Laissez Les Bons Temps Roluer!
Oh yes, it’s time again for what is perhaps the biggest celebration in the South – Mardi Gras.
From Galveston, Texas to Pensacola, Fla., beads, doubloons, Moon Pies and other trinkets are getting ready to be thrown off floats by the krewes to the people below chanting, “throw me something mister!”
It’s a sight to be seen, and definitely an event everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime.
Rich in history, the celebration begins on January 6 (“Twelfth Night” or “Epiphany”) and culminates on Fat Tuesday, which this year falls on February 16 (the Tuesday before Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday.) In between, there are parties, balls and other colorful events. However, visitors tend to flock to the celebrations the weekend prior to Fat Tuesday and a few brave it out to that day (or night.)
Even though Mardi Gras tends to be synonymous with New Orleans, the first-ever celebration took place in Mobile, Ala. And today, they are still going strong.
No matter where you may be in the South, you’re more than likely a few hours away from a Mardi Gras celebration. In addition to the destinations mentioned above, here’s a quick look at what’s happening in other places in Louisiana, as well as the Gulf Coast during the season.
In Southwest Louisiana (think Lake Charles and the surrounding area), you find a little of everything, including parades and block party on Fat Tuesday.
Mardi Gras celebration in Alexandria, La., has a Taste of Mardi Gras (February 12) and a King Cake Party (February 13).
Get ready to catch some throws during the parades in Shreveport, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, and Houma, La.
It’s “Carnival on the Coast” for all ages along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With 23 parades in the three counties that make up the area, no doubt about it, they know how to celebrate.
Quick Facts about Mardi Gras
Do you know what the Mardi Gras colors purple, green and gold represent? Justice, faith and power.
Many of the parades are family-friendly, even for young children. Make this time into a weekend trip so everyone can experience Mardi Gras.
If you’re a little light on the lingo or have additional Mardi Gras questions, be sure to check out Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide.