"OLD SARGE" TROOPER "OBERON" AT MARDI GRAS
The "Old Sarge" has served in six campaigns (1999, 2000, 2001, 2007, 2008, 2009) during the Annual "Pre-Lenten" Festival of Mardi Gras in New Orleans and Metairie, Louisiana. Mardi Gras 1999 was the "Sarge's" first major "Troop" in his new Geraldo Follano armor. He had to retreat back to the hotel a couple times to repair and attend to problems during this "Shake-Down" campaign. In 2007-08-09, he has participated with the Bast-Alpha Garrison of the 501st Legion "trooping" in up to four parades, on foot (in armor, of course), up to 22 miles in four days and lost about five pounds! - And for the trim "Sarge" - Five pounds is a lot!
LEFT - Old Sarge "Oberon" TD-124 displays a portion of the beads that were "thrown" to him during the passage of three parades on the final day of Mardi Gras, "Fat Tuesday", February 20, 2007. The location is on Bonnabel Avenue in Metairie, on the North Side of New Orleans. The blue bag holds more beads and other so-called "throws" tossed from the parade floats. The "Sarge" attracted quite a bit of attention in his armor outfit and was hugged and kissed a number of times by adoring women; for as we all know, women love men in armor, even old ones! ** RIGHT - Sarge Oberon, with a captured alien on his shoulder, stands "un-covered" while displaying a small portion of the "throw "beads he collected during the three parades sponsored by the Krewes of Argus, Jefferson (Parish) and Elks of Jefferson (Parish) on Mardi Gras Tuesday, February 20, 2007. The two "Jefferson" parades were composed of 150 tractor-trailer flat-bed trucks from which about 3000 riders tossed beads and other items into the crowds lining the parade route. Note the amount of litter that remains on the street after the three hour passage of the Parades. New Orleans partially judges the success of "Mardi Gras" based on the amount and tonnage of the debris that is hauled away during the two-weeks of "Carnival", as the Mardi Gras Season is termed. 060,062 380h
The traditions of Mardi Gras and Spring Festivals can be dated back into Greek and Roman times. Mardi Gras (french - "Fat Tuesday"), as celebrated in the United States, began in the early 1800's. The first Mardi Gras Parades were conducted in Mobile, Alabama beginning in 1840. In 1857 a group in New Orleans, calling themselves the "Mystick Krewe of Comus" (comus - greek for revel or revelers) was formed and conducted the first themed Mardi Gras procession with floats and costumed-maskers on Fat Tuesday, February 24, 1857, which became the model for future Mardi Gras Parades. The term "Krewe" is now the generic title for all "Mardi Gras Carnival" organizations. In 2007 during the two weeks of "Carnival" preceding "Fat-Tuesday", 55 "Krewes" conducted parades in and around New Orleans and the surrounding region. Some of the so-called "Super Krewes" can have over 3000 participants, who toss beads, cups, coins and other so-called "Throws" into the crowds of revelers lining the parade route, which can be from four to six miles long.
LEFT - Trooper Oberon escorts Lord Vader's Mobile Office and Private Coach (aka Jefferson Parish Swat Vehicle) - While on the RIGHT - He poses with one of his admirers. 033,047 380h
LEFT - Trooper TD-124 being hugged by Dr. D' Etat and "Double-Zero" on Fat Tuesday, 2-20-07 ** RIGHT - A flirtatious "lady" keeps her eye on the proud Sarge "trooping" beside her. 052,038 380h
He may be the "Old Man of the 501st", but Sarge Oberon can still "Get the Women"! 031 380hx600w - Below, He poses with his harem prior to his "troop" with the Bast-Alpha Garrison in the "Krewe of Tucks" Mardi Gras Parade on Feb 21, 2009 in New Orleans. 001 400h x 663w
At his age (67 and counting in 2009) the "Sarge" has to get hugs and kisses wherever he can !! Here he shows-off the lip-stick evidence of one of the many kisses and hugs he received during the Krewe of Tucks Parade in New Orleans on Feb-21, 2009. 006,007 300h
LEFT - The 20 float, 500 member, Krewe of Argus Parade staged and ready to move on Veteran's Blvd, in Metairie. ** RIGHT - TD124 alongside the "lead" float of the Krewe of Argus Parade in Metairie, 2-20-07. Mardi Gras floats were originally pulled by teams of mules into the 1950's, but are now hauled by farm tractors of various sizes depending on the float's size and length. "Argus" features a two-section float, while the 2300 member Super-Krewe of Endymion in downtown New Orleans has the "Capt. Eddie's S.S. Endymion", a 240 foot long, 5-section unit pulled by a massive 4-wheel drive plantation tractor. 020,044 350h
LEFT - Lord Vader and his Bast-Alpha Squad on their way in an Avalanche Transport vehicle to participate in the "Tucks" Parade. ** RIGHT - Units of the 24 float, 800 member, "Krewe of Tucks" lined-up and "ready to roll", in New Orleans on Saturday, Feb-17, 2007. 005,007 350h
LEFT - "On the Move" with the Krewe of Tucks along St. Charles Street in New Orleans. Boxes of beads to be "thrown" to the masses are visible in the cargo-bay of the Avalanche Transport. ** RIGHT - Trooper Oberon looks-on as an "Argus" float approaches. 009,039 350h
LEFT - The Sarge is flanked by ????? and their "Vader", Gary Breaux SL-1190, of the Bast-Alpha Squad after the "Fat Tuesday" Parades. ** RIGHT - Lord Vader (Gary Breaux) of "Bast-Alpha", was transformed into "Dark Helmet" with the "Sarge's" Toys-R-Us display helmet, 2-16-07.
Sarge "Oberon" TD-124 extends his thanks to Gary Breaux, Lord Vader SL-1190 of the Bast-Alpha Squad, for many of the excellent photos on this page that he took for the Sarge. Gary is one of those few people that knows how to take a good picture.
The Bast-Alpha Squad (now a Garrison) produced a custom T-shirt and 501st Legion "medallion" beads for Mardi Gras 2007. The medallion beads are now a sought after 501st Legion memento. 070,072 400h
Members of the 501st Legion Bast-Alpha Garrison, representing many different Star Wars characters, move along St Charles Avenue interacting with the thousands of onlookers during the five mile long Krewe of Tucks Mardi Gras Parade on Saturday, February 21, 2009. The famous "St. Charles Trolley Line" operates along the median on the left. For obvious reasons, the car line does not run when a parade is in progress. The above view is in the so-called "Garden District" with its typical New Orleans southern style architecture. The lower view shows the procession advancing toward Lee Circle and downtown New Orleans, as the Star Wars Imperial March blares from the two loud speakers on the Garrison's Transport Vehicle, further exciting the crowds as Lord Vader and his faithful troopers, clones and other minions pass-by. The response most heard from the sidelines? - "I Am Your Father" 002,003 350h
SOME OF THE FLOATS OF MARDI GRAS
UPPER - The Dukes of Zeus float with the King of Zeus to the rear. ** LOWER - The Officer's Float of the Krewe of Zeus. 2007 010,300h,014,015 250h
UPPER - Patriotic Floats of "Zeus". ** LOWER - The Krewe of Zeus 2007 "ready to roll" at 6:30PM in Metairie. Mardi Gras "Carnival" Parades really come alive at night! Trooper Oberon TD124 and David Laville TB-8982 trooped, on foot, in armor, about 6 miles in front of this parade doing "High-Fives" and posing for photos. Each float or its tractor carries a portable gas-generator unit to power its lights and sound systems. 016,018 250h
Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln make their way along Veterans Highway in Metairie during the 25 float Krewe of Argus Parade on Mardi Gras "Fat Tuesday", February 24, 2009. The "Argus" procession was followed by the Krewe of Jefferson with 75 decorated flat bed semi-trailer trucks, which in turn was followed by the Elks Jeffersonians with 4000 riders on 80 trucks. Two additional "Truck" parades, composed of a total of 145 decorated "semi's" rolled through "Uptown" New Orleans on "Fat Tuesday" as well. 031 350h
"Harry Lee's-iana" the two-section float of the Krewe of Argus 2007, Coming, Passing and Going. Note the "throws" in the air being tossed to the crowds by the float's riders. 021,022,023,024 300h
Trooper TD-124 likes trains - so it is natural that he would be with this float. ** The lead "Argus" float passing. 048,026 300h
Argus Krewe "Pelicans" float with the "President's" Jefferson, Washington and Lincoln close behind, and the Barq's Root Beer unit to the Right. Note the 501st member to the left of the "Barq's" Dog wearing the special T-shirt produced for Mardi Gras 2007 by the Bast-Alpha Squad, which in 2009, became a full fledged 501st Legion Garrison. 050,051 300h
The three-section 110 foot long "Baccagator", one of the 34 floats in the 1366 member "Super" Krewe of Bacchus' 2009 Parade. The float, one of the largest of the Mardi-Gras "Carnival", carries 100 riders, who are seen preparing for the parade by opening bags of beads in preparation for throwing them to the cheering throngs of people along the 5 mile parade route. They will also be tossing light-up frisbees, logo decorated cups, doubloons, nerf-footballs, plush toys and other so-called "Throws" to the thousands of screaming on-lookers. Below, the rear of the "Baccagator" and the following "Bacchus" floats are seen lined-up on Tchoupitoulas Street along the southern or river edge of New Orleans. 011,012 380h
The two-section 80 foot long "Baccawhoppa" float of the Krewe of Bacchus "in line" for the 2009 Parade. Below, the "Baccawhoppa" appears ready to gulp-down the puny humans on the balcony, while the "One-Eyed - One-Horned Purple People Eater" looks forward to the feast of people that will be watching the upcoming parade. 020 380h - 023,010 300h
King Kong and Momma Kong waiting to take part in the 2009 Krewe of Bacchus Parade. On the Right, "Kong" considers a house purchase? The crowds traditionally pelt the "Kong" floats with beads and other objects as they pass by and they can sustain a lot of damage during the five mile parade, as seen below, the next day at Mardi Gras World, where Pop, Mom and Baby "Kong" came after the Sunday night-time parade. Note the head of the "Baccagator" behind Baby Kong. 016,025,032,033 300h
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