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Louisiana Eats: Mardi Gras Northshore Style

The Mande Milkshakers
The Mande Milkshakers

It's Carnival time in New Orleans! But the Big Easy isn't the only place people are celebrating. Just across Lake Pontchartrain sits St. Tammany Parish, a combination of bedroom communities and small towns that embrace nature and a laid-back existence. There, folks in towns such as Slidell, Mandeville, and Madisonville have developed their own unique forms of Mardi Gras merriment. On this week's show, we hear from three of those revelers.

We kick things off with Charlotte Collins, who tells us the story of Mona Lisa and MoonPie, the oldest walking parade krewe in the City of Slidell. In 1984, she co-founded the krewe with a mission "to promote the arts, Olde Towne Slidell, and good humor." Their signature throws are MoonPies – the Chattanooga-made treats – which are tossed by the tens of thousands to eager parade-goers each year.

Then, Tina Rhinehart talks about the Mande Milkshakers, the Northshore's first all-women marching group. Hailing from the West Tammany town of Mandeville, the adult dance team boasts more than 80 members who dress as mid-century housewives as they strut their stuff in parades on both sides of the lake.

Finally, Bonnie Dennis gives us the lowdown on St. Tammany's floating procession, the Krewe of Tchefuncte. For half a century, their flotilla of fun has been making its way along the Tchefuncte River, celebrating the Carnival season, as well as the rich natural resources of St. Tammany Parish.

For more of all things Louisiana Eats, be sure to visit us at PoppyTooker.com.

Poppy is the host and executive producer of the weekly show, Louisiana Eats! Food personality, culinary teacher and author, Poppy Tooker is passionate about food and the people who bring it to the table.