Images: People of Mardi Gras | Lake Charles, Louisiana

This year I went to Mardi Gras for the very first time, and I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to spend it in Lake Charles, Louisiana, home to the second largest Mardi Gras celebration in the state. New Orleans is known for the more raucous parties, complete with booze and boobs; Lake Charles has nearly as many krewes as New Orleans, but it’s a community celebration, which means there may be a bit of alcohol tipped back here and there, but the emphasis is on good, clean fun.

I loved everything about Mardi Gras in Lake Charles—the fanfare, the food, the parties, the people. Everybody was incredibly happy, and no one hesitated about jumping into the holiday spirit with green, gold and purple clothing and costumes. In fact, it was those without strings of beads around their necks and eager eyes looking for the next serving of gumbo that were most out of place during the Mardi Gras celebration.

Mardi Gras Baby Mardi Gras clothing Lake Charles Mardi Gras Royalty Revelers Lake Charles Mardi Gras Red Mask Mardi Gras Lake Charles Pirate hats Mardi Gras Lake Charles Music Iowa Louisiana Mardi Gras Iowa Louisiana Mardi Gras Mardi Gras Lake Charles Katie Harrington Lake Charles Mardi Gras Gumbeaux Gator Lake Charles Mardi Gras Mardi Gras costume Lake Charles Mardi Gras costumes Mardi Gras Lake Charles dog Mardi Gras Lake Charles bike

My trip to Lake Charles during Mardi Gras was comped, but all opinions are my own.

16 Responses to “Images: People of Mardi Gras | Lake Charles, Louisiana”

  1. John

    Mardi Gras is such an amazing, unique holiday. I half wish that the rest of the country celebrated it as well, but then I realize that might take away some of the special, unique aspects of the holiday and its ties to Louisiana. Either way, it’s a once in a lifetime experience so I’m glad you got to see it!

    Reply
    • JoAnna

      I’m glad it’s almost a distinctly Louisiana holiday. I know we try to celebrate it here in Las Vegas, but it’s definitely not the same, and I’m glad. Some things are better left where they originated.

      Reply
    • JoAnna

      Lots of places hold Mardi Gras celebrations, but I think if you want the real deal, you definitely need to head to Louisiana.

      Reply
  2. Abby

    That is so cool! I so associate Mardi Gras as the rowdy party, so it’s so nice to see all of these kids dressed up. I’d have fun at something more like that!

    Reply
    • JoAnna

      I think that’s what I really liked about this Mardi Gras. It’s definitely a family affair, which is much more my style.

      Reply
    • JoAnna

      Add it to the bucket list!

      Reply
  3. dtravelsround

    This sounds like more of my kind of Mardi Gras celebration than the New Orleans version. I’m so glad you were able to experience this! Such colorful and vibrant photos, too. They really capture the spirit of the event!

    Reply
    • JoAnna

      I had a blast. I was very fortunate to spend my first Mardi Gras in Lake Charles.

      Reply
  4. Gray

    It’s so cool that you were able to participate in Mardi Gras in Louisiana! It looks like a ton of fun (and perhaps not as crazed as Mardi Gras in the French Quarter?).

    Reply
    • JoAnna

      It was a lot of fun! There was lots of high energy, but I also wasn’t afraid of being puked on!

      Reply
  5. Don Faust

    My wife, Chris, and I lived in Baton Rouge and New Orleans for a combined 11years, and in my mind, most of Louisiana is unique from the rest of the country, so I’m sure you had a great time. However (and I am being admittedly biased here), there are a lot of misconceptions about Mardi Gras in New Orleans, and if you don’t go, you are missing out. Sure, if you you go to Bourbon St, it’s going to look like a several block-long frat party at night – but it’s still a tourist trap during the day. if you step off of Bourbon into the rest of the French Quarter, you have Countless options for excellent food and walking parade Krewes, art shops, street music, and non-stop people-watching.

    If you go uptown from the Quarter, all of the major Krewes parade down St Charles Street, through some of wealthiest neighborhoods, and there are tons of families staking their parade route space with lawn chairs and elevated seating for the kids.

    We go every other year – this year it’s Jazzfest for us.

    Trust me – you must go!

    Reply
    • JoAnna

      I absolutely adore New Orleans, Don, and Chris was actually the first person who educated me on how the krewe process worked. I would love to visit New Orleans some time during Mardi Gras to check it out myself and compare the two celebrations. I’m sure they alike and different in many ways, but that’s what makes them unique to their locations.

      Reply
    • JoAnna

      Thanks for stopping by, Ayelet. I would encourage a visit to Lake Charles if you ever get the chance.

      Reply

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