South Louisiana is home to the greatest free party on earth, a colorful celebration known as Mardi Gras. In Lafayette, LA residents celebrate in many ways including the traditional Courir de Mardi Gras; parades with marching bands, beads and doubloons; Mardi Gras Indians with elaborate dancing and costumes; various styles of king cakes; as well as extravagant Mardi Gras balls complete with a king and queen. Click the image to the right for the 2018 schedule of events or view the listings below.
TBA – Krewe de Canailles Walking Parade. Downtown Lafayette, 6:30 p.m.
FEB 17 – Courir de Mardi Gras - Old-Fashion Mardi Gras Run. Vermilionville, 300 Fisher Rd., Lafayette. 337-233-4077, Vermilionville.org.
FEB 23 – Carencro Mardi Gras Parade. Starts at Carencro High ends by Carencro Community Center. 11 a.m. 337-896-4147, CarencroMardiGrasAssociation.com.
FEB 23 – Krewe of Carnivale en Rio Mardi Gras Parade. Downtown to Cajun Field, Lafayette. 6:30 p.m. 337-984-6522, RioLafayette.com.
FEB 24 – Scott Mardi Gras Parade. Scott. 1 p.m. 337-269-5155.
MAR 1-5 – Le Festival de Mardi Gras à Lafayette. Cajun Field, Lafayette. Carnival rides & games, live music, food vendors, parades roll through festival grounds. Times vary. 800-346-1958, GoMardiGras.com.
MAR 2 – Krewe of Bonaparte Mardi Gras Parade. Downtown to Cajun Field, Lafayette. 6:30 p.m. 800-346-1958, KreweofBonaparte.org.
MAR 2 – Children's Parade. Downtown to Cajun Field, Lafayette. 12:30 p.m. 800-346-1958, GoMardiGras.com.
MAR 2 – Youngsville Mardi Gras Parade. Youngsville. Public Works building to Fountain View. 337-856-4181, Youngsville.us.
MAR 4 – Queen Evangeline’s Parade. Downtown to Cajun Field, Lafayette. 6 p.m. 800-346-1958, GoMardiGras.com.
MAR 5 – Mardi Gras Show at Clark Field. Clark Field Stadium, Lafayette.
MAR 5 – King Gabriel’s Parade. Downtown to Cajun Field, Lafayette. 10 a.m. 800-346-1958, GoMardiGras.com.
MAR 5 – Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Parade. Downtown to Cajun Field, Lafayette. 1 p.m. 800-346-1958, GoMardiGras.com.
MAR 5 – TownSquare Media Independent Parade. Downtown to Cajun Field, Lafayette. 2:30 p.m. 337-237-1500, GoMardiGras.com.
MAR 5 – Southwest Mardi Gras Association Pageant & Ball. Heymann Performing Arts Center and Frem F. Boustany Convention Center, 1373 S College Rd., Lafayette. 337-291-5540, HeymannCenter.com.
TBA – Half-Fast Krewe of Frank Mardi Gras Parade. 600 E Landry St., Opelousas. 337-351-6943, CajunTravel.com.
MAR 1 – Downtown Opelousas Mardi Gras Celebration. Delta Grand Theatre, 120 S Market St., Opelousas. 337-948-6263, CajunTravel.com.
MAR 1-5 – Eunice Mardi Gras Celebration. Walnut & 2nd St., Eunice. 337-457-7389, CajunTravel.com.
MAR 2 – Sunset Mardi Gras Parade. Oak Tree Park Dr., Sunset. 337-322-5374, CajunTravel.com.
MAR 2-3 – Lil Nate’s L’Argent Tailride, Chicken Run & Parade. Yambilee Arena, 1939 W Landry St., Opelousas. 337-319-0639, CajunTravel.com.
MAR 2-3 – Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras Run. Saddle Tramp Club House, 1036 E Ebey St., Downtown Church Point. 877-783-2109, ChurchPointMardiGras.com.
MAR 3 – Eunice Lil’ Mardi Gras. 461 Sittig St., Eunice. 337-457-7389, CajunTravel.com.
MAR 4 – Lundi Gras Boucherie. Lakeview Park & Beach, 1717 Veterans Memorial Hwy., Eunice. 337-457-2881, CajunTravel.com.
MAR 5 – Courir de Mardi Gras & Chicken Run. 501 Samuel Dr., Eunice. 7 a.m.-4 p.m. 337-580-3365, CajunTravel.com.
FEB 9 – Bayou Mardi Gras Parade. New Iberia. Family styled Mardi Gras Celebration, on the banks of the Bayou Teche on Historic Main St., 6:30-8:30 p.m. 337-367-2844, BayouMardigras.com.
FEB 25 – Krewe of Ezana Jeanerette Mardi Gras Parade. Canal, MLK & Main St., Jeanerette. 1 p.m. 337-255-9539, IberiaTravel.com.
MAR 1-4 – Grand Marais Mardi Gras Dances. Mon Ami, 7304 E Hwy. 90, Jeanerette, Fri.-Sat. 9 p.m.-2 a.m., Sun. 7 p.m.-12 a.m., Mon. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Costume judging at 11 p.m. Fri-Sat., and at 10 p.m. Sun-Mon. Admission fee. 337-365-8655, Facebook.com/MonAmi.GrandMarais.
MAR 3 – Grand Marais Mardi Gras Children’s Dance. Mon Ami, 7304 E Hwy. 90, Jeanerette, 3-6 p.m., Costume judging at 4:30 p.m. Winners will be announced and will ride in the parade. Admission fee. 337-365-8655, Facebook.com/MonAmi.GrandMarais.
MAR 5 – Grand Marais Mardi Gras Parade. Hwy 90 E at College Rd., Jeanerette. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. 337-365-8185, IberiaTravel.com.
MAR 5 – Krewe of Coteau Mardi Gras Parade. Francis Romero Memorial Park & LA 88, Coteau. 1 p.m. 337-577-5099, IberiaTravel.com.
MAR 5 – Family Affair Mardi Gras Parade. Main St., Loreauville. 2 p.m. 337-229-6001, IberiaTravel.com.
MAR 1 – Krewe of Adonis. Morgan City. Begins at the intersection of Brashear Ave. and Federal Ave. turning onto Onstead St. and continuing down Sixth St. to Marguerite St., Ninth St./Hwy.70, Brashear onto Victor II Blvd. and ending at the Morgan City Auditorium on Myrtle St. CajunCoast.com.
MAR 2 – Baldwin Mardi Gras Parade. Baldwin. Begins on Hwy. 182/Main St. at the Sager-Brown facility, continues down Hwy. 182/Main St., turns left onto Martin Luther King Blvd., turns right on Bollard St., ending at Baldwin Community Center on Bollard St. 12 p.m. 985-380-8224, CajunCoast.com.
MAR 2 – Cypremort Point Boat Parade. Cypremort Point State Park, Hwy. 319. 1:00 p.m. CajunCoast.com.
MAR 2 – Krewe of Dionysius Parade. Bayou Vista. The parade will start at Gilmore proceed to John St., turn right onto Robichaux St., turn right onto Mount St., turn left onto Gilmore, turn right onto Hwy. 182 to Tournament Blvd. From Tournament Blvd., the parade will turn onto Fairview Dr. to Pattie Dr. ending at Berwick Junior High School. 2 p.m. CajunCoast.com.
MAR 3 – Krewe of Galatea Parade. Morgan City. The parade includes 16 floats with special throws and marching bands. The parade route will begin on Second St. under the LA. 182 bridge the Municipal Auditorium on Myrtle St. 2 p.m. CajunCoast.com.
MAR 4 – Krewe of Amani Parade. Parade begins at Patterson High School on Hwy. 182/Main St. and continues down Hwy. 182/Main St. to Place Norman Shopping Center 2 p.m. CajunCoast.com.
MAR 5 – Franklin Mardi Gras Parade. Franklin. Begins at Franklin Senior High School on Main St., proceeds east on Main St., making a U-turn and then continues onto Willow St. The parade then turns right onto Third St., disbanding at the end of Third St. 1 p.m. CajunCoast.com.
MAR 5 – Krewe of Hephaestus Parade. Morgan City. Begins on the corner of Sixth and Sycamore St., proceeds on Sixth St. to Marguerite St. to Ninth St./Hwy. 70, to Clothilde, to Victor II Blvd. and ending at the Morgan City Auditorium on Myrtle St. 2 p.m. CajunCoast.com.
MAR 2 – Rotary Club Mardi Gras Ball. Cade Community Center, 1688 Smede Hwy., St. Martinville. 337-394-2233, StMartinville.org.
MAR 3 – Henderson Mardi Gras Parade. Henderson. Starts at Picard’s Auto Parts on the Henderson Hwy. 352 ending at Hendry Guidry Park at the end of Amy St. 12:30 p.m.
MAR 3 – Newcomers Club Mardi Gras Festival. St. Martinville City Fairgrounds. StMartinville.org.
FEB 23 – Mermentau Cove Courir de Mardi Gras de L'anse. 1174 Lafosse Rd., Morse. Traditional run down the back roads of Mermentau Cove making several stops including private homes and Istre Cemetery. Day ends with a fais do-do and gumbo. 337-356-6045, AcadiaTourism.org.
MAR 2 – Rayne Mardi Gras Parade & Celebration. Gossen Memorial Park, 206 Frog Festival Dr., Rayne. 337-334-2332, AcadiaTourism.org.
MAR 2 – Church Point Children’s Courir de Mardi Gras. 1036 E Ebey-Saddle Tramp House, Church Point. Begins 8:30 a.m. Downtown for parade at 12:30 p.m. Awards at 1 p.m. 337-684-2026, AcadiaTourism.org.
MAR 3 – Church Point Courir de Mardi Gras. 1036 E Ebey-Saddle Tramp House, Church Point. Courir begins at 8 a.m. and ends downtown for a parade at 1:30 p.m. 337-684-2026, AcadiaTourism.org.
MAR 5 – Tee Mamou-Iota Mardi Gras Folklife Festival. Downtown, Iota. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. 337-523-6557, IotaMardiGras.com.
MAR 5 – Carnival D'Acadie (Mardi Gras). Downtown, Crowley. Fair, live music and street dance, costume contests, parade. 337-783-0821, AcadiaTourism.org.
MAR 5 – Mamou Mardi Gras. Downtown, Mamou. 337-468-3175.
MAR 5 – Krewe Chic-A-La-Pie Mardi Gras Parade. Downtown, Kaplan. 337-643-6554.
FEB 23 – Lake Arthur Mardi Gras Parade. Lake Arthur. 337-774-3675.
MAR 2 – Jennings Mardi Gras Festival & Parade. Founder's Park, 341 N Main St., Jennings. 337-821-5532, CityOfJennings.com/Events.
Ash Wednesday is always 47 days before Easter, and Fat Tuesday is always the day before Ash Wednesday. Easter can fall on any Sunday from March 23 to April 25, with the exact date to coincide with the first Sunday after the full moon following a spring equinox.
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All parades will begin at the corner of Simcoe, Jefferson and Surrey streets and end at Cajun Field, except for the Children's Parade which is abbreviated. You can view a parade route here.
Parades will be rolling through the streets of Lafayette the weekend before Mardi Gras on Saturday with the Krewe of Rio parade. The weekend preceding Mardi Gras there are parades the Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday. There are more parades rolling throughout Acadiana in the rural cities throughout the Mardi Gras season. Click here for a list of parades and other Mardi Gras events throughout Acadiana.
The Lafayette Police Department places barricades along the parade route for the public's safety. Please remain behind the barricades when the parades are rolling.
The Lafayette Police Department will close all streets on and around the parade route one hour before the event begins. The intersection of University Avenue and Johnston Street, along with the intersection of St. Mary Boulevard and Johnston Street, will remain open as crossover intersections until the parade is only several blocks from the location. Click here for more information.
Lafayette offers a family friendly Mardi Gras and you should not encounter any problems. But like any event involving crowds, you might want to place a note in the pocket of each child with the child's name, address and contact telephone number.
Police will be available along the parade routes but command posts are established at Fire Station No. 1 at Vermilion and Lee streets, Fire Station No. 5 at Johnston and St. Julien streets, Lafayette Police Command Bus at Johnston Street and S. College and at Cajun Field. Medical assistance is available at ambulance units stationed on the parade route. Click here for more information.
The 500 block of Jefferson Boulevard (between South Orange and South Sterling streets) and at Vermilion and Lee Street and St. Julien and Johnston Street, in front of the police command post, are viewing areas for the handicapped.
The Mardi Gras Show at Clark Field offers costume contests, in addition to Mardi Gras Indians, food and live music.
Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette offers a carnival midway, live music, food and, best of all, the parades end here! It all happens nightly during Mardi Gras at Cajun Field.
The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold. Purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power.
A King Cake is an oblong pastry that contains a tiny plastic baby who represents the Christ child. Whoever gets the baby hidden within the king cake must buy the next one. And so the tradition continues on to Mardi Gras Day. There are different styles of King Cake from traditional to modern, all of them delicious.
The tradition of throwing doubloons, beads and trinkets started in New Orleans in the early 1870s when the city’s Twelfth Night Revelers flung trinkets to the crowds while they made their way through New Orleans streets. The idea was so popular with their audience that the tradition continues to this day, although modern throws involve mostly beads and cups.
In the rural areas of Lafayette, LA residents celebrate Mardi Gras with the unique “Courir de Mardi Gras” or Mardi Gras runs where masked men on horseback would travel the countryside knocking on doors, singings songs, dancing and begging for ingredients to make a gumbo. Many times homeowners would throw a chicken to the begging krewe and maskers would attempt to catch the bird for gumbo meat. Musicians sometimes followed the krewes, providing more merriment. When the courirs returned to town, they produced a communal gumbo for all to enjoy.
Lafayette, LA's Mardi Gras celebration is absolutely geared towards families. From staking out a spot along the barricaded parade route to the Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette at Cajun Field with carnival rides and live music you can be sure your family will be safe and have a great time.
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 the Le Festival de Mardi Gras, you may park for a fee at Cajun Field. Admission to the festival is free.
Weather in Lafayette, LA during Mardi Gras is as unpredictable as the revelers you'll encounter. It's always best to check the weather ahead of time and be prepared for anything. An umbrella, poncho or rain jacket is always a good idea even if rain is not expected. The temperature can change depending on the time of day. It could be very warm during the day and drop to colder temperatures in the evening. Dress for warm and cold weather by layering your clothes, adding to and taking off as the temperature changes. Blankets are also a good idea not only for warmth but to sit on while waiting on the parades.
While the parades are in progress you should stay behind the barricades. Definitely have fun and let loose, but realize that lewd behavior and/or drunkenness can get you arrested. Don't throw things at the float riders. It’s not only disrespectful, but you could seriously hurt someone. If you have children make sure to keep them close and come up with a meeting area in case you get separated from each other. There are several items are prohibited along the parade route including weapons, fireworks, bicycles, glass containers, and pets.