Saturday, February 3rd, hundreds of people gathered from the Sweetland Amphitheatre and all around Lafayette Square to celebrate Mardi Gras. In New Orleans, Louisiana, Mardi Gras is a celebration stretching from the Twelfth Night (the last day of Christmas) all the way to Ash Wednesday. This is a huge event, with parties, dancing, parades, and feasting before Lent begins. In LaGrange, many members of the Krewe of Mask grew up with Mardi Gras, and wanted to bring its traditions to the people of Troup County. Krewe of Mask succeeded in doing just that with their second annual Mardi Gras parade.
The parade started at the Sweetland Amphitheatre, and rolled throughout the downtown area. People lined the streets as beautifully decorated parade floats went by. Everyone was excited to catch beads, candy, coins, and other party favors from the floats. The bright colors entranced everyone, while the jazz music made parade-goers feel transported to Louisiana. There were lots of familiar faces in this year’s parade. Neil and Trish Leichty, Krewe of Mask King and Queen of Mardi Gras, gracefully waved at their subjects below. Tyler McCoy, King of Behind the Mask Mardi Gras, even made an appearance throwing beads from Dale Jackson’s Jeep. Local businesses also had floats this year such as La- Grange Internal Medicine and this year’s parade theme was mythical creatures. Dragons, a Pegasus, the Kraken, a Phoenix, Medusa, and even Big Foot himself waved from atop their floats. The crowd also got to wave hello to the Easter Bunny, as he brought up the rear of the parade.
The parade floats this year were very well done, and choosing winners was especially difficult for the judges. Winners this year were as follows: Best Costume from the Crowd: Brooklyn Painter, Best Music: Mythical Creatures #14, Best Rhythm: La-Grange Internal Medicine #23, Best Precision Unit: Troup High School Color Guard #1, Best Float: The Kraken #26, Best Pedestrian Unit: The Dragon #17, Most Fun Unit: The Viking Dragons #18, Most Artistic Unit: Mythical Toys #38, Most Imaginative Unit: Sweet Pea’s #35, Best Automobile: 1930 Ford Phaeton driven by Pat Tyler #20, and Judges Choice: The Kraken #26.
The family-friendly Mardi Gras parade was a huge celebration, and it means a lot to the people of Troup County to have community events such as this. It’s important to have the entire community come together to have fun and make them feel connected. Krewe of Mask certainly, as the Cajun French expression goes, “laissez les bons temps rouler!”, or, “let the good times roll!”