Mardi Gras Madness – Part 4

mlab Behind The Scenes, Engaging Culture, Missions

“Mardi Gras is the love of life. It is the harmonic convergence of our food, our music, our creativity, our eccentricity, our neighborhoods and our joy of living. All at once.” – Chris Rose, The Times-Picayune, December 2005 Don’t be deceived – not everyone in the MLab office loves Mardi Gras. While some of us have been working for weeks on finding just the right sequin and feather headband to wear to the parades, others prefer to avoid the chaos that goes hand in hand with Carnival season. But even our staff members who have recently moved to NOLA have given in to the all-important rhythm and beauty of this city, and to be honest, that’s what is really at …

Mardi Gras Madness – Part 3

mlab Blake, Engaging Culture, Missions, Staff

Street preaching, sign holding, tract dispersing, cross carrying, conversation engaging – these are all common sights in the city of New Orleans, especially around Mardi Gras time. In addition to the people who inundate our city for “The Greatest Free Show on Earth,” we also have a number of outside and diverse groups coming to engage in evangelism – sharing the story of Christ with those they come across. We’ve talked a little about what Mardi Gras looks like for those of us who live here year-round: parades with marching bands and bejeweled floats, golden coconuts and bedazzled shoes being thrown – I mean “handed” – to people filling the streets, grandstands, and specially-designed ladders. It’s not all one happy-go-lucky …

Mardi Gras Madness – Part 2

mlab Engaging Culture, Missions

The sun is out, and the sky is the kind of blue you see on postcards. I lean back in my lawn chair that’s been carefully positioned along the parade route and soak in the warmth, the smell of a barbeque pit, the sound of kids laughing next to me and someone playing a trumpet not far away, and I think to myself, “This – this is my New Orleans. This is my Mardi Gras. This is home.” For many visitors to our fair NOLA, Carnival season is a time to escape and become someone else, someone reckless and daring who revels in overindulgence. A trip to New Orleans affords rich food, abundant alcohol, and ample opportunity to partake in …

Mardi Gras Madness – Part 1

mlab Behind The Scenes, Engaging Culture, Missions

The season is upon us – not Thanksgiving, not Christmas, but Mardi Gras! If you’re anywhere near the Gulf Coast (or if you have friends in the area), no doubt you’ve seen pictures of decadent King Cakes popping up all over Facebook and Instagram. But maybe you have no idea what in the world I’m talking about. Allow me to shed some light on the situation. Each year in New Orleans (and some of the surrounding areas), we celebrate what is called the Carnival season – beginning on January 6, which is the “12th day of Christmas” heralded in carols, and culminating in Mardi Gras Day, the day before the Lenten season begins. In New Orleans, we celebrate this block …