The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
As torrential rains flushed through downtown Port Arthur on the second night of Mardi Gras, at least one set of partygoers was having fun.
“The ducks are in heaven right now,” said zookeeper Chris Safos, who works at Marsha’s Petting Zoo, across the street from the main stage. “I think the pigs love it too.”
Unlike many of the festival goers, their feathers are not just for decoration.
At the edge of the main stage pavilion, Irene Austin of Orange and her family found a nice covered spot where they could wait for the parade and dance to Geno Delafose and the French Rockin’ Boogie.
The rain could not dampen their spirits.
“It makes it better, its not as crowded and we get more beads,” said Austin.
Austin brought her sister’s family, Kathy and Mike Ridley of Lufkin and their young son Trevor Ridley, into town for the festival.
“When it comes between me and her we’re always going to have a good time,” said Kathy Ridley, just as they caught sight of the first parade vehicles rolling across Waco Avenue.
“We are going to rush off and grab some beads and then come back and then do it again,” said Austin.
Out on the street the French Cajun rhythms were lost in the hip hop music billowing out of the bulbous black speakers mounted to the handle bars of the ATVs that lead the way for the Valero Krewe of Krewes Parade.
Children ran in a craze through puddles ankle thick, fighting at times over a single beaded necklace.
A kitchen fire may have been avoided, as the servers at Mr. T’s famous BBQ Pork-On-A-Stick used their tongs to catch the bead necklaces and keep them from falling on the hot grill.
One man showed up with an enormous umbrella, 8 to 10 feet in diameter, but whether it was to deter the rain drops or to slow the high velocity bead throws flown from the upper level decks of the massive floats is not known.
Mardi Gras festivities begin again at noon Saturday and events are scheduled for Sunday as well.