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Lafayette Mardi Gras, USA

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What is Lafayette Mardi Gras?

Lafayette Mardi Gras is one of thelargest celebrations occurring in the city of Lafayette in Louisiana. The South Louisiana region, where the city of Lafayette is located, is noted for holding particular celebrations known as Mardi Gras. These festivities were the result of cultural influence by the French centuries ago.

Lafayette is blessed with thesecond largest Mardi Gras celebration in the state that includes parades of floats, marching bands, dancing and incredible costumes. People and residents of Lafayette celebrate Mardi Gras in many ways, including the traditional Courir de Mardi Gras, parades with bands, the characteristic colorful necklaces and dances at most of its locations and delicious food special to the festivities.



The excitement of Mardi Gras is felt in Lafayette weeks beforehand, so the first festivities begin on the Friday before Mardi Gras Tuesday. The parades held in the city are of grand proportions and people flock to the streets to see with their own eyes the colorful and imposing costumes of the parades.

Mardi Gras in Lafayette is a celebration for the whole family. There you’ll find all kinds of activities for kids, contests and fairs of delicious Southern food that you won’t stop eating.


Lafayette's Mardi Gras is the second largest in the state

Lafayette’s Mardi Gras is the second largest in the state



When is Lafayette’s Mardi Gras

Mardi gras is always celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, as it is the equivalent of Shrove Tuesday, so Mardi Gras is celebrated between the month of February and March. Lafayette’s Mardi Gras will be celebrated from approximately February 5-16. Despite this, some celebrations take place before the official date.



History of the Lafayette Mardi Gras

Today there is printed material indicating that the first Mardi Gras celebration in Lafayette took place on February 13, 1869, which was written up by the local newspaper. As indicated in the article, the celebration was a humble, quiet and joyous celebration. Since then, the Mardi Gras celebration began to be held with some intermittency in the adjacent towns and cities.

During the celebration, all men and women could be Kings and Queens and residents looked forward to the Mardi Gras festivities with excitement. However, the locality suffered some years of certain censorship measures, prohibition and limitations, as Mardi Gras began to be a celebration in which the villagers had to pay to participate. The price for participation was exorbitant, so the bulk of the population protested against it, causing the resolution to be thrown out.



After the reinstatement of the festivities in the city, the Mardi Gras continued as usual until 1896, when it had its first carnival ruler, the King Attakapas, named after the first natives of Lafayette. This first editionwith the ruler was an extremely simple event for the time, without the great luxuries presented today.

Despite the great effervescence provoked by the Mardi Gras of Lafayette, the festivities were off for a while, as they were not held again until the beginning of the 20th century. In the year 1926, the first Children’s Krewe, was formed, again resuming celebrations throughout the city. The Krewe was known as Oberon, today it is still in force and is considered the oldest of all the celebration in the city. A year later, the first high school carnival was held, which was carried out by the teacher of Lafayette High School. The Mardi Gras celebration began to gain more strength and receive contributions to continue to be held every year.



The Modern Mardi Gras

The Mardi Gras continued its celebration for several years, being held thanks to the various families who lived in the city. The same residents contributed to the organization of the festivities so that they could be held continuously, including dances and parades. During the Second World War, the festivities stopped taking place or were simply held intermittently in some years.

After the war ended, the Mardi Gras returned in 1948, again integrating the festivities’ signature Mardi Gras parade. The celebrations continued uninterrupted for years to come and integrated new elements of celebration. Today, the Mardi Gras parades have a definite texture that has been part of the parades ever since.


Where is Lafayette’s Mardi Gras?

Mardi Gras is celebrated in thecity of Lafayette, a parish of the same name in the state of Louisiana, United States..

The city of Lafayette has a total area of 139 square kilometers where about 120,000 people live.


Lafayette Mardi Gras floats cruise through the city streets

Lafayette Mardi Gras floats cruise through the city streets



How Lafayette Mardi Gras is celebrated


Courir de Mardi Gras

These types of celebrations are held in the outlying part of the city, as it is typical of rural and country towns and have been going on for centuries. Many towns celebrate the ancient tradition of the courirs. Men and women in costume go around the towns to ask for ingredients to cook gumbo. The whole event is carried out with music and spectators accompanying the entire route. These ingredients can vary between vegetables or a live chicken and once all the ingredients are available, the dishes are cooked.

This celebration is also accompanied by colorful games and costumes.


Mardi Gras dances

Mardi Gras balls are large shows themed dances, which are usually private events. These Mardi Gras balls happen, for the most part, behind closed doors as they are private celebrations of the krewes for their members and personal guests. These dances can take place before, during and after Mardi Gras and is a custom that other cities also have.



The Krewe is a social organization that holds parades or dances for the Mardi Gras season. Members of the Krewes must pay a membership fee in order to be part of the Krewes and take part in the parades and dances. These fees can range from thousands of dollars a year to as little as $20 a year for smaller clubs. The selection criteria for krewes vary similarly, ranging from exclusive organizations largely limited to relatives of previous members to completely open guilds, in which anyone is able to enter simply by paying a fee.

In addition, the Krewes require members to work and collaborate in the construction and decoration of parade floats and make their own costumes. Paraded members are generally responsible for purchasing their own items tothrow to the public, these can range from chocolate coins or the classic necklaces Mardi Gras. Also, the krewes are autonomous organizations, so they can hold private dances and events.

Lafayette has some renowned Krewes and some are as old as the carnivals themselves. Some Krewes are made up of only women, men or children; however, there are also mixed or family krewes.

Here’s what you can find not only in the city of Lafayette, but also throughout the parish:

Male Krewes


  • Krewe of Andalusia
  • Krewe of Gabriel
  • The Krewe of Iberians
  • Krewe of Triton
  • Les Brigands de Lafitte
  • Mystic Krewe of Apollo
  • Royal Order of the Unicorn


Female Krewes


  • The Krewe of Victoria
  • Krewe of Xanadu
  • Mystic Krewe of Attakapas
  • Royal Order of Eden

Adult Krewes

  • Krewe of Chic-a-la-Pie
  • St. Martin’s Krewe
  • Krewe of Red Hot Scott
  • The Krewe of Wideload
  • Krewe des Amis
  • The Krewe des Canailles
  • Krewe of Joie de Vie
  • The Krewe of Bonaparte
  • Krewe of Bonaparte
  • Krewe of Carnivale in Rio
  • The Krewe of Olympus
  • Krewe of Town Revelers
  • Mystic Krewe of Fou

Familial Krewe

  • Krewe of Karencro
  • Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival, Inc.
  • Order of the Troubadours

Children’s Krewes

  • Krewe d’Amusement
  • The Krewe des Jeunes Amis
  • Krewe of Camelot
  • The Krewe of Oberon
  • Krewe of Versailles


Royal Court of Mardi Gras

The Royal Court is a tradition almost as old as carnivals themselves. The celebration is about each krewe having its own king and queen, these are generally known as King Gabriel and Queen Evangeline. These names are influenced by the poem by Henry Wadsworth, a story of lovers separated during the Acadian exile of 1755 that resulted in many Acadians arriving in South Louisiana..

Both characters attend the private balls of their Krewes. In addition, they each have their own parade that take place on different days.



One of the typical foods of the carnival or Mardi Gras of southern Louisiana is the King Cake. The King Cake is a kind of sponge cake made of wheat flour which is filled with creams, nut paste or chocolate. Generally, these cakes are decorated in an exotic way and have the distinctive colors of Mardi Gras: Yellow, purple and green.

In addition, inside the cake you can find a figure that can change depending on the county and country, each of them has a game or a theme related to it.



The Mardi Gras has a series of characteristic colors that has been part of the traditions for centuries. This combination of colors is a pattern that is repeated in the Mardi Gras of Lafayette, as well as in New Orleans and Mobile. These colors have a particular meaning; for example, yellow represents power, purple stands for justice and green for faith.


Tips for going to the Lafayette Mardi Gras


If you want to spend your next vacation at Lafayette Mardi Gras, we recommend planning your trip in advance, making an itinerary of activities and booking your preferred lodging in advance. Also, be sure to pack comfortable clothing to fully enjoy Mardi Gras.

Due to the physical activity and the consumption of alcoholic beverages, your body can quickly become dehydrated, so we recommend that you stay hydrated at all times. Also, remember to apply sunscreen frequently even if you are not directly exposed to the sun.

Since the festivities are very well attended, we recommend that you plan with your friends and family some meeting points where they can go once the parades are over.

Don’t try to pick up necklaces or candy from the floor when they are thrown from the floats, as they could accidentally step on your hands. If you want to pick up a product, be sure to place your foot on it, so that when the crowd calms down, you can bend down to pick it up. We assure you that your fingers will thank you.

Sense is your best ally during parties, use it and you will stay out of trouble. Make sure you obey the police and do not jump over the protective barriers that are placed on the sides of the streets, these are placed with the purpose of protecting you and the rest of the spectators.


Events at the Lafayette Mardi Gras

Lafayette Mardi Gras has a well-structured schedule of activities where you can identify the various activities taking place all week. Ceremonies and activities begin even a few days before Mardi Gras or Mardi Mardi Gras. In addition, these activities change regularly, so we recommend you keep an eye on all the news that are published on the official website and social networks of the organization.


Friday Carnival

During this day there is a great inaugural parade with the presence of the different Krewes. During the event the streets are filled with hundreds of floats.

The event takes place at 6:30 pm.


Saturday of Carnival

2:00 pm the parades of the children’s groups take place.

6:00 pm the parade of the Krewe Bonaparte takes place.

8:00 pm a communal dinner is held in the city’s establishments.


Sunday of Carnival

Throughout the day, the Courir de Mardi Gras is held in rural areas.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.


Monday Carnival

6:00 pm takes place the DQueen’s Parade.

8:00 pm the Krewe of Triton parade takes place.


Tuesday of Carnival or Mardi Gras

10:00 am The King’s Parade takes place.

1:00 pm Fox 15 television channel’s independent parade takes place.

8:00 pm A grand celebration ball is held at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.


King Gabriel is one of Lafayette's classic Mardi Gras characters

King Gabriel is one of Lafayette’s classic Mardi Gras characters



Lafayette Mardi Gras Parades

Parades are held almost every day by the Krewes who are incorporated into the society of the city. Each of the Krewes have their own carriages and thematiques. During the parade, the krewes can perform a ceremony in which they throw different objects from the chariots, which are caught by spectators on the sides of the streets.


Although there is no single type of gift that is thrown during parades, there are strict rules as to what krewes may or may not throw. Generally, these gifts that are thrown are mainly beaded necklaces of various colors, just like those thrown at Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Mobile. However, it is also part of the tradition to throw dozens of chocolates or packaged sweets and chocolates.


Parade route


Lafayette's Mardi Gras parade makes its way through the city streets to the fairgrounds

Lafayette’s Mardi Gras parade makes its way through the city streets to the fairgrounds



Parades begin at the intersection of Simcoe, Surrey and Jefferson Streets, then down Jefferson Street, turn onto Chestnut to turn again onto Buchanan Street. The parade continues on its way until it reaches Lafayette Street and will continue its course to W Vermilion Street. It continues along the street until it reaches E Vermilion Street and then descends to Johnston Street. The route proceeds to the end of the street and crosses over to N College to finally reach Cajun Field.


The King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras cake

The King Cake is a traditional Mardi Gras cake



What to eat at Mardi Gras in Lafayette

Like many other carnival or Mardi Gras celebrations, the festivities in Lafayette also feature some signature dishes.

The King Cake or theKing Cake is one of the traditions that can be seen repeatedly at various Mardi Gras, including the one in Lafayette. This dessert is a sweet sponge cake containing candied fruit. It also features yellow, purple and green icing, which represent the colors of Mardi Gras. The inside of the sponge cake may or may not be filled with creams or nut pastes and may contain some figure that is related to the festivities.

Another of the distinctive dishes of Mardi Gras is the gumbo. This dish is a thick stew that is made with a Roux of flour, oil and milk. After this, vegetables and meat, seafood or chicken are cooked. The final product is a somewhat thick stew that is accompanied with rice.

In addition, the city of Lafayette offers a wide range of restaurants, bars and cafes that you can visit to learn more about the local and regional gastronomy. Some of the most famous places are: Olde Tyme Grocery, Bon Temps Grill, DON’S Seafood, Blue Dog Café and Zea Rotisserie & Bar..


Gumbo is a traditional south Louisiana stew

Gumbo is a traditional south Louisiana stew



Travel Insurance

From we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurances. Read more information about all insurance offers here:



What to see and do inside Lafayette’s Mardi Gras

Because the dances and some events are exclusive to the Krewes and their special guests, the only option you have is to attend the parades on the city streets. However, don’t be discouraged, as these parades are as impressive as those at any other top-tier carnival.

Each of the krewes has for you agreat, beautifully decorated themed floats. In addition, the people and members of the krewes have costumes that relate to those themes. During the parades, the throwing of necklaces and treats takes place, so be sure to pay attention to catch as many as you can.

All parades feature agreat musical atmosphere that encompasses the entire party, turning the parades into a trulymagical stage.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in Spanish in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world


What to see and do outside of Lafayette Mardi Gras


Lake Martin Rookery

It is a wonderful and colorful lake full of vegetation and fauna typical of the region. You can make several tours, which last about two hours. In this tour you can learn a little more about the fauna and flora of the place.


Acadian Cultural Center

It is a must to attend the museum. Inside you will be able to see a wide range of material that has documented the past life of the ancient residents of the area. In addition, you have photographic material, films, artifacts and statues that will help you understand a little more about the lifestyle that the settlers led decades ago.


Lafayette Science Museum

This is another must-see in the city. This museum has a large number of fossils, exhibits of local fauna and flora, as well as a planetarium and exhibits of photographic material and documentation on geological events in the area. It also has a food fair that you can visit after the tour.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your entrance ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting


Safety at Lafayette Mardi Gras



The city of Lafayette is relatively safe. However, it has some areas that are best avoided. We advise you to talk to residents to find out which area is best to avoid during your visit.

Also, we recommend the following products to safely store your items:



Weather at Mardi Gras in Lafayette

During Mardi Gras, the city of Lafayette can be somewhat chilly, with temperatures ranging from 8 to 18 degrees Celsius. Be sure to bring something warm if you are a chilly person.


People throw objects from Lafayette Mardi Gras floats

People throw objects from Lafayette Mardi Gras floats



How to get to Lafayette Mardi Gras


How to get there by plane

The closest airport to the city is theLafayette Regional Airport, which receives some domestic flights. We recommend arriving at this airport from Atlanta, Dallas and Houston, as they are the main connections from Lafayette Airport. Once there, you can use the various means of transportation to downtown.

We recommend buying airline tickets through or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review


How to get there by car

From the airport take E University Avenue to the city center. The drive is 5 minutes.

You can also take a cab, the price of the taxi ranges between 11 and 13 US dollars.


Where to stay at the Lafayette Mardi Gras



La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Lafayette Oil Center

3 star hotel 2.8 km from the city center. Rooms are air-conditioned and have private bathrooms. The hotel offers a pool, parking and free Wi-Fi.


Homewood Suites Lafayette-Airport

3 star hotel 4.2 km from the city center. The hotel has a kitchen and dining area. The hotel has a swimming pool, parking and free Wi-Fi.


WoodSpring Suites Lafayette

3-star hotel 3.2 km from the city center. Rooms are equipped with cable TV, kitchenette and dining area. The hotel has parking and free wifi.

We recommend you use to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.


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