The final Mardi Gras step count from our St. Aug drum major

Every Mardi Gras season, the St. Augustine High School Marching 100 band wears out its purple-and-gold soles entertaining crowds on the parade routes. This year, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune put a pedometer on senior Gerron Coleman, one of the band's four drum majors, for a Carnival calculation: How many steps do they take? 

A few guesses from social media:

  • 175,000
  • 187,676
  • 220,000
  • 250,000
  • 600,000

In fact, the nine parades totaled ... 

Surprised? Coleman was. "I actually didn't know we took that many steps," he said Thursday (Feb. 11). 

It included a 53,129-step, 8 1/3-mile Sunday, when the band marched the Uptown New Orleans route with the Krewe of Mid-City, then doubled back to the start to parade again with Bacchus. That followed Endymion, which required 29,330 steps on Saturday. 

Coleman said he completed Carnival with just a little muscle soreness. He even attended a couple of parades on the sidelines, and he didn't succumb to sentiment: "After Zulu, normally, most of the seniors cry. But I wasn't one who cried."

Reflecting on the experience, Coleman said, "It felt wonderful knowing that I am the one (who) marched in front." And he was especially delighted by "hearing the crowd say, 'Which of you wore the pedometer?'" 

The drum majors aren't allowed to talk to the audience, he said. But "it was tempting to say, 'It's me.'"