SURRATT: My favorite time of year is here

Published 4:00 am Friday, January 20, 2023

Unless you are super religious, it passed by unnoticed two weeks ago.

Jan. 6; the feast of the Epiphany. The day the Bible tells us the Magi, or Wise Men, visited the Christ Child. The day is also the 12th day of Christmas and that evening is the 12th night — the start of the Carnival, or Mardi Gras, season and my favorite time of the year.

You can have Halloween with its pumpkins and ghosts and goblins. You can have Christmas with its trees, bright lights and gifts. You can have Valentine’s Day with cards, candy and other gifts (someday I’ll tell you about my experience working retail on Valentine’s Day). And you can have the Fourth of July and its fireworks.

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Take them all. All of our holidays have their own enjoyable characteristics and little bits that I enjoy, but nothing compares with Mardi Gras.

Now, when I talk about Mardi Gras, don’t get visions of the big show they put on in New Orleans. I’ve been to the Crescent City on Mardi Gras Day, the Saturday before Mardi Gas (I saw Bob Hope as Bacchus) and once or twice was enough. When I talk about Mardi Gras I’m talking about the small-town celebrations like those held in Louisiana towns like Addis and Church Point; along the Coast in Biloxi, Gautier and Pascagoula — places like Vicksburg that have more of a family-type atmosphere (more on our little soiree at a later date).

These are places where you can go and enjoy the day with the family and have a good time; where you can find some friendly folks to sit or stand by during the parades.

When we lived on the Coast, I made it a point to take a vacation day on Mardi Gras Day and travel to Biloxi. I had one editor question my annual request and I told him he’d better be glad I didn’t take a sick day. Making that annual trip was therapy; I could get out, stone sober, and act a fool because no one knew me. Also, the lawyer my wife worked for had a friend with an office near the parade route — a very important asset because you had a place to rest and refresh between parades and use a clean bathroom (the most important asset).

Of course, outside of our parade on the Saturday before Mardi Gras, there are no true parades within an hour’s drive from home. So I’ll sit here at my desk, staring at my purple, gold and green beads hanging from a partition, and think of Mardi Gras past; a story for several columns.

So this ends my column for this week, although Mardi Gras will be the topic before our parade in February.

So until then, Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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