This weekend has been fairly exciting, but not for the reason that might jump to mind for most people occupied with the big game in Tampa. There is Super Bowl fever across the country, but it is mitigated here in New Orleans. The reason? Two words. Mardi Gras. No, don't check your calendar. I haven't lost it all completely. The date for Fat Tuesday is still February 24; that hasn't changed. But the hoopla leading up to the big day has taken off this week with the first of several weeks of Carnival balls I will be narrating. The first one occurred Friday with the Krewe of Iris, the oldest woman's krewe in Carnival founded in 1917. Celebrating a 92nd birthday at the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, the krewe members, royal court consisting of maids, dukes, king and queen took part in a tableau titled "On the Road Again." The event ended at 10:30 p.m., but the night was still young. The krewe sponsored a "supper dance" that began at 12 midnight across town at the New Orleans Hilton Riverfront Hotel. After the royal court was introduced (shortly after 12:30 a.m.), the dancing and music provided by local legend Bobby Cure and the Summertime Blues -- the guys who played at my wedding back in 1984 -- continued until the meal was served. That was sometime around 1:30 a.m. Dessert was served around 3:00 a.m. Anyone who doesn't live in New Orleans will never fully comprehend what this whole thing is about, but trust me, once you're sucked into it, you never fully recover.