TEA News

03 March 2021

TEA Digital Presents: Mardi Gras Makeover

 

On February 16, 2021, the TEA Western Division celebrated Fat Tuesday in style with their digital presentation, Mardi Gras Makeover. Brett Jackson of Live Action Attractions hosted a celebration of all things purple, green & gold with special guest speaker — New Orleans native and former Mardi Gras King — Rick Polizzi.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THIS EVENT ON TEA TV

Rick Polizzi has an impressive list of credits, from producer on The Simpsons; to Creative Director for 20th Century Fox World, Dubai; to creating the beloved haunt, Boney Island. But all of these accomplishments take a back seat in the hearts of the New Orleans faithful, because to them, there is no greater honor than being chosen as a Mardi Gras King.

Rick held court as he regaled the 75+ TEA members with an endless array of Mardi Gras stories… at least, the stories he could tell. Rick was very up front about the numerous secrets surrounding the Mardi Gras Parade Krewes. The officers wear masks for a reason. Secrecy is a long-standing tradition in this world of Krewes, floats and parades. It’s all part of the fun.

Although, even though some things were kept mum, numerous interesting details were provided. He discussed the responsibilities of being a Mardi Gras King, which include everything from presiding over the festivities, making sure everyone is having fun (but not getting too drunk), and even a stop at city hall to toast the mayor. As King, he even had his face on a doubloon, something he’d been collecting since he was a kid. One tidbit Rick was extremely proud of was the fact that as King, he even had the power to stop the parade at any point, use the restroom in any house along the route, and they would consider it an honor. He may have even given them a doubloon. It’s good to be the King.

The discussion then acknowledged the pivot this year from Mardi Gras to “Yardi Gras.” Due to Covid and the cancellation of the traditional parades, a large amount of homeowners instead turned their homes and yards into the decorated floats. Plus, many of the same artists that normally work on the floats were even hired to do the decorating. Never underestimate the creativity and artistry of those who love and value tradition.

After the presentation, there was ample time for the numerous TEA members to split off into five different breakout rooms and host their own mini-discussions. Sure, a lot of it was Mardi Gras-related, but it didn’t stop there. There were lively discussions about favorite muppets, beloved EPCOT World Showcase alcoholic drinks, and of course, homemade tiki bars. Once again, everyone may not have been able to meet in person, but the Mardi Gras spirit was alive and well in every single Zoom square.

 

Reported By Jeff Dixon

Posted by Sarah Barges

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