This weekend there was a huge Mardi Gras celebration in St. Louis. We've never bothered to go before, since we're not really the type to enjoy a day long drunkfest. This year, we got an invitation for a pre-Mardi Gras waffle breafast from friends who live basically in walking distance to the heart of the celebration. We figured we'd go ahead, and at least let Charlotte see the parade.
She loved it. I ended up squeezing up to a front position along the parade route where she could see the floats and crazy people going by. I started by standing her up agains the barrier so she could see under the other folks' vision, but once a group of wildly-dressed percussionists came by banging on rainbow trash cans, she decided that she preferred the security of being held. I tried holding her on my shoulders so she could see over everyone's heads, but then I didn't have a hand free to block the hurtling beads that came flinging at her. So we ended up with me propping her on a hip, leaving a hand free for defense.
There was a nice little girl standing next to us named Jaime, who retrieved the beads that landed in front of us on the street, and shared them with Charlotte. Many of the adults that stood around us also shared the beads that came flying their way. We watched for about an hour before the group we were with wandered farther into Soulard towards the bars. Charlotte loved her pile of beads and refused to let me remove any of them from around her neck :) She played with her pile of necklaces all weekend--putting them on, taking them off, picking them up and shaking them, and putting them on my husband and I. I think one of her dolls may have worn some at one point.