Mardi Gras season 2012 wrapped up and rolled down Ryan Street this evening. After five years here in southwest Louisiana, Mardi Gras has lost some of its novelty for me. It's no longer quite the curiosity it was when I first moved here. But I still enjoy a good King Cake now then and get a kick out of seeing photos of the revelers at their balls. There are still many aspects of Mardi Gras I have yet to experience. Remaining on my list are a trail ride and a chicken run. And I've yet to see the spectacle of the Gala, where Krewe courts parade their elaborate costumes.
After church on Sunday, the family and I went to Taste de la Louisiane, an annual Mardi Gras event at the Civic Center, essentially a nice reasonably-priced buffet of some of Louisiana's finest cuisine. Crawfish etoufee and rice. Dirty rice. Shrimp creole and rice. Sauce piquante and rice. Chicken and sausage gumbo. And rice. Yes, it's all about the rice down here. But it's good! Oddly, they don't make rice pudding here. Which I love.
A highlight of any Mardi Gras season is the oodles of parades, especially during the few days leading up to Fat Tuesday. A few parades had to be cancelled on Saturday due to the deluge of rain. Including one of my favorites; the Kewe of Barkus. What could be cuter than dozens of dogs dressed up in glittery gold, green, and purple costumes? I've seen a number of Mardi Gras parades over the past five years, but never the big daddy of them all, the Krewe of Krewes Parade. So I made a point this year of attending this Lake Charles tradition. We passed a good time. Laissez les bons temps rouler!