Another Mardi Gras for the ages has passed, leaving us with wonderful stories and times that we can all just barely manage to remember. The gilded splinters have all but fallen out of my feet and the memories of the Zulu Queen, Mardi Gras Indians, and masked revelers bring a familiar smile to my face every time someone asks me “how was mardi gras?” Just about every year I begin this season by proclaiming its possibilities to be the best one ever, and just about every year I come close to being right. This year, I experienced Mardi Gras and Life from a vantage point like no ever, the top of a float in the Zulu Social Aid & Pleasure Club’s annual Fat Tuesday parade. We here at WWOZ were honored for our invitation to celebrate and represent this station at carnival and I could not resist the opportunity to be in that number at Zulu.
I climbed atop our float on Tuesday morning, and stood behind our wonderful likeness of Dr. John. The float and its riders all looked festive and we were ready to bring the spirit to the people.Though some were a bit disappointed that we didn’t have zulu cononuts, we were still able to cheer folks up with our WWOZ flags, stickers, magnets, and my personal favorite, coozies. We had speakers and a mixing board hooked up to our truck and we serenaded the crowds with funky grooves all day. It was a joy to hear so many loyal listeners professing their love for this station as we rode by and even when we ran out of throws, folks still yelled “We love you anyway, OZ!” That enthusiasm is what makes being able to represent this station as we celebrate carnival so special. The support we receive from the people of this city, who’ve been through so much, and beyond, is a joyful yet humbling experience. It makes us realize that this station, like carnival, is greater than any one of us individually. It allows us all to come together and create a worldwide community with plenty of music and culture to thrive on for years to come. I can only hope those same feelings ring true in the hearts of all those who came out the parade route, and all those who tune in. Like carnival, WWOZ gives us all something to celebrate and enjoy. But the parade of songs on ‘OZ never stops rolling.