Mardi Gras

Eunice Courir De Mardi Gras 2014


mg2011On Mardi Gras Day, which is always held the day before Ash Wednesday (usually February or March), Eunice holds a traditional Courir de Mardi Gras. They assemble at theNorthwest Community Center at 501 Samuel Drive starting at 6 a.m. with the Run leaving at 8 a.m. Costumed participants ride on horseback and on flatbeds through the countryside. They parade along Second Street through downtown Eunice starting about 3 p.m.


The Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras dates back from when the town was first established in the late 19th century. The Courir was abandoned for a few years during World War II, but in 1946 a small band of riders revived the tradition. Today, the Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras has more than 1000 participants (Including both male and female) on the run and it continues to increase each year.


Mardi Gras in rural Southwestern Louisiana draws on traditions that are centuries old. Revelers go from house to house begging to obtain the ingredients for a communal meal. They wear costumes that conceal their identity and that also parody the roles of those in authority. They escape from ordinary life partly through the alcohol many consume in their festive quest, but even more through the roles they portray. As they act out their parts in a wild, gaudy pageant, they are escaping from routine existence, freed from the restraints that confine them every other day in the year.


In all of the Mardi Gras run of today, the capitaine maintains control over the Mardi Gras, as the riders are known. He issues instructions to the riders as they assemble early in the morning and then leads them on their run. When they arrive at a farm house, he obtains permission to enter private property, after which the riders may charge toward the house, where the Mardi Gras sing, dance, and beg until the owner offers them an ingredient for a gumbo. Often, the owner will throw a live chicken into the air that the Mardi Gras will chase, like football players trying to recover a fumble.


In addition to the Mardi Gras on horseback, some ride on flatbed trailers pulled by trucks or tractors. By mid to late afternoon,mg2010a the Courir returns to town and parades down the main street on the way to the location where the evening gumbo will be prepared.


The celebration begins on Saturday with an Interpretive Program at The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park Prairie Acadian Cultural Center in Historic Downtown Eunice from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a live jam session downtown, a performance at the Liberty Theatre at 6 p.m., museum and shops are open all day and a Street Dance held after the Liberty show ends at 7:30 p.m.


The celebration continues on Sunday with a children's Courir starting at 9 a.m. from the Eunice Recreation Complex on Sittig Road. The children ride on flatbed trailers or in pickup trucks. The Children's Parade starts about 10 a.m. along Second Street through downtown Eunice. There is a live jam session downtown and the Eunice Museum has films and exhibits on display.


Sunday activities also include a traditional old time boucherie (hog butchering) and cochon de lait (a suckling pig, now often used to refer in general to a pig roast) held downtown. The Boucherie begins in front of City Hall at 10 a.m. Visitors can see and enjoy the products of a Cajun tradition that is still common at many family gatherings: a hog is slaughtered and then made into a variety of dishes: backbone stew, boudin, gratins (cracklings), and other delicacies. By 11:30, the first dishes are ready for tasting.


On Monday, through the day there are live jam sessions downtown, a Lundi Gras Street Dance and a slide show presentation at the Jean Lafitte Prairie Acadian Cultural Center starting at noon.


Mardi Gras Day in Eunice includes a variety of events that will appeal to the whole family. The main celebration on Mardi Gras Day features a full day of activities downtown while the Eunice Mardi Gras Association's Courir is winding through the countryside. The downtown crowds can listen and dance to continuous music from two stages and eat all of the traditional Cajun foods.

Throughout Mardi Gras Day, downtown Eunice features Cajun bands, food vendors, traditional crafts and cooking demonstrations at The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park Prairie Acadian Cultural Center, Arts and Craft booths and displays at the Eunice Museum and the Cajun French Music Hall of Fame. When the Courir returns, the riders are joined by decorated trucks in a parade through downtown Eunice that starts about 3 p.m. The emphasis is on family-oriented fun.

Click link below for 2014 Mardi Gras activities in the Eunice Area:
Mardi Gras Courir registration
2014 Eunice Mardi Gras Schedule

 

Click link below for adult Mardi Gras Courir registration:
Mardi Gras Courir registration
Adult Run date and application


Click link below for Lil' Mardi Gras Courir registration:
Mardi Gras Courir registration
Lil' Mardi Gras Registration form
 
 
Click link below for the Mardi Gras Vendor Application Form
Mardi Gras Courir registration
Mardi Gras vendor form


For more information, call (337) 457-2565

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