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Historical Lafayette, Lousiana, is home to one of the greatest Mardi Gras celebrations in the United States. Authentic French traditions, cajun cuisine, and fantastic music make this celebration a one-of-a-kind event. Visitors can observe numerous parades, rural Courir de Mardi Gras, dances by Mardi Gras Indians, and other fun activities. Don't forget to try a traditions king cake, throw beads and doubloons, and see Mardi Gras King and Queen.
Parades that start two weeks before the Mardi Gras begin at the corner of Simcoe, Jefferson, and Surrey streets in Lafayette. All processions end at Cajun Field, where the festivities last with live music, excellent food, countless performances, and shows. The Cajun Field also has a carnival midway, vendors, and all kinds of entertainment.
The “Courir de Mardi Gras” is an authentic rural Louisiana tradition when a group of masked riders on horses goes from house to house, singing, dancing, and asking for food to make a gumbo. Villages can throw a chicken, and riders must try to catch it. After lots of fun, jokes, and merriment, the whole village gathers to cook gumbo and party.
The most famous Mardi Gras food is King Cake, a pastry that contains a tiny plastic statue of the Christ child. If you find the baby Jesus in the king cake, you must buy the next one. You can try dozens of King Cake varieties during Lafayette Mardi Gras. Another tradition is to throw beads and doubloons during a parade. It originated in the 1870s during Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans.
Lafayette festivities usually start with Krewe de Canailles Walking Parade in Downtown that occurs about two weeks before the Fat Tuesday. It continues with Krewe of Carnivale en Rio Mardi Gras Parade and celebration at Cajun Field. The celebration culminates with Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival Parade held on Fat Tuesday at 1 p.m.