January 30, 2002 - Party Paradise

A funny thing happened on the way to Mardi Gras. Your purple, green and gold get-up is out of style this year. At least, on some floats.

Need to suit up to ride a float in the Spanish Town Mardi Gras Parade? You might want to go to Party Paradise, where Corrie Hester says they have "Probably about 1,000 of them." Costumes, that is. Corrie says she can turn a media maven into a carnival clown in a heartbeat.

"This is our sort of jazzy outfit," she says, pulling a sequined creation with leopard skin lapels off the rack. "And this is really popular for Mardi Gras." Always a big favorite in years gone by. But Corrie tells me what most of us have already guessed. This year's popular costumes strike a different note.

"Probably right now it would be some of the police uniforms," she says. "We have police shirts, things like that. A lot of people are doing that. We don't have a fireman's costume that we rent. We have the hat, and that's about it." "Show your colors." those are my Mardi Gras marching orders.

"Sure, we've got something right here for you," says Corrie, pulling an Uncle Sam suit off the rack. This is definitely for the guy with the white hair and white beard. Nothing left but to pick out the beads.

While Osama masks were very much "in" at Halloween, the folks at Party Paradise say no one seems to want him around on Fat Tuesday. We hear that Donald Rumsfeld is working hard to make everybody's carnival dreams come true.