Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mardi Gras: Sidewalk Side v. Neutral Ground

From the 2013 Knights of Babylon Parade

There are two sides of any parade but in New Orleans these sides are called Sidewalk Side and Neutral Ground and like most things in New Orleans, there's history.

Neutral Ground in other cities would most likely be called a median. The median on Canal Street was the center between two factions in the city in the mid-1800s -- the French Creoles who lived in the French Quarter and the Americans living in the 2nd district.  Neither group's army controlled the Canal Street median, so it was called Neutral Ground.

Now Neutral Ground and Sidewalk Side are helpful when you are trying to tell you friends where you will be standing for a parade -- or where someone will be who is riding a float.

Many New Orleans resident stick to one side or the other. You can even buy t-shirts labeled with your side.

This is pre-Mardi Gras parade Neutral Ground. 

Here's the parade schedule from February 6-12 for 2013. If you click on a krewe's name you can read more about their history.

Wednesday, February 6
Thursday, February 7
    Friday, February 8

    Saturday, February 9
      Sunday, February 10
      Monday, February 11
        Tuesday, February 12

        more ladders set up in Neutral Ground
        The back of the Stephen King float in Thoth 2013, sidewalk side on the right, Neutral Ground on the left.

        1 comment:

        1. I can't wait to see pictures of some of the floats! Have any good food yet?