I’m a little biased because I used to live there, but New Orleans is the greatest city in the country. Sure, it smells bad and the crime isn’t great (to put it mildly). And yeah, the sidewalks are basically an obstacle course even when you haven’t had a few drinks. A functioning government? You can forget about that too.
But despite all of that, the city has the best food in the country (I will die on that hill), no open container laws means you can carry a drink with you wherever you go at all times, and New Orleans also happens to be home to the greatest party on earth: Mardi Gras.
Everybody thinks of Mardi Gras as one big boozefest where girls get drunk and show their boobs. And while you can definitely find that if that’s what you’re interested in, for locals Mardi Gras is more of a community event. Parties, balls, and of course, parades.
Mardi Gras is actually only a single day (Fat Tuesday) that marks the end of the Carnival season. And Carnival officially kicked off this past weekend, with January 6 marking the first day of Carnival.
Well in true New Orleans fashion, a celebration like that calls for a parade.
Each of the parades during Mardi Gras is put on by an organization called a krewe (pronounced “crew”), and one of the first Mardi Gras parades to roll every year is the Krewe of Joan of Arc.
Now, most of the Mardi Gras parades don’t actually roll through the historic French Quarter in downtown New Orleans, because the streets are way too narrow for the big ass floats in the larger parades. But Joan of Arc is a walking krewe, so the parade takes place in the heart of the Quarter.
But unfortunately, this year’s parade got off to a little bit of a hot start.
A New Orleans Police Department motorcycle that was escorting the parade through the French Quarter caught fire, causing the parade to be delayed.
But New Orleanians are a resourceful bunch, so when they saw the fire, they jumped in to help. (And let’s be honest, it was delaying the parade so they probably just wanted to get on with the show).
Video of the scene shows onlookers approaching the burning motorcycle and doing their best to put out the flames with whatever they had available. And one thing New Orleanians always have available is booze.
Spectators tried dousing the motorcycle with their beer, cocktails, hurricanes, Hand Grenades (that’s a drink, if you didn’t know)…just whatever they happened to be drinking at time, in order to put the cop’s bike out.
It didn’t seem to be horribly effective, but luckily the liquid was able to control the fire long enough for somebody to get a fire extinguisher to the scene and bring the fire to an end.
The best part of the video though? The cops just let it happen. They make absolutely no attempt to stop people from trying to put out the fire by pouring beer on their police motorcycle.
The most “Only in New Orleans” thing you will see today.
The NOPD motorcycle leading the Joan of Arc parade caught on fire.
And how does the crowd help get things under control? Throw beer and cocktails on the blaze!