The 3-Minute Interview: Matt Hussmann, head of the Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade

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Local,People,Eric P. Newcomer

The Clarendon-Courthouse Mardi Gras Parade will take place Tuesday at 8 p.m. along Wilson Boulevard. Hussmann is executive director of the Clarendon Alliance, which is organizing the event.

What's your role in the parade?

I am essentially the chief cook and bottle washer. If there's a parade to be directed, we're doing it. I'm doing it. Call me what you wish.

How do you keep a Mardi Gras parade family-friendly?

Everybody keeps their clothing on.

OK, so what should people expect?

The parade has got kind of an interesting mix. We've got a marching band. Several different bands. DC Rollergirls. We've got a bunch of parade floats. A moving kinetic sculpture.

What's that?

Somebody in Clarendon built this thing for a kinetic sculpture show. It's human-powered. I can't hardly describe it. It's really cool.

What else is happening?

We've got people throwing candy. We've got people throwing beads. It's goofy and it's fun. This is like the 15th year we're running it. We've got a unicyclist. It's just a mix of music and fun stuff and community stuff.

How should you start out the evening?

Go to Bayou Bakery. The owners are from Louisiana and they always do the Mardi Gras pre-party. Their pre-party is actually going to be bigger than in the past. That's sort of by where the parade starts.

How long will the parade last?

My guess is it's going to be at least an hour.

What's the atmosphere like?

It's the opposite of corporate. It's local. It's local businesses -- they're probably borrowing somebody's truck and trailer. All it's got to do is basically last 15 blocks, or however long the parade route is. People just have fun ideas. A lot of people dress up. It's a real mix of ages and it's just got a great feel to it.

Do people go out afterward?

Yeah, especially the participants. ... The families probably head home -- it's a school night.

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