The beyond-bawdy Bourbon Street Awards: Mardi Gras 2017 video

The Bourbon Street Awards were the hilarious highpoint of Mardi Gras 2017 in the French Quarter, as MCs Bianca Del Rio and Varla Jean Merman presided over the fabulous costume contest with their customary taciturn tastefulness ... okay, they scorched the poor contestants with nonstop berating and beyond-bawdy comments. All in fun, of course.

For reasons obvious to anyone in attendance, there will be no Del Rio or Merman quotes included in this story.

The contest was moved from Bourbon Street to the corner of St. Ann and Dauphine Street this year, where hundreds of fans crushed in from all sides. Before the competition commenced, two New Orleans Police Department officers humbly accepted the praise of the event producers and the applauds of the crowd for their service. The panel of judges took their seats in a balcony across the street, overseeing the small stage from above. Del Rio and Merman arrived some minutes late via white Rolls Royce.

 
Some of the most laughable moments occurred at the start of the show, when it became clear that the taller costumes couldn't fit beneath the proscenium arch erected at the rear of the stage. As the contestants struggled to limbo their ways toward the audience, young men climbed to cut away the advertising banners that snagged the costumes. Naturally, Del Rio and Merman shared acid observations of the proceedings.

In the end, winning contestants were awarded lovely engraved serving trays to commemorate the event, though Del Rio questioned why anyone would want such a thing. The winners were also given cash prizes.

The Best in Drag award went to "The Algiers Ferry," which can be seen at the very start of the video.

The Best Group award went to the "Alice the Giraffe" ensemble.

The Best in Leather award and the Best Overall Costume award went to the Krewe of Apollo, Las Vegas, "Treasure Island" entry, which can be seen at the very end of the video.