Everyone likes a parade: the music, the people smiling and cheering, the mayor in the convertible, the marching band. But in New Orleans, the Saint Patrick's day parade has all this and more and it comes all the way from China!
The "'tradition" has it that men get all dressed up (which means wearing polyester!) and ask the girls for kisses in exchange for flowers and shiny necklaces. But it's all plastic. From China. I recognize that it's almost inevitable to buy cheap from China and that it's all in the name of fun. But there were thousands of plastic flowers and plastic beaded necklaces being given away only to end up in landfills. This really is the land of plenty and also the land of wastefulness.
We only realized the proportions of the whole parade closer to the end when trailers of people threw the weirdest and unexpected things at the crowds that were cheering and asking for more. I'm not only talking about necklaces but cookies, carrots, candy, ramen noodles, plastic toys, plush toys, and my all time favorite... cabbages. Whole green cabbages tossed around. People we spoke to say it's a lot worse during Mardi Gras....
In the end we brought home around 3kg of beaded necklaces, 4 cabbages, and cookies and carrots that we ate on the drive home. We'll probably keep the necklaces for future use like maybe another Burning Man, cause it really choked us to see what it all looks like after the parade goes through town: