There are several differences between the many St. Patrick's Day parades through the streets of New Orleans and the Mardi Gras parades that precede them by a month. The St. Patrick's parades don't hire marching bands. They don't carry a theme beyond just the idea of Irishness and numerous puns thereupon.
The floats themselves don't represent anything in particular. They're all left over from the Carnival season anyway. Here's a float from Saturday's Irish Channel parade which featured a likeness of Drew Brees.. just because.
Here's the same float several weeks ago during the Krewe of King Arthur Parade.
There are also the "Irish stew" throws of produce. Typically carrots, onions, potatoes, and cabbage. For some reason Saturday we were only running across the "fun size" variety of these.
Also, no one has explained to me why the Irish Channel Parade rolls against the normal flow of traffic up St. Charles Avenue but that also lends the event a point of distinction.
But the most interesting difference between the two parade seasons is the St. Patrick's parades allow more blatant electioneering. Voters attending the parade in search of a Juvenile Court candidate to back in the April 6 special election saw a clear contrast between Doug Hammel's conservative yet appropriate to the occasion neckwear
And opponent Cynthia "The Barracuda" Samuel's far more flamboyant jacket and hat.
Also sighted in the parade was District B Councilwoman Latoya Cantrell.
No doubt, Ms. Cantrell was on the lookout for violations of the city's parade ordinances along the way. We look forward to her report on the matter.
Jackie Clarkson, on the other hand, was nowhere to be seen that day. Which is a shame since this food truck looked like it was specifically marketed to her preferences.