years of terrible Nagin, voters realized this weekend that they chose the wrong horse last time and the City suffered badly with a non-caring, do nothing.  If Landrieu had been Mayor instead the last 4 years since Katrina, New Orleans would be in a much better place now, instead the recovery is half finished and half baked.

The voters had very stark differences between the Mayoral Candidates. Landrieu is an experienced politician with a Sister who’s a US Senator from Louisiana, and another Sister who is a Judge. His Dad was Mayor in the 70s and desegregated City Hall and Government. All the other candidates were political novices with with either business experience, the law, but no politics to speak of, and no relatives in very high political office.

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