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Spotlight on History

Mardi Gras

King Cake


January 6th marks the official start of Carnival season in Louisiana!  From now until Fat Tuesday on February 13th, we’ll be highlighting our Mardi Gras stories on the LDMA.  From the traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras to the Courir de Mardi Gras in Cajun country and everywhere in between, check out the different ways that Louisianans have celebrated this unique holiday through the years.  Laissez les bon temps rouler!



New Orleans    

The Mardi Gras Pageant of Proteus, New Orleans 1941


Krewe of Proteus (1941)

View the 1941 Mardi Gras Night Pageant of the Krewe of Proteus.




Jazz Funeral for the Bad Spirits of Mardi Gras


The Year with the No Mardi Gras (1979)

Due to the New Orleans Police Strike in 1979, there were no official Mardi Gras celebrations in the city of New Orleans.  See clips of the jazz funeral in the French Quarter that was held instead.



Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World


Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World (1984)

Tour the headquarters of Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World as they prepare floats for the 1984 parades.  You can also watch a 1996 Louisiana Legends interview with Kern.



Mardi Gras Indians


Mardi Gras Indians (1993)

Watch a Louisiana: The State We’re In profile of the Mardi Gras Indians, an African American tradition in New Orleans.




Krewe of Rex


Krewe of Rex (2022)

See an exhibit celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Krewe of Rex at the Historic New Orleans Collection.




Courir de Mardi Gras

Le Courir de Mardi Gras


Le Courir de Mardi Gras (1975)

Follow a group of riders on horseback as they move from house to house gathering the ingredients for a communal gumbo.



Courir de Mardi Gras in Mamou



Mardi Gras in Mamou (1991)

Tag along with Louisiana: The State We’re In for the Courir de Mardi Gras celebration in Mamou.



Mardi Gras Mask Maker Lou Trahan


Mask Maker Lou Trahan (2009)

See a profile of Lou Trahan, a Mardi Gras mask maker from Mermentau.




Mamou Mardi Gras


Mamou Mardi Gras (2015)

Enjoy a video postcard from the Mardi Gras celebrations in Mamou.




Artist Herb Roe


Artist Herb Roe (2017)

Check out a profile of artist Herb Roe of Lafayette and his paintings of the Courir de Mardi Gras.



Around Louisiana

Mardi Gras Parade in Denham Springs


Mardi Gras Alternatives (1983)

See a 1983 story on the growth of Mardi Gras celebrations in small communities around Louisiana, including Denham Springs.




Krewe of Yazoo at Spanish Town Parade in Baton Rouge


Krewe of Yazoo (2015)

Learn more about the history of the lawnmower drill team at the Spanish Town Parade in Baton Rouge.




Costumes at the Mardi Gras Museum in Lake Charles


Lake Charles Mardi Gras Museum (2017)

See the costumes on display at the Mardi Gras Museum, located in the Central School Arts & Humanities Center in Lake Charles.




To see more stories, check out the complete Mardi Gras topic.