There Will Be No Lafayette Mardi Gras ‘Kick Off’ Parades On Friday Night In 2018
The Mardi Gras "kick off" parade won't roll on Friday night in 2018.
According to a report by The Advertiser, The Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association said there will be "no more Friday night parades on the streets of Lafayette."
Gene Lognion, Greater Southwest president, said that moving the parade to Monday night (Lundi Gras) after the Queen's Parade is all about enhancing the Mardi Gras experience.
Years ago, the Queen’s Parade (Monday night) became too large and we split off some Krewes to run on Friday night, creating the “Kick Off” parade. As krewe membership and parade participation have changed, we felt as though we were running two fairly short parades, and thought running both parades on the Monday night would give parade goers a much better viewing and parade experience.
This move almost seems like a direct response to the numerous gripes about some Lafayette Mardi Gras parades being "too short" and "not having enough floats or throws." According to The Advertiser, Lognion says while no parades will run on Friday before Mardi Gras next year there will be additional entertainment at Cajun Field for "Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette"
Speaking of gripes, last year people also complained that the Independent parade seemed to be weak compared to previous years with some blaming the lack of participation on entry fees being too high—especially compared to smaller towns with growing parades.
The Advertiser reports that the Association is making moves to allow more groups and organizations to participate.
In addition to moving the Friday night parade, the Association is lowering the cost to participate in the Independent parade from $1,000 to $500 to allow more groups and organizations the opportunity to parade.
What do you think of the changes for Mardi Gras 2018? Do you think it will enhance your experience or will it dampen the Carnival spirit with no parades to kick off the weekend?
One thing that is for certain is there is now one less day of dealing with the barricades.