Mardi Gras SWLA-Brief History
Did you know Lake Charles has the 2nd largest Mardi Gras in the state? that tradition goes way back to the 1880's, too. Here's a bit of history and some vintage pictures of Mardi Gras past..
According to Johnny Pierre's wonderful blog about Mardi Gras
By 1837, unofficial parades were held in the streets of various southern cities. By 1872, the Krewe of Rex held their first official parade. The parade was in honor of the visiting Grand Duke Alexis of Russia. It is here that the official colors of Carnival were instituted. The Krewe of Rex chose the royal colors of the Romanoff family of Russia as their backdrop. This choice of colors continues to be used to this day. The colors are purple which stands for justice, gold for power and green for faith. The Krewe of Rex was also the first Krewe to throw trinkets to the crowd during parades.
For some great Mardi Gras stories and more pictures, please visit Johnny's Blog..Just click on the vintage picture below!
Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana has a colorful history dating back to 1882, when Momus, King of Mardi Gras, landed his royal yacht at the foot of Pujo Street. After this event, Mardi Gras was celebrated in a spirit which included Mardi Gras "runs" in Lake Charles and surrounding areas.
With the onset of a World War, this joyous occasion went "underground" for many years and was almost forgotten by the generations that had not experienced the festivities of the Mardi Gras season first hand. However, there were a few that wanted to keep this tradition alive, and the first Mardi Gras Ball in this area was staged in 1964.
Mardi Gras did not experience a full revival in Lake Charles until 1979, when several Krewe captains formed the "Krewe of Krewes" with the prime purpose of parading and promoting Mardi Gras for the Southwest Louisiana area. Just six years later in 1985, Mardi Gras of Imperial Calcasieu, Inc. was formed by a group of civic-minded volunteers, further enhancing and enlarging the modern day Mardi Gras celebration.
Mardi Gras of Imperial Calcasieu celebration begins January 6 with the annual Twelfth Night Revelry. The entire community, along with anyone who might wish to sample our Southwest Louisiana atmosphere during a most exciting season, is encouraged to come out and join in the merriment of Mardi Gras.
Lake Charles has a great Mardi Gras Museum..Follow this link to have a virtual visit..MUSEUM