Mardi Gras, also known as “Fat Tuesday” is a French Catholic celebration that has a long-standing history in Louisiana. It is believed that the first Mardi Gras was held in 1837 in New Orleans but in later years, the tradition spread like wildfire in the southern region. Mardi Gras is known for several things but the few popular things that are a part of every discussion are food, weeks of parades, dancing, live music, Krewes, beads and masked balls.
Mardi Gras Events
Green Represents Faith. Purple Represents Justice. Gold Represents Power.
King Cake – King Cake is an old Louisiana tradition which goes like this – a cake is baked and a small baby is hidden inside. Whoever finds the baby, buys the next cake.
Krewe – Is the membership organization for a parade
Throw Me Something Sister/Mister – Shout for throws, which include doubloons (a coin-like souvenir of a carnival Krewes), Mardi Gras beads, stuffed toys and plastic cups.
Motor Gras Car Show – A car show that features some of the classic cars, which have been created over the years
Twelfth Night – More than 60 Krewes who start their last promenade of the gone by and celebrating 2018 with music, dancing and door prizes.
Krewe of Golden Years – Senior citizens who have upheld the Mardi Gras traditions for years celebrate the festival with dancing and food.
Community Dance – Free Mardi Gras dance hosted by the City of Lake Charles and the Community Inclusion.
Vinton Mardi Gras Celebration – A gumbo cook-off hosted by the Knights of Columbus. The cook-off parade will start at Vinton Middle School and will end at Knights of Columbus Hall where the judging will begin. Onlookers can enjoy free gumbo after the judging.
City of Sulphur Mardi Gras Parade – Parade will start from Cypress Street, S-Curve to S. Huntington Street.
King Cake Taste Off – Local bakeries of Lafayette take part in this competition to compete in a variety of cake baking categories. Onlookers can enjoy free cake and cast their vote for “People’s Choice” award.
Lake Charles Mardi Gras Chicken Run – Join in the parade of horses, floats and ATVs along the Lake Charles Civic Center, followed by a concert featuring Zydeco musicians.
Mardi Gras Weekend
Lighted Boat Parade – Enjoy the dazzling boat parade featuring custom boats that will sail on the Lake Charles.
World Famous Cajun Extravaganza Gumbo Cook-Off– Another day, another Gumbo cook-off but this involves all the people from Louisiana. Plus, you don’t want to miss the Cajun and Southern music that will be playing for 6 hours straight.
Krewe of Omega Parade – This Parade involves the Mardi Gras Krewe of Tangipahoa Parish
Mystical Krewe of Barkus Parade – The Barkus Parade involves fantastically disguised canines that March in unique attires to gain the title of “Mystical Dog”.
Zydeco Dance – Live band playing Mambo and Zydeco
Krewe of illusions – The Krewe of Illusions garners great attention and is one of the events not to be missed. There’s an orchestra seating and a ball that requires formal attire.
Taste De La Louisiane – A sampling of traditional Louisiana cuisine
Children’s Day – A great event for children that features old-time Louisiana culture, magic, Mardi Gras music and, arts and crafts.
Mardi Gras Madness 5K – This crazy race starts at the corner of Lakeshore Drive and later coincides with the Children’s Parade. At the finish point, runners can enjoy King Cake, food, beverages and music.
Children’s Parade – A purple, green and gold parade for the young ones
Royal Gala – This Gala is the Cinderella moment of Mardi Gras. It involves more than 60 Krewes with kings, queens, royal duchesses and dukes, courtesans, captains and jesters.
Lundi Gras Day Parade – Hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters, this Parade is a masked party, where people in cocktail attire can enjoy various Cajun dishes, cocktails and music by the New Native Brass Brand.
Iowa Chicken Run – The famous Chicken Run will start and end at KC Hall. In this run, you can ride a float, catch a chicken and enjoy your winnings with a bowl of gumbo while toe-tapping to live music.
Jeeps on Parade (Introduced this Year) – Enjoy a Jeep Parade by the Seven Slots Society on the Ryan Street.
Motor Gras Parade – Gaze upon classic hot rods and motorcycles as they cruise down Ryan Street.
Krewe of Krewes’ Parade – Make it to the final Fat Tuesday Celebration and enjoy more than 100 elaborate Krewe floats, beads and costumes.
All these events will be taking place in near Lakeshore Drive, Lake Charles. Some of the events have entry fees of $10 to $40. The festival starts on Saturday, 6th January and will end on Sunday, 11th February. So, strap on your boots and get your bags ready because this Mardi Gras is going to be a wild ride.
For more events and a complete schedule of balls see our recent 2018 Mardi Gras Ball Calendar!
The Mansion is at the Center of it ALL!
Booking your Mardi Gras celebration stay at Louisiana Cajun Mansion Bed & Breakfast is not only a great idea, it’s also a great value because the Mansion is centrally located right in the heart of all the celebrations. So from Lake Charles to Lafayette to New Orleans, we’re your perfect home base for the carnival season.
Have fun and HAPPY MARDI GRAS!