Thousands celebrate Mardi Gras in New Roads
NEW ROADS- Thousands of people packed the streets of New Roads for the community's two parades today.
The town puts on the oldest Mardi Gras celebration outside of New Orleans. The traditional Mardi Gras celebrations began in 1922.
Over the past two years, weather has thrown a wrench in the crowds at the New Roads Mardi Gras parades. Today's gorgeous but cold weather had revelers packed into the streets.
"My wife and I come down every year from North Carolina for the past five years," Rickie Luke said.
It was a blast for some who said this day was more than just about a Mardi Gras celebration.
"Today is my birthday," one child said.
The festivities began with the town's most historic krewe. The Community Center Parade rolled this morning. All of the floats are hand decorated, and some even featured elaborate creations like pirate ships.
"The parade was awesome," Kelly Edwards said. "We are having such a great time out here."
Shortly after the Community Center Parade, the Lion's Club Parade rolled. The krewe is the only one in the state that primarily donates all of the money raised back to the community.
"I haven't been back here in ten years," Renee Walker said. "I'm glad to be back home."
As folks reflected on the day, everyone was filled with jubilation.
"Happy Mardi Gras from Channel 2," Richard Manship said.
The spirit of Mardi Gras was alive and well, and everyone was thankful the weather held out.
"Happy Mardi Gras," Cole Connor said.
Perhaps those who have been doing this for decades know how to say it best.
"Happy Mardi Gras," OJ Bello said. "Enjoy yourself while you're out here, and come back next year."
Many people said it's the family friendly atmosphere that keeps them coming back to New Roads. Today, the King of Carnival was announced as New Roads Mayor Robert Myer. Myer told WBRZ he's known he was the king for several months, but had to keep it secret as part of the tradition.