Fun for all – Locals celebrate with Super Bowl, Mardi Gras on Sunday
In Nevada City’s battle of beads versus the bowl game, the result appeared to be a resounding tie.
Hundreds of people packed the sidewalks downtown for the 2 p.m. Mardi Gras parade and ran home to their televisions as soon as the parade was over to catch the start of the Super Bowl at 3:30 p.m.
“We are going to watch the football game,” said lifelong Nevada County resident Denise Krutiak. “I already brought beer and I have a party waiting at home for me.”
Krutiak, a Philadelphia Eagles fan, said she attends the annual parade in downtown Nevada City every year but that this year was different because of an earlier start to the NFL’s Super Bowl, a showdown between the Eagles and the favored-to-win New England Patriots.
But the early game did not stop Krutiak and many other football fans from enjoying the Cajun party.
“I come out here every year,” she said. “I love all of it.”
Sunday afternoon, the bars were full and the alcohol was flowing. Everyone – young children, old men and dogs – had their beads on display. The parade featured several dozen floats, including fire engines, classic cars, the Ophir Prison Band and a rock ‘n roll band playing in a truck bed.
All of the parade entries were tossing chains of beads into the crowds – a favorite tradition for many children, including 13-year-old Eva Heppting and her 11-year-old brother Jake.
“The best part of the parade is getting beads,” she said. “The marching bands are pretty cool, too.”
Eva and Jake, who attend the Mardi Gras parade every year with their family, said they are rooting for the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
“After the parade, I’m gonna rush home and watch the football game,” Eva said.
Not everyone had football on the brain, however. For some, the parade was the highlight of their day.
“I have heard about the parade, and this is the first year I have come up,” said Don Rife of Marysville.
Rife came dressed for the occasion, wearing devil horns and yellow contact lenses, which made for an evil appearance.
“It’s Mardi Gras,” he said. “Don’t people dress up for Mardi Gras? I’m just here to have fun. After the parade, I plan on sticking around for a little while.”
Lincoln resident Ruth Pratali, who was attending her first parade while on a bus excursion, said she was mostly interested in what all the fuss was about.
“I’m looking to see what this is all like,” she said. “Am I a football fan? Not today.”
Still, football fans abounded in Sunday’s crowds.
Edwin and Dottie Smith of Grass Valley already had their Super Bowl plans set.
“We have nachos waiting for us at home as soon as the parade is over,” Dottie Smith said.
While she hadn’t decided who she was rooting for, her husband had settled on the Patriots.
Brent Conway of Grass Valley had similar plans.
“As soon as this is over, I’m going to go watch some football,” Conway said. “I’m rooting for the Eagles. Any team has a chance.”
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