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February 1st


The festival will feature a Mardi Gras Parade, where locals and visitors alike can join in the revelry, don traditional costumes, and embrace the rich traditions of Cajun culture. In a family-friendly atmosphere, the spirit of celebration comes alive with the presence of Evangeline Parish “Courir de Mardi Gras” delegates and residents in attendance. Embrace the joyous atmosphere, colorful floats, horses, and the festive spirit as our community comes together to celebrate this lively tradition.


See FESTIVAL MAP for Parade Route.

© 2023 Louisiana Office of Tourism. All rights reserved.

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!

Illustration by Marinna Elinski

Welcome Evangeline Parish
& Louisiana Delegates

"Cajun Country" comes to life!  The Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission will have a booth at the festival.  Be sure to give our Cajun visitors a warm Texas welcome, find out more about visiting their region, cultural customs and the interesting stories they have to tell. Check out Anecdotes from Opal for her thoughts and memories growing up with Courir de Mardi Gras.
Elizabeth West - Marketing Manager.jpg


Marketing Manager


Elizabeth West is currently employed by the Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission as its Marketing Manager, a position she has held since July 2020. She has a love for studying history, which she believes is a key component when developing and growing tourism in her home parish of Evangeline.

Elizabeth was born and raised in Pine Prairie, Louisiana. She is a graduate of Pine Prairie High School. She attended Louisiana College, known today as Louisiana Christian University, in Pineville, LA., where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History.

After graduating from college, Elizabeth spent approximately four years working in the news industry as an editor at the Ville Platte Gazette. This position allowed her to discover and spotlight the things that make her home parish so unique and special.

Outside of her position with EPTC, Elizabeth serves as Secretary for the Pine Prairie High Alumni Association. She is also currently serving her third term as a board member for the Acadiana Area Human Services District, where she has held the position of Chairperson, Vice-Chair, and Secretary.


The Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission focuses on promoting tourism in Evangeline Parish, Louisiana. Their efforts include marketing, event coordination, and collaboration with local entities to showcase the region's rich cultural heritage and attractions, aiming to attract visitors and boost tourism.

Wanda Verrette - Board Member.jpg




Wanda Verrette is a board member for the Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission and currently serves on the board as Vice-President. She has a passion for preserving the rich history and traditions of her hometown, Mamou, Louisiana. She is active in a variety of organizations throughout Evangeline Parish including the Mamou Cajun Music Festival, Mamou Rotary Club, Catholic Daughters, Mamou Elementary French Immersion Parent Teacher Organization, South Louisiana Community College Advisory Board, and St. Landry-Evangeline United Way.

She is a graduate of Mamou High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches and a master’s degree from McNeese State University in Lake Charles. Wanda spent 32 and a half years employed by the Evangeline Parish School Board teaching Physical Education and Adaptive Physical Education.

Wanda’s love for Cajun Mardi Gras runs deep. She grew up with family members riding in the annual Courir de Mardi Gras. Today, her home is a stop along one of the routes for Mardi Gras where riders can hear good Cajun music and enjoy delicious gumbo.

Tony Marks - Board Member.heic


Board Member


Tony Marks is a native of Ville Platte and graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 2000. He then earned his bachelor of arts degree in mass communication from Louisiana State University in 2004. He has served as editor of the Ville Platte Gazette since 2019 and has served as sports editor of the Oakdale Journal since 2016. Prior to joining the Gazette staff full time, he worked for 13 years at the Evangeline Parish Clerk of Court Office. The last six of those years were spent working as minute clerk for the 13th Judicial District Clerk Division "A." Tony is also a lector and extraordinary minister of Holy Communion at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Ville Platte and volunteers his time working the scoreboard and announcing at Sacred Heart baseball games and Dixie Youth all-star tournaments.

Derrell Thomas - Board Member.jpg


2nd Vice-President


Derrell Thomas is a board member for the Evangeline Parish Tourist Commission and currently serves as Second Vice-President for the board. Derrell is very active in his community as a member of several organizations that host an abundant number of events in Evangeline Parish. He serves as the Vice-President of the Rainbow Association and President of NoLimitRiders.

He resides in his hometown of Mamou, Louisiana, where he has served as a councilman for the Mamou Town Council since 2018. Derrell is a 2002 graduate of Vidrine High School, who has worked the last 18 years at Cameron – a Schlumberger Company.

In his spare time, Derrell loves riding horses and being with family and friends.

Opal Andrus - Board Member.jpg




Opal Andrus, a Pine Prairie High School alum, holds a Business Administration degree from Louisiana State University. After traversing Baton Rouge, Okinawa, Japan, and Fallbrook, California, Opal settled in Crooked Creek, Evangeline Parish. Currently the Vice-President of Marketing and Sales at Pearson Medical Technologies in Alexandria, Louisiana, Opal has been pivotal since 2002 in developing pharmacy automation and software to diminish medication errors in in-patient pharmacies. She expanded Pearson's private labeling and international distributorships in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and more.

Opal actively contributes to Pearson's growth, serving on the product development team and fostering international distributorships. Her affiliations include the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Association of International Product Marketing & Management, Association of National Advertisers, and The Louisiana Travel Association. Previously, Opal dedicated efforts to community enhancement through roles like secretary and volunteer coach for the Pine Prairie Dixie Youth Softball League, and as a charter member and secretary of the Pine Prairie Booster Club, working alongside founding President Maxine Gautreaux.

Bastrop TX Mardi Gras

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