What to know about The Bayou Mardi Gras Association Parade 2020

Moments before the first Bayou Mardi Gras Association parade rolled down Main Street in 2017, revelry excitement was high among krewes, float riders and spectators ready to yell, ‘Hey Mister, throw me something!’ People of all ages lined both sides of Main Street and into City Park during the inaugural 2017 Bayou Mardi Gras Association parade which is bringing new ideas into its fourth year.

Just when it seems life will get back to normal — a new season and reason to party begins. Then again, that is normal for the Teche Area. Traditionally Mardi Gras comes with the news of the first ball or kings party, which actually occurred in late 2019. The past kings and captains of the Krewe of Iberian and Krewe of Andalusa want more time with friends and members. In the tradition of New Orleans Mardi Gras, kickoff being the Twelfth Night, or Jan. 6, Monday starts a new round of revelry.

Past kings and queens from two of the oldest Mardi Gras krewes in New Iberia will meet to celebrate the start of the annual carnival season from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday at the Steamboat Pavilion at Bouligny Plaza. The public is invited to kick off Mardi Gras at this casual tailgate-style party. Admission is $10 for a wristband available at Paul Schexnayder studio + gallery, American Title or from Karen Alvarez, Margaret Simon or Paul Schexnayder. King Cake and other foods will be available, but bring your own beverages.

More to Come

The kickoff of the Mardi Gras season is a great time to talk about the changes for the 4th annual Bayou Mardi Gras Association parade slated to roll at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25 down Main Street in New Iberia. Co-captain of the Krewe of Iberians and one of the founders of the association, Wess Robison, answered questions about what to expect at this year’s parade.

What is new this year?

We are having a BATTLE OF THE BANDS. There will be two designated areas on the Main Street route where bands will perform. Judges will determine which marching band is the most entertaining and the school will win prizes. We are excited to be the only parade doing this and hope to get more bands participating, which brings more entertainment value to the parade. Present for the first time in the parade this year is our mascot, Jackomeaux the gator. We also have custom Bayou Mardi Gras Association Mardi Gras beads that each float will throw to parade goers. These will be one-of-a-kind keepsakes from this parade.

What is returning that was popular in years past?

We will again be kicking off the parade with a salute to our veterans. This is something we are proud of and will continue to do. Fat City Drum Corps from New Orleans was a hit last year and will be returning. They loved our parade and enjoyed how much people cheered them on along the route.

Do you still need participants?

We have great response for float participants but have more spots available. We want more high school bands. High schools from all over are welcomed. We welcome dance schools and hope to have plenty of color entertaining everyone.

Although it is not “Mardi Gras” day, should parade watchers start dressing in costume as they do in New Orleans?

Great idea and a great way for everyone to participate.

Will there be food along the parade route?

The association does not provide anything but the parade, but we hope food trucks and local restaurants entice parade goers to stop in and eat. Following the parade, the Teche Growers Association will again be having an after party social. Our local farmers will be celebrating the end of another harvest and the beginning of the 2020 season. It will be held from 8 p.m. to midnight Jan. 25 at the Gouguenheim, 101 W. Main St. in downtown.

How can people get tickets to the Teche Growers Association Social?

They can call Kristie at 380-5947 or Joel at 519-7807.Ticket are $50 for food, entertainment by The Beau Young Band and a cash bar.

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