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40 YEARS OF PINK: New exhibit honors Spanish Town Parade

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BATON ROUGE - The history of Baton Rouge’s biggest Mardi Gras parade is now on display, as the Mardi Gras season kicks off.

A display of flamingos and everything pink now fills part of the Capitol Park Museum. It's just a few steps away from where the iconic Spanish Town Mardi Gras parade route starts.

"Spanish Town Mardi Gras, 40 years of good times and bad decisions. All about Spanish Town Mardi Gras, the parade in Baton Rouge," Joey David, the curator at the Capitol Park Museum, said.

40 years of slight salacious and suggestive themes, throws and costumes that the parade is known for. The items on display can be seen popping out like the signature Spanish Town pink color.

"We wanted to showcase this and let people know this history behind it and the culture that's evolved from it," David said.

On Friday, this year's grand marshal, Jason Broussard, stopped by to see the exhibit for the first time. One day before the popular Spanish Town Mardi Gras Ball, one of the biggest parties of the year in Baton Rouge.

"Just wonderful to see that the museum put this together for us to honor what we do and especially this being our 40th year. It's really perfect timing," Broussard said.

The exhibit honors some of the parade's original organizers like Charles "fish" Fisher.

"I was really glad to see Fish's outfit. Now I'll never be able to fill his shoes but I do have the same kind of shoes," Broussard said.

The collection of memorabilia and pictures is a reminder of how a small celebration in 1981 has turned into the capital city's biggest Mardi Gras parade.

Broussard wants to carry on the legacy of the parade and remember the traditions that it was founded on.

"Like Bill Brumfield always says, ‘if you don't go away offended, come back next year we'll try it again,’” Broussard said.

The exhibit is open at the Capitol Park Museum until June. The museum will also be hosting a Spanish Town Parade party on the day of the parade, February 22nd.

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