Saints borrow Mardi Gras floats for parade through grateful New Orleans
shot photographs of players from the rear of a pickup truck. “I’ve never seen so many people out here like this. This is beautiful, man.”
The parade, a week before the city’s signature Fat Tuesday celebration, started outside their home turf at the Louisiana Superdome. Black, gold and white confetti floated over the crowd and a man wearing a Saints jacket held aloft a sign that read, “Happy Lombardi Gras!”
The floats stopped at a reviewing stand at historic Gallier Hall so elected officials, including Mayor Ray Nagin, Sen. Mary Landrieu and Gov. Bobby Jindal, could toast the team’s 31-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
“How’s the ’Who Dat’ nation feel tonight?” Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees yelled when his float stopped at the reviewing stand. “This toast goes out to you. We love you and we won that champi- onship for you.”
More than a dozen marching bands joined the team on its route, which passed by the edge of the French Quarter and ended at the city’s convention centre.
Shannon Cobb, 28, said the parade was a party with a purpose.
“Everybody is here for one reason: their love for the city and their love for the Saints and to show our appreciation for what they’ve done for us,” she said.
The Super Bowl win, which capped just the ninth winning season in franchise history, was a stunning reversal of fortunes for a team once derided as the “Aints.” Few players could appreciate that better than fan favourite Deuce McAllister, the team’s retired alltime leading rusher who joined the team on the sidelines for the Super Bowl.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” he said Tuesday. “Everywhere you go, you can see the pride in the fans.”
New Orleans Saints fans greet the NFL football champions during a parade through the central business district of New Orleans, Tuesday. The Saints and fans celebrated the team's 31-17 victory over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV.