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     Prepare to immerse yourself in the vibrant traditions and rich folklife of Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, as Bastrop TX Mardi Gras takes center stage from February 1st to the 3rd, 2024. This inaugural "Cultural Exchange" event is a jubilant celebration of Cajun culture and the distinctive “Courir de Mardi Gras” customs. Welcoming our neighbors from Louisiana, local delegates and residents will join us to honor their cultural traditions, featuring music, dancing and cuisine. 

     Join us for an array of festivities, including a Mardi Gras Ball, a live radio broadcast from KVPI, a sizzling Gumbo Cook-Off, a spirited Mardi Gras Parade, and an infusion of authentic Cajun and Zydeco music. Delight in family-friendly fun with cultural activities for the kids and much more! Don't miss the chance to partake in this unforgettable weekend of revelry, culture, and community spirit unfolding in the heart of downtown Bastrop, Texas!

Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Let the good times roll!

The Culture of Cajun Mardi Gras

Courir de Mardi Gras, meaning "Fat Tuesday Run" in French, traces its origins to medieval France and was brought to rural Louisiana by French settlers. The tradition evolved over the centuries, blending with local Cajun culture to become a festive, communal celebration marked by costumed processions, music, and communal revelry leading up to Mardi Gras.  Originally, this tradition had religious undertones associated with pre-Lenten traditions while incorporating elements of Cajun heritage and creating a unique celebration in the rural Louisiana context.

During the Courir de Mardi Gras, participants led by "Capitaines", often adorned in vibrant costumes and masks, embark on a lively procession through local rural communities, riding horses from farmhouse to farmhouse. The event embraces whimsical traditions such as "begging for food," where celebrants humorously seek ingredients for a communal gumbo. Along the way, there's the playful pursuit of "chasing chickens," while mischievous pranksters inject humor, sing traditional folk songs, and contribute to a spirited, communal vibe in "Cajun Country." The parade concludes in the town center where the atmosphere is filled with music, dance, and other folk rituals that embrace the rich traditions of Cajun culture.

While Bastrop TX Mardi Gras will incorporate various aspects of the traditional 'Courir' celebration, it's important to note that the urban setting of our Downtown area cannot facilitate an authentic 'Run' experience found in the rural Evangeline Parish. We encourage you to experience Mamou's Mardi Gras Celebration, Tuesday, February 13, 2024!

Mardi Gras Suits

Courir de Mardi Gras showcases costumes deeply rooted in early rural France, serving to conceal identities and satirize authority figures. The tradition of wearing these elaborate costumes extends beyond mere visual appeal; it embodies an element of anonymity, allowing participants to take on different personas and revel in the freedom of the festive occasion. Celebrants wear vibrantly decorated "capuchons" hats designed to parody noblewomen's tall pointy hats and mock nobility through a patchwork style dating back to medieval times. All crafted from old work clothes, these handmade and whimsical ensembles, known as "Mardi Gras costumes" or "Mardi Gras suits," feature conical capuchons, bold masks made of screen with painted features, vibrant suits with ruffles, matching mittens, gloves, and colorful belts. The goal is to create a visually striking and festive appearance, while adding to the lively and celebratory atmosphere.

Illustration by Marinna Elinski

Evangeline Parish


Established in 1910 and named after Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem "Evangeline," which depicts the Acadian expulsion, Evangeline Parish, Louisiana, stands as a cultural haven preserving Cajun traditions in the heart of the state. Renowned for its rich cultural heritage rooted in Cajun traditions, this central Louisiana parish encompasses charming communities and picturesque landscapes, forming a cultural mosaic that proudly preserves and celebrates its unique blend of Cajun music, dance, cuisine, and spirited traditions, including events like the Courir de Mardi Gras. For more information see:  Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission

Bastrop TX Mardi Gras

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