New Orleans Pete Fountain, clarinet in hand and looking dapper in a white tuxedo and fedora trimmed in gold, kicked off Mardi Gras with his “Half Fast Marching Club” the way they have for 50 years: with beads and jazz.
“We’re slower than we were, and older than we were,” Fountain, 79, said with a laugh. “But on Mardi Gras none of it matters.”
Tuesday, the final day of Carnival, was sunny and cold with high temperatures hanging around 50 degrees. That didn’t do much to chill a party that has been rolling since the New Orleans Saints won the Super Bowl Feb. 7.
“I have plenty of antifreeze with me if I need it,” said Jessie Grace, 57, playfully waving a flask from his pocket. “If Mardi Gras doesn’t warm you up, nothing will.”