Lafayette, Louisiana’s tradition of celebrating Mardi Gras is legendary. In a recent episode of Discover Lafayette, Rick Chappuis and John Swift, Past President and current President, respectively, of the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association (“Greater Southwest”), discuss the history of Mardi Gras in Lafayette and how their volunteer-led association coordinates this family-friendly festival enjoyed by the community as well as tourists from all over the world. You can listen to the podcast here.
Greater Southwest is not a krewe, but a board of volunteers who produce and coordinate the parades and the City Ball held on Tuesday night of Mardi Gras. They also secure floats for the various participating krewes, hire marching bands, train the volunteer drivers (who are parents of local boy scouts), purchase insurance, and coordinate with various governmental entities to ensure everyone’s’ safety and the clean up after the parades.
Many locals are not aware that the annual celebration is coordinated by Greater Southwest’s all-volunteer workforce and underwritten by private dollars and monies raised by the Le Festival de Mardi Gras a’ Lafayette at Cajun Field each year during Mardi Gras. From March 1 to March 5, 2019, families can enjoy the festival which includes an exciting carnival midway, native Cajun foods and an outstanding line-up of live entertainment. To make the festival a complete Mardi Gras experience, all of Lafayette’s parades roll through the festival grounds. Well known bands such as Nik L Beer, Wayne Toups, Three Thirty Seven, and many more are set to entertain the crowds.
For all information relating to parade times, entertainment at Le Festival, and more, visit http://www.gomardigras.com.