Mardi Gras Indians meet the Baby Dolls

Mardi Gras Indians meet the Baby Dolls

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - They are not part of any official parading organization, but on the backstreets of Treme and the Seventh Ward today, Mardi Gras Indians ruled the block.

There are nearly 40 Mardi Gras tribes in New Orleans, but only one reigned over Pauger Street.

"Absolutely incredible. A childhood dream," said Hado Haynes, a member of the tribe Trouble Nation.

As he fulfilled a lifelong dream, he also preserved a tradition.

"We're going to try and keep the tradition going. We have a fly boy, and a spy boy, and they are growing into this Trouble Nation," said Haynes.

The Indian strut is the culmination of a yearlong effort, that for Merlin Armstrong Jr. was a family affair.

"I've been an Indian ever since I was 2," he said.

The group turned heads from the Seventh Ward to Treme, where the Black Storyville Baby Dolls were on the lookout. This branch of the Baby Dolls has been around for two years now. They are propelled by the Free Spirit Marching Band and led by Scarlet Monarch and her "road dawg," Sage.

"She likes the second line, but she's a little tired," said Monarch.

This group's been going at it since 4 a.m., with no end in sight.

Though warm this Mardi Gras, Hado Haynes won't let the heat to ruffle his feathers.

"The way my adrenaline is flowing? No way sir," said Haynes.

Haynes had the strut of his life this Mardi Gras - a strut he will never forget.

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