This project was birthed a few weeks before Mardi Gras as a friend told me about the last parade on the last day of the celebrations that week. The myth I heard (I say myth because much of what I was told I learned to be misinformation.)
The Blue Krewe, a parade of NOPD officers, mounted and on foot, would walk down Bourbon Street at midnight on Tuesday to disperse the crowds and end the celebrations. They did parade, pushing people to the sidewalks. But the celebration never ended; the bars never closed; the people didn't leave.
The beauty of it came with the reception of gratitude and cheers afforded to the Police by the drunken onlookers. There was no doubt they deserved respect. Annually speaking, they have one of the hardest weeks of any Police Department in the country.
Leading up the the Blue Krewe's march I walked the French Quarter photographing Fat Tuesday (actual Mardi Gras day, the last day before Lent) for 24 hours straight, starting in the early morning and going to the early morning on Wednesday. I had hoped to show the transition into Ash Wednesday, but it never happened. What I did end up documenting was more of a dual perspective: What the Carnival was like for locals vs what it was like for tourists.
To the former, it is essentially their Christmas minus the stress; a celebration of expression and creativity no matter the message or effort behind the expression. It was family friendly without being restrictive.
To the latter, it was about booze, tits and beads. (though not to all tourists obviously)