The Mardi Gras Theme

Dorothy Turnbull’s father was a member of one of the crewes that planned New Orleans’ annual Mardi Gras celebrations. She says in the 1940s, it wasn’t like it is now.

It’s a social business.  And they planned each year, they have meetings  and socials each year planning a carnival ball. They have to have a theme.   My father was one of the crewe. They go down and they have it at the great auditorium – public auditorium.  I don’t know what they’re doing today.  It looks like they’re on the street drinking constantly (laughs), but those aren’t the crews, you see.  But they plan a theme, and the theme that went along with this one, my father decided I should be in the court.

This is a photograph from the carnival ball in 1940, when Dorothy was a member of the crewe court. It comes from the collection of Dorothy Turnbull Stewart.

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