Lafayette residents had the chance to re-live Mardi Gras type events at the African American History Parade Sunday afternoon. The event was complete with decorated floats, bead throwing and candy.
This was the 12th year the parade was held, with a focus on celebrating culture and history. It was held on March 1st to close out February, which is black history month.
The parade featured 13 high school marching bands, the Heritage Alumni Marching Band, 5 dance troupes, floats, and motorcycles.
“We are the first African Mardi Gras association that was in the city of Lafayette,” said Chastity Journet, First VP of the Lafayette Mardi Gras Festival. “We come out every year to support the black history program and the parade. this finished off the month well.”
The parade itself has grown since it first began, starting with only a handful of cars and trucks. This year, over 50 floats took part in the parade. It also highlighted successful black owned businesses in the community. Many floats displayed a picture of the original business owner on its front, with more information on the sides.
“Every year it’s going we continue to ask everybody to keep coming out for black history programs,” said Journet. “They have them at kind center, they have them at all the centers around the area. Just keep supporting black history month to support peace and bring everybody together. All of that will add up to better living for everybody.”
The musical talents of Alcorn State University was also featured in the parade, one of the oldest historically black colleges and universities in the country. Not only did the band perform, but they also handed out 30 scholarships to band students.
Each scholarship ranged from $2,000 to $3,000.