Friday, February 28, 2014

Going to Mardi Gras in Second Life?


I'm supporting the New Orleans economy by maxing out my credit cards in a prolonged blackout.


          Well, it’s that time of year again.
          Winter is drawing to an end.  (Maybe for some of you.  I’m sitting here at -1° F with wind chill and another ice/snow storm around the corner on Sunday evening in Real Life (RL).  Is there any wonder why I spend so much time in Second Life (SL)?) 
          Which means that Mardi Gras is not too far away! 
          For those of you not familiar with the Mardi Gras tradition in New Orleans, it is the local version of the carnival season common in many Catholic countries in the period between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. 
          Since Lent meant fasting and abstinence from life’s pleasures until Easter arrived, the tradition of parades, masquerades, and generally riotous celebrating beforehand somehow began.  Someone once told me that the excesses of these days goes back to the times before modern refrigeration when everything had to be used up prior to the start of fasting or be thrown away unused.  (I’m still trying to figure out why some of the world’s wildest public parties came to be associated with one of the world’s most conservative religions and most solemn holydays.  But, I’ll leave that to someone else’s blog to ponder.) 
          Perryn Peterson, my good friend and someone who has never met a holiday he didn’t like has taken on the challenge of throwing Mardi Gras inworld this year. 
          Of course, the festivities will be located in the Victorian Steampunk New Orleans in Mieville.   Recently, I took a quick tour while the site was being prepared for the celebrations. 
          I meet Perryn at the landing zone which is on the waterfront right by The Mark Twain, a traditional Mississippi steam rear paddle wheeler docked by the quay.  Perryn has not yet put on his costume but I guarantee he will stand out from among all the other partyers. 
          Looking down either way along the dockside, I see merchants’ booths and shops fitted out with holiday merchandise and Mardi Gras decorations.  The traditional colors of purple, gold and green are everywhere. 
          Perryn and I walk along the quayside as he tells me of the preparations and the events planned.  Our walk takes us along the parade route where if there are enough entries a parade of floats will occur. 
About fifty merchants will have their goods on display.  Perryn points out the voodoo shop.  Other highlights were Miss Moonsugah Monday, a food specialist whose delicacies and treats will be at the Café.  Other notable shops are SebastianTiogar's "A Rare Vintage and Peckbeth’s.  Both offering merchandise in the spirit of Mardi Gras.  Perryn always has a good selection of merchants with unusual merchandise at his his events. 
          Perry tells me that many of the merchants are in the Mardi Gras spirit of “lagniappe”, or, giving customers a little more because of the holiday.  (Think baker’s dozen.) 
          Later, when I return for pictures for this story, I meet Joanna Claremont, the proprietress of Cherie’s, a high end women’s clothing shop.  She designs and makes her own clothes and they are of particularly high quality.  Joanna is setting up her booth and arranging her merchandise. 
           Joanna has the spirit of a SL merchant.  She’s excites about her goods and can’t wait for customers to see them.  If you’re in the market for quality late nineteenth century women’s dresses then do please check out Cherie’s! 
          Mardi Gras will run from March 1st to 4th. (That’s why this story is a day early!) 
          On the Saturday, the first night, March 1st, there will be a dance starting at 6:00PM SLT at the Mardi Gras sim.  Rabidd Alter will be the DJ and is not to be missed!  This will also serve as the kickoff for STEAM IX: The Hunt.  But, more about that later!
There will be cash prizes for best costumes and titler at the dance.
          I’d like to thank Perryn for taking the time to guide me around as well as for all his efforts in arranging these fun, inworld activities which help to bring the SL community together. 
          I’d also like to thank Joanna Claremont for stopping her work to talk with an itinerant scribe. 
LAISSEZ LES BONS TEMPS ROULER!!  (Let the Good Times Roll!)
My Twitter handle is @webspelunker.  Please feel free to follow me and I’d be happy to follow you.
As always, I’m grateful to all inworld for their kindness and time in stopping to talk with a stranger who was passing through their lives.    
I’ve included below links to a few pictures of Mardi Gras while it was being set up.  But, pictures never do justice (especially mine) so go and see the results of all the hard work of Perryn and his team. 
I welcome feedback from readers, please either comment on my blog or e-mail me at . 

          If you would like to read about my other adventures in Second Life
please click here.


Photo No. 5 Merchant’s Booth I

Photo No. 6 Merchant’s Booth II

Photo No. 7 DJ’s Booth

Photo No. 8 Street Scene

Photo No. 9 Mardi Gras Delicacies

Photo No. 10 Gacha Machine

Photo No. 13 Street Scene II

Photo No. 14 Mardi Gras Poster

Photo No. 15 STEAM: The Hunt IX Poster  

Photo No. 16 Cherie’s Booth

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