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Mardi Gras, Cal Poly and the ‘biggest celebration west of the Mississippi’

Comments (4)
  1. Melissa says:

    Actually, the reason it got out of control was all the out of towners that would flood the streets looking for a party.
    Then couple that with the back up police called in that year from other cities freaking out and getting over zealous, that is what made the stampede. I had friends who were there. It wasn’t our police that were shooting people with rubber bullets and gasing people. The riot started because the police freaked and started gassing people for trying to walk back to their apartments. Then it just escalated from there.

    I grew up going to Mardi Gras as a kid. It was never anything terrible. Yes, there were literally drunk frat guys with no shirts and beer boxes on their heads for eyeholes running around. There were people climbing street signs and awnings to get beads. But the police could always handle them and everyone was respectful. My friends and I would get dropped off when we were 12 and no one bothered us at all. They would let us get beads from the floats and it was a ton of fun. I am still really sad that they ruined the parade and took away a great event.

  2. Odile says:

    Thanks, Melissa, for your memories. My husband, who was part of the group that started Mardi Gras here, and I, who belonged to a krew, also have fond memories of these festivities. In truth, the police always disliked Mardi Gras and wanted to crush it, so, instead of spreading the parade as the public grew larger, they shrunk it to the point that people were squashed against the barriers, became angry, hostile and behaved badly (Put ten dogs in a small area, and they will fight and bite. Put them in a large area, and all goes well.) We really need to ask ourselves why so many cities have celebrated Mardi Gras for centuries, and still happily celebrate it, while our small SLO became the first and only city to kill it.

  3. Melissa says:

    Ya, I never understood why they didn’t just expand the parade route to encompass more streets.

    My mom said the same thing happened with Poly Royal. When she was a kid it was this huge awesome celebration with all kinds of neat booths to visit and if you were a kid you could just go hang out all day and yes, there were partying college kids. But she said it was all really great. and then it got “too big” and it got shut down.

    Same with “Fiesta Days” too. Why do they keep taking away our celebrations and parades? Just make the route bigger and contribute to a happy attitude.

  4. Crizzler says:

    that was a fun night.

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