We were talking the other day about the times of yore, when street lights and flambeaux were the only lights for the night parades as they inched their way through the tight streets of downtown. I remember back in the 60's they went through some French Quarter streets, but that ended in 1973, shortly after glass beads bit the dust and the first doubloons started flying (1970). In 1977, the first parade rolled into the Superdome, to continue it's celebration.
The flambeaux carriers would spin their flame sticks and dance to thrill the crowd and the crowds responded by throwing tips. Everything was close in, so the effect was magnified. Then, as a matter of safety, they went away -- their kerosene-filled, coffee-can fuel store was by today's standards a safety risk. Now, compact propane tanks and flares take their place -- the beauty of the flames dancing to the music is as real as ever.