A bit of information on lighting a Second Line Umbrella for Mardi Gras. 

The second line umbrella is a mysterious part of New Orleans culture.  Well maybe not mysterious, but I sure didn't know what they were for before. Turns out the history is pretty straight-forward.

In New Orleans, there is the second line. Today you can see small walking parades with brass bands all over the city. Mardi Gras second lines. Wedding second lines. Bar Mitzvah second lines. And Funeral Second Lines.

That's right, the fun parade you had at your wedding was originally only for when someone died. It was a group of musicians, that usually offered their services for free, that would march in the funeral procession. They would play music to first mourn death and then celebrate the deceased's life.

But what do funerals have to do with umbrellas? New Orleans is known for its sweltering heat. Anybody else remembers Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire?

He's drenched in sweat the entire film. That's New Orleans for you. Hot and sticky.

During the funerals, people would bring umbrellas or parasols to block out the sunlight and try to keep cool. They were already dancing for the second line, so why not dance with the umbrellas, right? Eventually, people began decorating these umbrellas, and a tradition was born.

With this project, we carried on that tradition. I hope you like what we came up with. If you make your own Mardi Gras umbrella, send us some pictures. We'd like love to see them.

 

HITLIGHTS PRODUCTS NEEDED:

4 x Eclipse LED Light Strips 

1 x 4-Pin Connector 10 Pack

1 x 4-Way Multi-Color Splitter

1 x Battery Power Supply

1 x RF Controller

BUILD COMPONENTS:
Paper Parasol
4 x Square Handkerchiefs
4 x Mardi Gras Appliques (or patches)
Sequins
Spray Adhesive
Sequin Glue
Colored Feathers
Duct Tape
Festive Ribbon