Lafayette celebrates the 2nd largest Mardi Gras in Louisiana. That's something you probably already knew. However, did you know the first ever Lafayette Mardi Gras King was crowned over 100 years ago?

That's right, we've been doing this Mardi Gras thing pretty strong for over 100 years. The first Lafayette Mardi Gras King ever was crowned way back in 1897!

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Lafayette is home to the state's second largest Mardi Gras celebration,[35][36][37][38] which includes eight parades of floats and bands during the Carnival season. The first parade, ten days before Mardi Gras, is the celebrity-led "Krewe of Carnivale en Rio Parada", featuring over 600 riders. Parade royalty on Fat Tuesday includes King Gabriel and Queen Evangeline, named for the hero and heroine of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem; and King Toussaint L'Ouverture and Queen Suzanne Simonet, named for the great Haitian historical leaders. Mardi Gras parades have been an annual tradition in Lafayette since 1934. Recent attendance on Mardi Gras day has been estimated as high as 250,000 by police spokespersons.[36][39] The first formal Mardi Gras ball and parade in Lafayette dates back to 1869.


In 1897, King Attakapas, the first Lafayette Mardi Gras king was crowned. He rode into town on a Southern Pacific train decorated to look like a royal throne and led the parade. After 1897, formal Mardi Gras parades and balls seemed to come and go until 1934 when the Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras association was formed by representatives from civic and service organizations to ensure that Lafayette would always have a Mardi Gras celebration.

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