Mardi Gras is an exciting holiday for the Bayou State.
It attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world, and is a huge tourism and economic boost.
But that boost comes at a cost for krewes putting on the balls and parades.
Meet Jeanie Simon Domingue who says you start planning as soon as Mardi Gras is over. She’s a pro when it comes to everything Mardi Gras. The Mississippi native moved to Lafayette in 1977, but didn’t join a krewe until 1992.
She’s been involved with Mardi Gras festivities for 25 years and as captain of a couple of krewes, she knows what to do.
Domingue says you have to decide the theme, think about all the characters and costumes, contact all the vendors, lighting and production company, seamstress, a band and get them on the calendar because it’s first come first served.
She says one the court is selected, they have to get measured, fabrics need to be chosen, beads and feathers ordered.
Domingue says feathers are ordered from either Miami or Rio de Janeiro and that’s done during the summer.
Of course it all adds up to quite a big Mardi Gras celebration and a big economic boost for Lafayette…offering an enchanting time for krewe members, their guests, revelers and parade goers.
Joining a krewe can cost as little as a couple of hundred a year to thousands of dollars.
But that pales in comparison to what krewes throw out financially to put on balls, luncheons and parades…with some looking a total price tag of a more than a half million dollars.
For example, beads can cost as much as $350,000!
For Domingue, it’s all worth it. She says, “I love it, I live it, eat breathe it! Mardi Gras, I love it!”