No more Friday night Mardi Gras parades in Lafayette

Float riders throw beads during the Friday Night Mardi Gras Parade Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 in downtown Lafayette. (Photo: LEE CELANO/THE ADVERTISER)

(The Daily Advertiser) – According to the Board of Directors of the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association, there will be no more Friday night parades on the streets of Lafayette.

Traditionally known as the “Kick Off” parade, it rolled on the Friday evening of Mardi Gras weekend.

Gene Lognion, Greater Southwest president, said the parade will be moved to Monday night (also known as Lundi Gras) and will roll immediately following the Queen’s Parade.

“Years ago, the Queen’s Parade (Monday night) became too large and we split off some Krewes to run on Friday night, creating the “Kick Off” parade,” Lognion said. “As krewe membership and parade participation have changed, we felt as though we were running two fairly short parades, and thought running both parades on the Monday night would give parade goers a much better viewing and parade experience.”

Lognion added that the revamped Monday night parade lineup will feature as many as 30 floats and 15 marching bands.”

In addition to moving the Friday night parade, the Association is lowering the cost to participate in the Independent parade from $1,000 to $500 to allow more groups and organizations the opportunity to parade.

The Independent parade rolls on Mardi Gras day afternoon and is the only Association parade open to people not affiliated with a traditional Mardi Gras krewe.

The Association’s major fund raising event each year is the “Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette” held at Cajun Field throughout Mardi Gras weekend. Lognion said there will be more entertainment lineups for that Friday night.

The parades on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday pass directly through the festival grounds.

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