"Lafayette parades sucked." "Too short." They didn't throw enough." complaints like these about Lafayette Mardi Gras 2017 have been plentiful in social media. Carnival is over. Lent has begun. It's a season of penance and reflection. This seems to me like a great to reflect on this year's festivities. I'm the Townsquare Media float captain. As such, I've been dealing with the logistics of placing a float in the Independent Parade for nearly a decade. It's an expensive undertaking. The parade fee is $1,000, Float rental, $2,000. The mandatory one day, $2 million dollar insurance policy costs $625. We threw more than $10,000 worth of beads in this year's parade. Add food & "refreshments." This brings the tab to nearly $14,000, with no direct monetary return on the investment. A lot of the floats are entered by businesses. We're all aware the business community in Lafayette has had a tough couple of years. Compound that with layoffs, and people dealing with the impact of a historic flood. Perhaps we should all be grateful we still have Mardi Gras in this beautiful, unique community. Remember, "Everywhere else, it's just Tuesday."