Special Feature

San Jose Mardi Gras 2002 Report

Free Mardi Gras 2002 Flashers!
Free Mardi Gras 2002 Flashers Pictures and Essay © Joyman

Joyman Writes:

Three things I want to do before I die:

1. Spend Mardi Gras in New Orleans
2. Spend Carnival in Rio
3. Sail in the Pina Colada Regatta

As a warm up to number one I decided to check out the "local" Mardi Gras celebration in San Jose (CA). According to the "official" web site, billed as the "Largest Mardi Gras celebration in California, I figured it just might be worth the 5 hour (2 1/2 hours each way) drive to get there and back.

Held along a 4-5 block stretch of Post St. ("blocked off" for the occasion), in "old" San Jose that vaguely resembles the architecture along Bourbon St. (there is a shot of the lone balcony under which the crowd never thinned), this 6th. annual event was somewhat of a let down...at first.

Free Mardi Gras 2002 Flashers!    Free Mardi Gras 2002 Flashers!

With only 3 bars open and 2 very small stages located at either end of the street with live "entertainment" (not very lively and most certainly not the type of "entertainment" I was hoping for), after about an hour or so of wandering back and forth waiting for the "fun" to begin, two words started to repeat themselves over and over in my head...tame and lame.

As one of only a handful of intrepid souls who actually bothered to dress in costume, I started to feel like maybe I was one of the "attractions".

But just when I was about ready to call it a night, cut my losses, and begin the long trek back home, I heard them... the drums...off in the distance. At first I wasn't sure but then the unmistakeable beat of the Samba broke over our heads, when rounding the corner, parting the crowd, came a swirling, flashing mass of color, sound and (dare I hope to believe!?) semiclad female flesh! Dazzling, sparkling, gyrating to the pounding beat of the drums, their lithe, supple bodies, glistening in the light that they themselves seemed to radiate. My very soul cried out "laissez bon temp roulet!" (Let the good time roll!) At that exact moment I realized that some things are worth the wait. Sometimes the long drought makes us ever more grateful for the dark clouds that bring the rain.

Was it worth the time (five hours driving round trip), effort (hours putting together a costume worthy of the spirit of Mardi Gras) and expense (over $30 in beads alone!)? Will I make the long trek back next year?

Look at the pictures, you tell me...

Joyman

Free Mardi Gras 2002 Flashers!

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All images and reports are copyright-protected. Do not re-use or re-post without express written permission from the respective owners. Mardi Gras 2002 Flashers Pictures & Essay© Joyman. Website © 2003 Coccozella. All Rights Reserved.