Downtown Mardi Gras
New Carnival Practices in Post-Katrina New Orleans

By Leslie A. Wade
and Robin Roberts

By Frank de Caro

400 pages (approx.), 6.125 x 9.25 inches, 42 color illustrations

9781496823786 Printed casebinding $99.00S

9781496823847 Paper $30.00S

Printed casebinding, $99.00

Paper, $30.00

A study of how the culture and customs of a city foster its rebirth

After Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the surrounding region in 2005, the city debated whether to press on with Mardi Gras or cancel the parades. Ultimately, they decided to proceed. New Orleans's recovery certainly has resulted from a complex of factors, but the city's unique cultural life--perhaps its greatest capital--has been instrumental in bringing the city back from the brink of extinction.

Voicing a civic fervor, local writer Chris Rose spoke for the importance of Carnival when he argued to carry on with the celebration of Mardi Gras following Katrina: "We are still New Orleans. We are the soul of America. We embody the triumph of the human spirit. Hell, we ARE Mardi Gras."

The history of each parade reveals the convergence of race, class, age, and gender dynamics in these new Carnival organizations. Downtown Mardi Gras: New Carnival Practices in Post-Katrina New Orleans examines six unique, offbeat, Downtown celebrations. Using ethnography, folklore, cultural, and performance studies, the authors analyze new Mardi Gras's connection to traditional Mardi Gras. The narrative of each krewe's development is fascinating and unique, illustrating participants' shared desire to contribute to New Orleans's rich and vibrant culture.

LESLIE A. WADE is a professor and playwright in the Theatre Department at the University of Arkansas. Formerly the Billy J. Harbin Professor of Theatre at LSU, he has published on contemporary theatre and New Orleans culture. ROBIN ROBERTS is professor of English and gender studies at the University of Arkansas. She is author of six books on gender and popular culture, including Subversive Spirits: The Female Ghost in British and American Popular Culture, published by University Press of Mississippi. FRANK DE CARO is professor emeritus at Louisiana State University. He is the award-winning author of numerous books on folklore, including Folklore Recycled: Old Traditions in New Contexts, published by University Press of Mississippi.

400 pages (approx.), 6.125 x 9.25 inches, 42 color illustrations