Freedom and Liberty

Freedom and Liberty
I travel in Freedom but sleep in the security of Liberty (not only on the road, but in this amazing country of ours)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Old Style Mardi Gras

Location: Grand Isle State Park (El. 5 feet); Grand Isle, Louisiana

All pictures taken with Nokia Lumia Icon 929 Cell Phone
(click pictures to enlarge)

As you can see from the location, I've moved. However, I'm still playing catch up with the blog. It's Friday morning and posting about last Tuesday and Wednesday. Oh well, here goes.
My new campground at
Grand Isle State Park

My campsite. Nice, relaxing

Last Tuesday was "Fat Tuesday" which is also called Mardi Gras. I've been to the fancy ones with parades, marching bands, beads and throws. I was looking for more of a traditional, old fashioned Mardi Gras and found it in a little town called Iota, Louisiana.
There were lots of crawfish ponds on the way to Iota. The red dots are the traps. The market for crawfish seems to grow each year as more and more people get turned on to them.

The boats used to check the crawfish traps. Notice the large wheel in the back rolls on the ground and pushes the boat through the shallow water. 

All of the Mardi Gras costumes at Iota were home-made and they completely cover the face. Most, if not all, wear a cone shaped hat called a "capuchon" which was originally worn on Marid Gras during the Middle Ages to ridicule and poke fun at the nobility class.

The costumed Mardi Gras'ers begin the day by going to houses in the country to beg for food or money in exchange for singing and dancing. In the past, the residents would give up a chicken or guinea or some sausage. After going to the houses, the Mardi Gras crew would arrive back in town with great fan fare. The foods would go into the big pot for everyone to eat. Much eating, singing and dancing occurs until the stroke of midnight when Lent begins. 

While waiting for the Mardi Gras crew to arrive back in town. Everyone dances, sings, eats and generally passes a good time. 

The arrival of the Mardi Gras crew

The one in the foreground is "begging" for loose change from the people.

There was much excitement and "cutting up" by the Mardi Gras crew.

So that it wouldn't seem like a gang of masked men pillaging the farms and houses, the Mardi Gras crew is controlled by a Captain and his co-captains. They are not costumed or disguised and carry a whip made out of burlap to punish any of the unruly Mardi Gras crew. The rules are strictly followed.

The plain dressed man in the bottom center of the picture is one of the co-captains.

Brightly dressed and rowdy. :)

You can see one of the co-captains controlling one of the more unruly crew member with his burlap whip.

It was an experience seeing this old style Mardi Gras and the music was pretty good. It almost made me want to dance, but then I realized I didn't know how. :(

If you come to Louisiana during the Mardi Gras time. You can see plenty of the new fancy parades before Fat Tuesday but you can also see the old ways on display in many of the small towns.

Ya'll take care of each other. I'll Cya down the road.


  1. That old style Mardi Gras looks really fun. I want to do it that way in the future. Enjoy Grand Isle. We saw lots of dolphins right off the beach inside of the rock breakwaters.

    1. Hello Shawn. I saw a lot of dolphins this morning. This is a great place to relax. Ya'll travel safe.

  2. I'm glad to see you're back on the road and writing again. Being from the South I had always heard the terms, Creole, Cajun, and Acadians, and I always thought they meant the same thing it was just different ways of saying Cajun. I'm glad you cleared that up so I won't make a fool of myself when I'm in that area next winter.
    I also didn't realize that when people went around causing trouble and asking for money and handouts that it was called "Mardi Gras", I guess that's the second thing I learned from your post so, the next time I see that happening I'll wish everybody a HAPPY MARDI GRAS !

    1. I'm glad you liked the post and it is good to be back on the road. I hope you have a nice trip next winter.