Mardi Gras weekend in Lafayette is going to be a lot different next year. The Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association is making major adjustments to its parade line up. The association announced that there will no longer be a kick off parade on the Friday night before Mardi Gras. That parade will now be combined with the Queen’s parade on Monday night, giving residents what, they say, will be an “enhanced experience.” Some residents are on board while others are not so convinced.
If plans remain the same, Mardi Gras 2018 in Lafayette will seem a day shorter.
“We’re excited about the change, we really are,” said Gene Lognion, President of Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association.
The association is chopping Friday night’s “Kick-off” parade from Mardi Gras weekend and combining it with Monday night’s Queen parade.
“We’re putting the two together and its gonna be one gigantic parade with about 35 floats, about 15 marching bands and I think its going to be great for the people coming out there,” said Lognion.
The association says while they are moving the kick-off parade, the party will still go on.
“On Friday night, we’re going to enhance our fair Friday night bring in a bigger named band, we’ll have things for the kids, for all ages. Friday night will not be lost it will just be at a different venue,” he added.
Residents have mixed feelings about the change. Some believe it’s going to make things better.
“I guess its a cost saving thing for the organization. They’re going to roll right after each other and its gonna make people stay on the parade route a little while longer to celebrate,” said Sterling Alexander, a Lafayette native.
Others, like Hazel Vest took to social media to express concern.
She says “Hope there will be some Friday night parade! Won’t be the same if not.will have to find another town to spend Friday night in!”
Sterling Alexander says he’d rather one good parade then two small ones–so he chooses to look at the bright side of it.
“Yea. Two birds in one stone,” he said. “Get to enjoy Monday night a little while longer on the parade route.”
For those who are unhappy with it.
“They just going to have to chill until Saturday night. That’s the way I look at it. They can party at home,” Alexander added.
Some residents mentioned that they hope the Rio parade would move back a week and roll on that Friday night. The association says that decision is completely in the hands of the Krewe of Rio.