Madame Chouteau found this press release on another blog. It certainly contains good news. A more sophisticated Soulard (a French word meaning "Swami Gupta will not be at the office today") Mardi Gras. What joy this brings. And now it is the largest Mardi Gras event in the country. Our fragile little historic district does not get any better than this. For your pleasure and edification, we reproduce the release:
Draft Press Release, February 20, 2008
Soulard Mardi Gras sees Great Things in 2009
Preparations are even now underway to make Soulard Mardi Gras Grand Parade Day 2009 even more exciting than it was on Feb. 2, 2008.
For example, more exotic and costly floats are on the drawing boards. Some krewes started design and construction as soon as a week after 2008 parade day. The underlying float theme for 2009 parallels this year's theme: sophisticated floats which caricature and imitate trucks. Just as in the Rose Parade, thousands of flowers are used to create floats which resemble truck floats. It is really very unique, as all parade goers testify, and the St. Louis floats always have put the Rose Parade offerings to shame. After all, Lumberous Place, sponsor of the Grand Parade, don't sponsor no cheesy events.
In addition, more publicity for the festival, now billed as the "2nd largest Mardi Gras celebration" in the United States, is coming. Negotiations are underway with FOX, CBS, Discovery Channel and BET to nationally televise the parade. Imagine the favorable publicity for St. Louis when Siegfried and Roy, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen or some similar sparkling personalities sit alongside Mayor Slay to moderate the parade to a national audience. First in shoes, first in Mardi Gras is the objective.
Already St. Louis has several feathers in our cap to capture the national spotlight. The New Orleans Mardi Gras is now borrowing our good ideas, such as our Krewe of Barkus Parade. They have started to hold a similar event in the French Quarter, or what is left of it. Hey, N.O., give credit where credit is due. They are obviously on their last legs, while St. Louis is on the upswing, enjoying the favor of Fortuna, thanks to our innovativeness.
Parking problems are also being resolved. Both Soulard and adjoining LaSalle Park have restricted parking, so all you party animals are urged to park in Lafayette Square and Benton Park. The kind folks in Lafayette Square are so in love with their neighborhood that they pick up after us, so it is less a clean-up expense to Mardi Gras Inc. Who knows what goes on in Benton Park?
Finally, and most exciting, is an increase in the number of bars and restaurants in Soulard. In French, the word "soulard" translates as "drunken pig." We are all excited about living up to that. More and more buildings are being converted to or used as bars and bars and restaurants. Mardi Gras fans are grateful for the excellent support from political and redevelopment officials with the City of St. Louis, who perceive that the family-oriented festival and more bars will help save St. Louis and bring it greater prosperity, just as the increase in gambling facilities will contribute.
In summary, Soulard Mardi Gras profiteers are looking forward to bigger and better things. As Official Parade Spokesman Back Madly comments: "Lazy less beantowns rolaids," which is French for "let the good times roll."