Each Mardi Gras, on the Friday preceding the big day, the French Quarter is graced with the lovely women known as the DIVAs – the Divine Protectors of Endangered Pleasures. These women, clad in elaborate bustiers, hold court on the balcony at Arnaud’s Restaurant, where they can be admired by all from Bourbon Street. At 1:15, they begin their promenade up Bourbon through the courtyard at Pat O’Briens and back down Royal to return to their designated balcony. Accompanied by their royal consorts, the Elvi, and their fabulous Jazz marching band, the Riverside Ramblers, they inspire all who see them along the route. Their specially designed bustier bead throws have quickly become collectors’ items worth stomping some toes for. Be warned, though – you must earn these treasures by showing proper adoration.