LAFAYETTE (LA) – On Friday, February 9, 2018, a brand new Mardi Gras tradition will begin as the upstart Mardi Gras collective Krewe de Canailles (pronounced CUH-nye) will bring a walking parade through the heart of Lafayette. Relying on people-powered creations and no barricades, the Krewe hopes to create an annual combination of creativity, sustainability, inclusivity and just the right amount of Acadiana Mardi Gras mischief.
The first-year theme “Local Legends” gives Krewe members the challenge of creating costumes and floats that pay homage to prominent figures, landmarks, and happenings that make Lafayette unique. Expected appearances include an all-women dance team costumed as businesswoman Sharon Moss, several versions of fitness champion Red Lerille, and a skating troupe of Louisiana IceGators.
Starting at the Downtown Lafayette archway, the parade will march along Jefferson Street through downtown Lafayette and into the Freetown neighborhood before making a final stop with an after-party at the Warehouse 535 concert venue beginning roughly at 9PM.
Freetown’s very own New Natives Brass Band will lead the way with performances both in the parade and the after-party before Lafayette’s very own Lost Bayou Ramblers – who won a Grammy Award for “Best Regional Roots Album” in late January. “We’re so excited to take part in the very first Krewe de Canailles walking parade. It’s a great time to have a new Krewe to parade its way through downtown and Freetown, the areas of Lafayette which have served as a creative center for many generations of local artists and entrepreneurs,” said Ramblers frontman Louis Michot.
“We want this to be a unique Mardi Gras experience for the community – for both Krewe members and parade-goers. Krewe members can express themselves creatively and be a part of a group with a shared interest of doing Mardi Gras just a little differently in Lafayette,” said founding board member Blaze Petersen.
The parade is free to attend and will be most visible along Jefferson Street in downtown Lafayette beginning at 7PM on Friday, February 9. Spectators of all ages are welcome and are encouraged to bring flashlights, costumes, and noisemakers to the parade route.
The after-party at Warehouse 535 is open to adults ages 21+ with $10 admission.