03.05.19 Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2016 reposted and updated

I love sharing some of what makes New Orleans’s Mardi Gras so unique.  Below you will see how New Orleanians mark their spots on the parade routes; a group of folks parading in Lazy Boy recliners; Endymion (one of the largest parades) ends its parade by going into the Superdome (2 videos of this); a documentary about Mardi Gras and New Orleans.  Last but certainly not least are the actual floats built by Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the major floats are made.  This is New Orleans Mardi Gras. Because of the horrific NO ALL by the blind referees in the Saints vs. Rams playoff game I’ve included a video of a float and paraders keeping that event alive.

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How New Orleanians mark their spots on St. Charles Avenue for parades!

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Lazy Boy parading!

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Endymion Parade ending in the Superdome

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Police motorcycle units entering the Superdome for ‪Endymion‬ parade.

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Mardi Gras & New Orleans – A Documentary

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Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the floats are created.

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We wouldn’t be true loyal Saints fans without showing you the additions to this year’s Mardi Gras because of the horrific NO CALL by the blind referees in the Saint vs. Rams game this year that kept them out of the Super Bowl.

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Happy Mardi Gras Everyone, from our little home in Amite where the Chauvins are watching Mardi Gras on television like we’ve done for the last couple of decades.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!!

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02.23.17 It’s Carnival Time in New Orleans and the Chauvin family had so much fun!

Friday, February 23, 2017 – Last Saturday the Chauvins from Amite went with the Chauvins from Ponchatoula to uptown New Orleans.  Why??? Because It’s Carnival Time!!!  That’s the song heard all over during the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans.

My long time friend Chip Saunders helped me greatly figure out the best way for us to get to and see the parade.  There are so many people that go if you don’t have a friend along the route or within several blocks of the route that is willing to let you park in their driveway you are out of luck.  Because of that we decided to park far away from the parade and ride the St. Charles street card to the parade. We drove to St. Charles and Broadway parking about a half block from the St. Charles streetcar line.

Streetcars in New Orleans date back to 1893 and travel along four major streets (The St. Charles Avenue Line, the Riverfront Line, the Canal Street Line, and the Loyola Avenue Line.)

We have what’s called Neutral Grounds in New Orleans which is where the streetcar tracks run.  It’s the raised grassy/concrete area between streets going in different directions. The picture below with the Broadway street sign shows the tracks the street cars run on.

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Here are some pictures of us on the streetcar enjoying the beautiful day and the beautiful ride!

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While riding the streetcar along St. Charles Avenue to where it had to stop because of the parade, we enjoyed seeing all the people walking to the parade as well as many of the gorgeous homes lining St. Charles Avenue.  20170218_153715 20170218_153402 20170218_153327 20170218_153303

We got off the streetcar at St. Charles and Cadiz which is two blocks from the corner of Napoleon and St. Charles.  The parades started a few blocks down Napoleon and turned the corner onto St. Charles Avenue.   Three parades followed this route Saturday.  First was the Krewe of Ponchartrain, second the Krewe of Choctaw and last was the Krewe of Freret.  These are all different groups of people and different floats.  We stayed for the first two parades and had a lot of fun!  These photos are just a few of the sights we saw!  Madisyn worked her way through the crowds to get a great first row spot right behind the barriers.

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We saw the children of a friend of ours from Hammond (Nancy Waldo) at the parade on Napoleon.  Eddie, Erin and Melissa Rantz grew up at our church Trinity and were with their dad at the parade.  Haven’t seen them in years so it was nice to visit and catch up.

Here’s the map that shows the route these parades took.  More parades were taking place in other places around the New Orleans Metropolitan Area that day and every day until Fat Tuesday, Mardi Gras, February 28th.  parade-route

The St. Charles streetcar line follows the route shown below.  You can see we got on at stop C and off at stop F.  Some of the most beautiful homes are along the route from F to J but we had to stop at F to see the parade.

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Our ride back to the car on the streetcar was delightful.  This driver saw we were old and gave us the Senior Discount.  The regular $1.25 fare was reduced to 30 cents each!  Old age does have some perks! The driver invited Madisyn and a couple of other children to join him at the front while he drove the streetcar.  They really enjoyed that!  Madisyn looks a bit odd because she had vampire teeth in her mouth!

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Loyola University and some beautiful homes were at the corner where we got off the streetcar to go home.20170218_133758  20170218_132417This is Madisyn who is shielding her eyes from the sun.  Wanted you to see all the beads she was wearing around her neck. That’s vampire blood in her hands!  The vampire teeth and blood, the bow headband that lights up and the pink monkey tucked inside the beads were all from the parade!

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We took a ride down memory lane on our way home showing Kallie, Madisyn and Misty where Grannie grew up in New Orleans and where Daddy Chip lived when he was a baby and little boy.  Fun, fun!  We then drove down Canal Blvd. to show them all where Roy and I were married and where Chip and our oldest son went with us to church when they were little boys before we moved to Hammond.  Lakeview Baptist Church is now  Harbor Community Church.  They flooded and were pretty much destroyed during Katrine.  It’s taken years for them to recover but it looks amazing.  We couldn’t go in so I took one picture through the front door.

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20170218_161528 20170218_161442 20170218_161359 These are some of the pictures we took three weeks after Katrina when the waters receeded.  That’s me looking in through a busted out part of the stained glass. It is so amazing to see what it looks like now.

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I know that kinda went from woohoo Mardi Gras to ugh Katrina.  But New Orleans has history and is recovering slowly but surely.  The fact that this church was able to survive when no one lived anywhere near it for months is a blessing God gave the congregation.  This was the church I grew up in and was married in.  Lots of great history there!

If you would like to learn more about Mardi Gras krewes here are links to the two we saw.

Krewe of Choctaw – started in 1939

Krewe of Ponchartrain – started in 1975

Ya’ll come back soon, ya’ hear!

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02.09.16 Mardi Gras in New Orleans 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016 – I love sharinghappy mardi gras some of what makes New Orleans’s Mardi Gras so unique.  Below you will see how New Orleanians mark their spots on the parade routes; a group of folks parading in Lazy Boy recliners; Endymion (one of the largest parades) ends its parade by going into the Superdome (2 videos of this); a documentary about Mardi Gras and New Orleans.  Last but certainly not least are the actual floats built by Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the major floats are made.  This is New Orleans Mardi Gras.  I think next year I’ll focus on the much more family friendly Metairie Mardi Gras.  Metairie is a city connected to New Orleans that has many parades during the season as well as a large parade and several “truck” parades on Mardi Gras Day!

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How New Orleanians mark their spots on St. Charles Avenue for parades!

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Lazy Boy parading!

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Endymion Parade ending in the Superdome

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Police motorcycle units entering the Superdome for ‪Endymion‬ parade.

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Mardi Gras & New Orleans – A Documentary

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Blain Kern’s Mardi Gras World where most of the floats are created.

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We wouldn’t be true loyal Saints fans without showing you the additions to this year’s Mardi Gras because of the horrific NO CALL by the blind referees in the Saint vs. Rams game this year that kept them out of the Super Bowl.

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Happy Mardi Gras Everyone, from our little home in Amite where the Chauvin’s are watching Mardi Gras on television like we’ve done for the last couple of decades.

Ya’ll come back now ya’ hear!!

mardi gras scriptures

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02.17.15 It’s Mardi Gras time in New Orleans! repost from 2014 and new 2015 pics

This post was published last year on Mardi Gras. It continues to be one of the top viewed posts I publish so I thought I’d post it new this year in case someone missed it last year! New 2015 pictures have been added!nardu gras sign

2014 – I’ve been given the day off work so I’m ready for some play time! I’ve played all morning with our granddaughter Madisyn who is celebrating her 5th birthday! We had a special breakfast of waffles with fresh blueberries and strawberries on top and a fruit smoothie. Lunch was peanut butter and jelly so breakfast had to be special. Roy’s working all day today on his ad creations so it’s Madisyn and Grannie time all day!

It’s freezing cold and raining here today and unfortunately raining in New Orleans and Metairie on the Mardi Gras parades. For those who don’t know, Mardi Gras lasts for two weeks with dozens of parades nightly all around the area. Today, is Mardi Gras Day and even though the weather is terrible enough to keep some people home there are thousands still out on the streets today catching beads, doubloons, trinkets and coconuts. Yes, coconuts! The Krewe of Zulu throw coconuts that have been painted in brilliant colors by hand and are considered a huge prize to catch one from one of their floats.

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KREWE OF ZULU COCONUTS

 

Mardi Gras (in New Orleans and the surrounding cities) is 99% family oriented (acceptable viewing by all) involving massive amounts of food (mostly fried chicken and king cake and lots of BBQ), music, bead and doubloon catching and fun with family and friends. The 1% of Mardi Gras that is filled with nudity, perversion, drunkness, etc. is what the media picks up and shows the world. Never ever fear to come to Mardi Gras because of that. What you see and experience will not include that unless you choose to go there.

One very New Orleans Mardi Gras tradition is the ladders. Dads and Grandpas (yes and maybe some Moms and Grannies) make wooden boxes to attach to the ladders for the kiddies to sit in so they can see the parade over the parents heads and catch tons more goodies. My dad held me on his shoulders for many parades when I was little and I’m sure he’d have liked to have had a ladder back then when I got bigger! The ladders and boxes are painted and decorated in traditional purple, green and golds making the parade route even more colorful! Seems like someone got creative one year and figured out how to get the box to fold up and roll it all on wheels!

Sunday Gras! 026 mardigrasladders mardi graw ladder boxThe New Orleans Police force knows how to do Mardi Gras and keep control over hundreds of thousands of partiers for days on end during Mardi Gras season. This video clip shows a couple of policemen getting into it with parade goers doing the Wobble. Only in New Orleans!

Here’s the policeman back on the streets this morning during the Zulu parade doing the Cupid Shuffle with the residents!

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Another only in New Orleans pictures…. NOPD officers handing out free donuts to the Carnival crowd from the back of one of their squad cars.

mardi gras donutsThe picture below is an old tree in New Orleans that has filled up with beads over the years and lives this way all year long!

mardi gras bead treeI seem to be finding more videos of NOPD officers participating in Mardi Gras this year than usual. The one below is of an officer leading a cheer with the crowd.

Since most of the schools close here for the week of Mardi Gras a good many families traditionally take a vacation to Disneyworld, Colorado or somewhere since most American children are in school and these high traffic destinations are a lot less crowded. A bunch of people from our church in New Orleans where I grew up, Lakeview Baptist Church use to go skiing in Colorado every Mardi Gras. The church flooded terribly in Katrina, was restored and is now a new church incorporated the original membership and another churches membership so I don’t know if they still do that. But this type of tradition take a lot of people away from the city when it is it’s fullest with people from all over arriving for Mardi Gras. This morning the news reporter asked one man where he was from and he said San Diego, then the next where they were form and they said New York and the next was from Washington DC. While the New Orleanians are flying out, the rest of the world is flying in there!

There are plenty of parades before Mardi Gras day for the New Orleanians to get their fill. Just the weekend before are Endymion and Bacchus which are the two super parades with spectacular floats every year. FLOATS are professionally built and quite expensive. TRUCK FLOATS are made by organizations and families and while expensive to make don’t carry quite the huge price tag that regular floats do.

Below are some floats related pictures of floats created by Blaine Kern at Mardi Gras World. Below those are three pictures of truck floats called that because they are pulled by either tractors or trucks. In all the small towns we’ve visited when they had parades they were all pulled by trucks or tractors but none of their truck floats were like the ones in Mardi Gras parades. I loved the small town parades but Mardi Gras has it’s own brand of parade truck float making!

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One of the elaborate professionally built floats built by Blaine Kern
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Another professional float in the Endymion super parade
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Inside the Superdome where both Bacchus and Endymion Krewes roll through, exit their floats and enjoy a wonderful evening partying!
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Inside one of the professional parade building buildings where all the big decorations are created and stored.

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Here’s the Mardi Gras Food Pyramid – don’t know why fried chicken is missing though!

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Okay, our little princess birthday girl just woke up from a good nap so it’s time to quit the blogging and have play time with her!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

Here’s some new pictures from this year’s Mardi Gras 2015!

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Assorted throws from the Krewe of Nyx
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REGULAR SIZE KING CAKE

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“The No. 1 Muses treasure and one of the greatest trophies in all of Carnival, is the custom-decorated recycled shoe,” reports Doug MacCash. “Each year, the glitter-encrusted pumps, sandals and stilettos seem to become more elaborate and expressive.”

Watch the Endymion parade in this 2 minute time-lapse video shot on Orleans Avenue as the 3,000 men of the Krewe of Endymion roll down their traditional Mid-City route with their parade “Fantastic Voyages” on Saturday, February 14, 2015. After the first few smaller floats you’ll see some of the biggest floats in Mardi Gras. Click on the picture below to watch the video.

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“The No. 1 treasure from the Krewe of Muses and one of the greatest trophies in all of Carnival, is the custom-decorated recycled shoe,” reports Doug MacCash. “Each year, the glitter-encrusted pumps, sandals and stilettos seem to become more elaborate and expressive.” Here are some examples and a picture of one of their shoe floats.

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SNOW BALL DECORATED HIGH HEELSmuses shoe float muses shoes 3 muses shoes 2

Here’s something I’ve never seen but it’s very New Orleans Mardi Gras. The Laissez Boys in Tucks. Now do they know how to parade in style and comfort, or what? Viva Naugahyde! Click on the picture below to watch the short video!bill capo

Well that wraps up this years (and last years) edition of It’s Mardi Gras Time in New Orleans!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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02.16.15 Sheet rocking, hose reel and column moving!

aaa useRoy and I really like these sturdy roll up hose thingies (had to look up that word since thingy isn’t a real word but the recommended plural is thingies) and brought one with us to our new little house. Roy attached it Friday so we’re all set. He created some bolt thing made up of three or four different parts to attach to the wall without damaging the vinyl siding.

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ROY CREATED THE ATTACHMENTS TO THE WALL SO IT DOESN’T CRUSH THE VINYL SIDING!

20150214_115702Madisyn spent the night with us Saturday and went to church with us Sunday morning to Trinity and not one picture was taken.  Too much playing!

Her mom picked her up after church and we went on to Lowe’s where we purchased 26 – 50 pound bags of concrete on Sunday. Roy placed them between the ditch dirt walls and the culvert outside wall to stop dirt on the side from floating away if it gets wet. More money gone into the hole, sure hope it turns out to be worth it!

Monday, February 17, 2015 – The sheet rock guys came back to put their first layer of mud on the sheet rock.  Here’s pics which may not do anything for ya’ll but I see progress in every tape and mudding!  The red X in one of the pictures is where the medicine cabinet will go.

20150216_120555 20150216_120608 20150216_120639 20150216_120647 20150216_120731 20150216_120802Roy is going to put the porch railings in between the columns, so he measured the distance this morning.  They should be the same but they weren’t.  One set was 6′ 1/2″ apart and the other was 6′ 3″ apart.  Since the railings need to be the same size and the two sets of columns should be the same distance apart, Roy’s out there right now moving the columns.  This man is so amazing and wants everything to be just perfect – guess ya’ll can see why he married perfect me!!  hahahahahaha!

20150216_120839He’s on his way now to order two six foot railings from Mayeux’s in Hammond where we got all the vinyl and aluminum outside stuff from.  Then  onto Lowe’s to buy something to attach the columns to the cement better – yes Mr. Perfection!

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DISABILITY APPLICATION UPDATE:

Social Security wants my 1983 W2 from Alliance Federal Savings and Loan but they don’t even exist any longer so that will require a lot of digging.  They also want something from 2007 which may be a little more doable but still requires research since I only have tax returns back to 2008.

I needed Southeastern’s approval one of of the LASERS forms but the said I can’t apply for retirement disability since I’m already retired.  I have to contact their main office in Baton Rouge to ask for an exception since when I retired I didn’t know I was disabled, just knew I had brain problems which affected my ability to do my work well. Retiring then seemed  like the best way for me to relieve myself of that stress and for us to get on the road in our new lifestyle.

So I’m stuck with both avenues to disability being blocked at this time.  Hopefully when Mardi Gras is over and I can reach LASERS (yes the state basically shuts down for Mardi Gras and the day before which is Lundi Gras) and when I get the SS information we can move forward.

mardi gras crawfish and shrimp dividerThe sheet rock guys should be back tomorrow for another coating of mud so unless something thrilling happens tomorrow I won’t be writing about construction.  I have updated my 2014 Mardi Gras blog and added some 2015 photos and videos.  That will be published tomorrow morning!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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02.25.14 We’ve been working, playing with Madisyn, visiting family and friends and a little bitty bit of resting!

1559840_10203090630734763_294273035_nI dream of a better tomorrow, where chickens can cross the street and not be questioned about their motives.”
-anonymous

We’re back at our Coast to Coast home park, TLC Wolf River Resort in Pass Christian, MS for 3 weeks.  Madisyn’s 5th birthday party is March 15th so that’s our main purpose for being here at this time.

It’s also one of our favorite parks to stay at, especially when we get to live next to the lazy river for the first 11 days.  Since where we’re parked is the prime area at this resort we’ll have to move before the second weekend we’re here to a location up front.  Nothing wrong with the front, it just doesn’t have the river flowing by it!

A lot of our time in the future will be spent working at our new job, but we do intend to continue including a good bit of sightseeing as we travel.  It’s so thrilling to Roy and I to be part of this new RV opportunity that I’m bursting at the seams wanting to share all about the company with you.  I have been asked to wait a bit longer so I will, but know that when it comes out all RVers will be burning up the wires about this one!!!

We went to Hammond on Saturday night to visit with Chip, Kim and the boys and Madisyn.  Braxton, one of the twins, was sick with a high fever and had to go to the hospital so we at with Chip and Madisyn.  On their way back from the hospital Kim and Braxton came by.  It’s been several weeks since he’s seen us so he was a little concerned at first about jumping in our arms but he warmed up and we were loving on  him good before long.    Of course, we loved seeing Kim, super mom, also!!

Sunday morning went went to our home church, Trinity Baptist where an evangelist/singer Kenny Evans preached and sang.  He sings in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee about half the year and visits churches around the country the rest.  HE WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!!  What a tremendous blessing it was to be in a room full of our dear friends hearing this man proclaiming his love for the Lord through word and song.  We purchased two of his CDs, one is 10 hymns and the other is 10 oldies songs with a word or two changed, sung from a Christian heart.   Songs like “How sweet it is to be loved by you” and “You raise me up”, “Lean on me” and “Top of the world”.  His 12 year old daughter Savannah sings four of the songs and has a remarkable voice for someone so young.  Our son Chip came to church with us at Trinity since Kim had to stay home with the boys and they couldn’t go to their church together.

After church we picked Madisyn up and have her for most of the week visiting with us since she’s off school for Mardi Gras.  Yes for those of you not from Louisiana, we have up to a week off school for this one day holiday.  This is serious business here, but mostly we just enjoyed the time off work that comes along with it.

The last time we had Madisyn for any length of time was a year ago when we went to Disney with her, and this little girl has grown up so much in just that year.  She’ll be 5 on Tuesday and it seems like just yesterday we were at the hospital waiting for her to be born!  She amazed us last night when she wanted to text her mom and dad and she knew how to do it and how to spell everything using the typewriter.  She made a little friend here instantly.  Her name is Sophie and she’s 7 but you’d think they were the same age.  They ran up the little hills and down the little hills and up and down and on and on. I needed to work uninterrupted for a while today so Paw Paw and Madisyn went off on the coast running errands and playing on the beach and picking up burgers at McDonald’s.  We ordered Papa John’s pizza this evening and I’m loving this not cooking!

Since birthday day to a 5 year old is tremendously important we’ll be having a very special day with her tomorrow.  A special breakfast is planned and we’ll go to Covington tomorrow afternoon to meet up with her family for a Chuck E. Cheese mini-party to celebrate the birthday day.

1922144_10201427077385898_203496428_nBetween Madisyn and work, I have had no time to post pictures so sorry about that!  One day I’ll add some but at least you know we haven’t fallen off the face of the earth or something that would explain this prolonged absence from posting!!

Happy Mardi Gras everyone!  It is tomorrow for those who do not know~!

Here’s a link to a YouTube video of Al Jackson singing “It’s Carnival Time”.  This song will be placed thousands of times tomorrow throughout New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast as the carnival spirit oozes its way through everyone whether they are celebrating on the streets or not!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!