Dates: February 21, 2023
Time: 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Looking for something new and exciting this Mardi Gras season? Check out the traditional Courir de Mardi Gras & Chicken Run in Eunice, Louisiana. This Mardi Gras celebration is nothing like parades you see in big cities. Here, revelers dress in colorful handmade costumes and dance through the countryside.
What is a courir?
During a courir, riders go from house to house begging for donations to add in a community-wide gumbo. The highlight of the event is the chicken run, an honored tradition for ambitious, young revelers. During the run, the capitaine will release a chicken or guinea. Participants then compete to catch the fowl. Once captured, it makes for a nice addition to the gumbo.
History of the courir
The Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday Run) dates to when the town was first established in the late 19th century, but the tradition itself goes back even further. These traditions are based on early begging rituals from the Medieval era. The Eunice courir was abandoned for a few years during World War II. In 1946, a small band of riders revived the tradition. Today, the Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras has more than 2,000 participants on the run. The run is always held on Mardi Gras Day, but it is only one part of the five-day Eunice Mardi Gras Celebration. There’s a full schedule of last year’s Mardi Gras events in Eunice here.
How to participate
Registration for this event is required, and participants must be 18 years or older. Visit the run’s Facebook page for additional details you need to know before the event. Registration is open at 6am at the Northwest Community Center. Early risers typically have a better chance of getting a seat on the trailer, but for those who are walking, the capitaine will keep you well-nourished with boudin stops along the way.