The attempt to transplant the Old World ceremonies of Carnival and Mardi Gras to our northern soil has always proved disastrous. Southern cities have had considerable success in frolics of this kind, but as a rule such attempts elsewhere turned out a sad burlesque and there has been a feeling of relief when they were well over.
From the tone of the New York papers it seems that the “Yankee Carnival” there was not a success. The Herald speaks of the “gimcrack day procession, a two mile funeral of show wagons and hand-bill throwing,” “the gingerbread night procession”; the World tells of the visit of King Carnival in “a somewhat heterogeneous fashion”; and the Times has a quite racy and funny account of the show under the head, “the festival of fools, inane stupidity and pageantry.” The great procession appears to have been a long line of advertising vans; or, as one paper expresses it, “a grand combination of dealers, an organized company of advertisers, who occupied the public streets, impeded travel, and nauseated passengers with clap-trap and vulgarity.”
–May 22, 1877, Farmer’s Cabinet (Amherst NH), Vol 75, Issue 46, Page 2