After the Conde Cavaliers Parade, the men returned to the Civic Center and climbed down from the floats, sweating and tired from all the bead and toy tossing to the crowds over the several mile course through downtown Mobile, Alabama. Many had taken their beer with them and were definitely in a fine mood upon their return for the evening’s ball and festivities.
Women of all shapes and sizes were gowned up in a wide range of evening attire, from the latest fashion designs to high school prom dresses on 75 year old women. A few old fur coats came out for the cold evening, but most of the women left the coats in the coat check and exposed backless gowns and leaping cleavage.
Then men cooled off, drank more and snacked on the vast amounts of food in the private group rooms around the Civic Center as the evening’s crowd entered the ball room and found their tables.
Then the parade continued inside the Civic Center as the Conde Cavaliers presented their queen and all took turns leading their escorts to bow in front of the queen and then promenade across the ballroom floor to great applause, whooping, and hollering.
The tape recorded music they played was incredibly loud in the Civic Center, and even the MC’s voice echoed so badly it was difficult to understand anything. That didn’t stop people from having way too much fun with all of the pomp and circumstances. We watched and photographed much of the presentation of the queen and then headed home at it was already past 10PM. The party, featuring at least six different live bands throughout the Civic Center, would continue long into the early hours of the morning, that was clear.
It was a great day and my father and I had a blast. It is amazing to see the amount of work that goes into a Mardi Gras Parade, even though we just got a glimpse of the effort over a few hours, not the year long project spent putting all of this together. Thank you, Lester, and thanks to all the gracious and wonderful Conde Cavaliers!
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