Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS -- If you wanted to avoid the craziness in the French Quarter or pushing along the Uptown parade route, the Faubourg Marigny was the place to be.
The cool costumes, walking krewes and festive music define Mardi Gras morning in one of New Orleans' most colorful neighborhoods.
This year didn't disappoint.
"We're bloody marys," yelled two women dressed from head to toe in red costumes with olive, green bean and celery garnishes.
One group of women went as the "Real Houseboat wives of Lafourche Parish."
"Our common theme is out white shrimp boots," said one houseboat wife. "We're all ready to go shrimping or crabbing or crawfishing at any time."
One man hit the streets as a 10-foot hammer.
"I'm a builder and my friends suggested, dude, why don't you just be a hammer," he said.
The Krewe of Ragdarok spent three months building a futuristic trojan horse. The float was a hit with the crowd watching the walking parades in front of the R-Bar at Royal and Kerlerec Streets.
"We all just chipped in some money and decided to build it," said Ragdarok member Jefferson Moss. "Everyone loves it. It's fun."
The Marigny was the place to be for the young and young at heart.
"We've been coming down here since I was like 7 or 6," said teenager Hazel Rosenblum. "I've gotten used to it. It's just a lot of fun to see all the different people dressed up."
"When you're like us and a little older and your grandchildren are all away, it's a wonderful, wonderful experience," said Judy David of Old Metarie.
Two couples got married during the morning festivities.
"We're from Wisconsin, Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin," said one of the grooms Carver Maxson. "Where better to get married than right here?"
Another couple from Detroit tied the knot on a balcony overlooking the Mardi Gras madness.
"Every year I come down here and it's my favorite city, and I just decided we should get married here," said bride Erin Neubacher.
Her groom, Chris Scalise, said, "I thought it was great to have all these people at our wedding up on the balcony. It's an amazing time."
Locals say Mardi Gras in the Marigny is all about living in the moment in perfect synergy with this art-filled neighborhood across Esplanade Avenue from the French Quarter.
"Being down here in the Marigny is the essence of Mardi Gras," said Katie Vansyckle. "It's throwing down. It's having fun. It's being completely free."
"There's a lot of fun people out here," said Ben Schenck, leader of the Panorama Brass Band which paraded with the St. Anthony Ramblers. "People understand what this is about. They wear costumes. They behave themselves."
"You go through stages where you got to go to Bourbon when I was in college," said Liz Bragdon. "You got to do the the thing that everybody else does. But, this is the real New Orleans."
The merriment in the Marigny lasted long into the afternoon and from the looks of things, a good time was had by all.