Cajun Food Tours

Celebrate Mardi Gras Lafayette Style

February 13, 2015

If you have never been to South Louisiana to celebrate Mardi Gras, you better start planning a trip! Lafayette, Louisiana offers the most family-friendly party atmosphere for the Mardi Gras season.

Mardi Gras, also known as Carnival, begins on the Epiphany, or the 12th day of Christmas and continues until “Fat Tuesday,” the day before Ash Wednesday. Since Ash Wednesday begins a period of fasting and sacrifice, Mardi Gras is all about feasting and fun, and the people of Lafayette know how to make the most of it.

When visiting Lafayette for Mardi Gras, there are plenty of ways to experience the celebration. For starters, purchase a king cake to share! King cake is the tradional dessert of Carnival season; decorated in the colors of Mardi Gras (purple, green, & gold). This delicious cinnamon cake can be filled with anything from strawberry to cream cheese and comes with a small plastic baby. The baby is to be hidden in or under the cake, and the person who receives that piece is “King” for the day and responsible for bringing the next king cake. A couple of Lafayette's prized king cakes: http://www.poupartsbakery.com/index.php?id=10 http://www.kingcaker.com/p/the-best-king-cakes.html

Once you are running on a sugar high from all that king cake, it’s a good time to check out the parade schedule! A multitude of parades run through Lafayette and its sister towns throughout the Mardi Gras season. Once you have been to a Mardi Gras parade, be prepared to be disapointed by all other parades from there on out. At a Mardi Gras parade, it’s all about the festive sights and catching throws. Throws are beads and trinkets that the float riders throw out to the parade watchers. Cheering, clapping, waving, and shouting “throw me something mister!” is greatly encouraged. Lafayette Parade Schedule: http://www.lafayettetravel.com/MardiGras

If you are interested in some even more tradtional Mardi Gras festivities, check out the Courir de Mardi Gras that can be found in many of Lafayette’s neighboring towns. The Courir de Mardi Gras includes tradional patchwork frocks and screen mask costuming, chicken chasing, an escapade for gumbo fixings, a fais-do-do (Cajun dance party), and parades with flatbeds, wagons, and men on horse back. A couple of places to experience the Courir: http://www.eunice-la.com/index.php/things-to-do/upcoming-events/mardi-gras http://www.churchpointmardigras.com/

Other festivities many locals and visitors enjoy indulding in during the Carnival season include attending Mardi Gras balls, Bal du Dimanche (Sunday dance gatherings), les boucheries (pig roasts), and La Festival de Mardi Gras (Carnival rides and games).

by Whitney Ross, Lafayette Native 

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