Maya Rodriguez / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS – At Bourbon and St. Ann streets when the clock struck 12 p.m., the Bourbon Street Awards greeted thousands of people for the most outrageous spectacle in the modern Mardi Gras Day.
"Ain't nothing wrong with us. Maybe her, but nothing wrong with me,” said Bianca del Rio.
With high hair and even fuller eyelashes to match, emcee Blanche Debris and del Rio oversaw a treasure trove of costumes, from the flamboyant to the even more flamboyant.
"We've been doing this now 10 years, which is a hoot, but you never know what's going to happen," Debris said.
And they weren't alone. This time the city's two top law enforcement officials also stopped by. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro watched from a balcony, and Chief Ronal Serpas watched on horseback.
And just like on stage, the costumes off stage didn't disappoint, with revelers poking fun at some of the disasters of late.
"We used to be commercial fishermen, but due to the oil spill, we now take advantage of the lube and we sell our own Gulf of Mexico premium lubricant," said a man dressed as a BP fisherman.
A man dressed as Charle Sheen said, "I'm Charlie Sheen and this is my goddesses. All of them."
Reporter Maya Rodriguez responded, "Charlie, you just got fired from Two and a Half Men. What's going through your mind right now?"
The man said, "I'm having a good time at Mardi Gras that's what I'm doing. I got Tiger Blood. Duh. Winning!"
Others looked beyond our borders for inspiration. One man was dressed like Libyan dictator Col. Muammar Gaddafi and was with a man dressed as a protestor.
"We've gotten along. We're having better relations now," said the man dressed as Gaddafi.
The protester responded, "We needed to get away, have a few days off."
With so many revelers in costume, some of the people started to wonder: 'Am I in costume?'
"Is this your costume? Are you a news crew costume? Or is this for real?" said one woman.
I responded, "This is for real." And sometimes real can be scary enough.
"At first, I was so paranoid because I said to him, 'I'm like, am I going to be a freak? Am, I going to be the only drag queen?' He was like, "Girl, it's Mardi Gras."
And so it was.