Dear Parade Goers,
As I finish my second season parading, I find myself reflecting on the past few weeks and I wanted to share my thoughts with you.
After dancing in 11 parades, beginning with Twelfth Night and ending with Irish Italian, we have sore muscles, and achy bones but a huge smile in our hearts. Needless to say, it is so worth it! YOU are worth it!
Whether it’s the gorgeous oak lined streets of Old Mandeville, The quaint small town streets of Covington, Hammond, and Independence, the bustling business lined streets of Metairie and Slidell, or the historically aesthetic streets of New Orleans, YOU remain the same.
You wake up at the crack of dawn, to pack the car, squeeze into a spot, stake out a place, commune with nature, and you wait for me.
You sit through torrential rain, frigid cold, and blazing heat, with children, chairs, and chests in tow, and you wait for me.
The sights, the sounds, the symphony of carnival entertains the masses as you wait for me.
The hours tick by, the crowd thickens, Uncle Joe gets rowdy from too much Schlitz, and yet you wait for me.
We too wake early and pack the car with water, and music, and glitter galore, while you wait.
We primp and fluff and color our faces, lengthen our lashes, and don our pearls, all while you wait.
We anxiously arrive and speedily stage, putting out fires, and making sure every dot’s in its place, while you wait.
We pass a myriad of faces in the crowd who smile and clap and wave and we know our moment is soon upon us, while you wait.
Our arms grow weak, and our shakes get softer as we proceed through the muck and the mush that has become of the streets, while you wait.
Then the moment arrives and in mid shimmy our eyes meet. You cheer, you yell, you sing along, and we know you are in this with us and you no longer wait.
What you do not, could not, know is, that moment, that wonderful moment we share with each and every one of you, that moment is why we shake.
When you begin to dance the routine like you’ve been practicing with us since August, when in fact it’s the first time you saw it, We Shake for You!
When you sing along to our song, at the top of your lungs, because you feel what we feel, in the bottom of your soul, WE Shake for You!
When you yell our name, shout encouragement, hype us up, or just say “I Love You”, WE Shake for You!
Our shakes become bigger and bigger each time we see you and our hearts get fuller and fuller. Our shakes are always for you.
You are what carries us through the 30,000 steps it takes to dance a 5 mile parade. Like the song says, “You shook me all night long”, and for that We Thank You!
Thank YOU for an amazing parade season!
The Mande Milkshakers