Cajun & Creole Carnival
Frequently Asked Questions
Mardi Gras Dates
February 9, 2016
February 28, 2017
February 13, 2018
March 5, 2019
February 25, 2020
February 16, 2021
March 1, 2022
February 21, 2023
February 13, 2024
The Colors of Mardi Gras
Purple - justice | Green - faith | Gold - power
The history of the King Cake began in 12th century France where the cake would be baked on the eve of Jan. 6 to celebrate the visit to the Christ Child by the three Kings. A small token was hidden in the cake as a surprise for the finder.
Throws, Doubloons, Beads, Cups, and More...
The throwing of trinkets to the crowds was started in the early 1870s by the Twelfth Night Revelers, and is a time-honored expectation for young and old alike. Special throws with the Krewe's emblem become collector's items.
Lafayette's Mardi Gras Timeline
1869 - 1st formal Mardi Gras ball and parade
1897 - King Attakapas (1st Mardi Gras king) was crowned
1934 - Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association was formed. King Gabriel and Queen Evangeline have reigned over Lafayette Mardi Gras ever since.
Courir de Mardi Gras
A rural Mardi Gras celebration that dates back to the earliest days of settlement. With its roots firmly in the medieval tradition of ceremonial begging, bands of masked and costumed horseback riders roam the countryside "begging" for ingredients for their communal gumbo.
Family-friendly Mardi Gras
Lafayette's Mardi Gras offers a family-friendly atmosphere. Families take out their spots along the parade route and float riders love to throw beads and trinkets to children. Hot Tip: If you're from out-of-town, make a sign for the parade, like "Family from Detroit" or "Razorbacks love Mardi Gras". Float riders look for these and welcome non-locals with a shower of beads.
You may park along a side street free of charge, avoiding driveways and private property. Don't be surprised to see "entrepreneurs" along the way to park in a private parking lot near the parade route. If you want to watch the parades from the Mardi Gras Festival, you may park for a fee at Cajun Field and admission to the festival is free.
- Stay behind the barricades while the parade is in progress.
- Have fun, but realize that lewd behavior or drunkenness can get you arrested.
- Don't throw things at the float riders.
- Keep an eye on children.
- Items are prohibited along the parade route: Weapons, Fireworks, Bicycles, Glass containers, Pets.
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