MARDI GRAS IN ALLEN PARISH
Celebrate Mardi Gras like you never have before!
This is your official invitation to join the Allen Parish Mardi Gras L’ancienne facon, the old way, on Fat Tuesday, February 21, 2023.
Colorful costumes, horses and good Cajun music are the ingredients for the Allen Parish Mardi Gras. From traditional to contemporary, we have a parade for everyone. On Fat Tuesday our local crews trail ride through the community. After each crew has its trail ride, all gather to share in the community gumbo and dance.
Step into Cajun Country and experience a real Mardi Gras!
Mardi Gras Sonnier Stop Party around 12:30 pm.*
This is the location of the lunch stop for the Mardi Gras riders. It’s sure to be entertaining and beguiling!
Mardi Gras Parade around 2pm-4pm*
After the Mardi Gras parade leaves, make your way to Oberlin Main Street. Here the Mardi Gras riders dismount their horses and walk, dance and parade down Mainstreet giving you the perfect opportunity for pictures, dancing and a whole lot of laughing!
The Community Gumbo around 5:00 p.m.*
Bring your own drinks and dance, laugh and eat some good ole’ Cajun gumbo.
* Times are tentative due to varied speed of the trail rides.
- Mardi Gras Sonnier Stop Party at 126 Roy Sonnier Road, Oberlin, LA 70655.
- Mardi Gras Parade at Oberlin Main Street
- The Community Gumbo at American Legion Hall located in the Veterans’ Memorial Park in Oberlin.
HISTORY & TRADITION
Tradition has it that the yearly celebration of Courier de Mardi Gras came from the old country. Back then, during the summer, the weather permitted the poor people to be able to grow their own food. But in the winter, the ground was frozen and did not permit a garden to be grown. The poor (the Have-Nots), in their tattered and torn clothes, would make their way to the rich peoples’ houses (the Haves) and would dance, play and entertain the Haves. In return, the Haves would reward the Have-Nots with very much needed food to feed their families, which allowed the Have-Nots to make it through the winter.
The Allen Parish Courier de Mardi Gras keeps this tradition alive with a 15-mile trail ride featuring horses and Mardi Gras dressed in colorful costumes with fringes, masks, and hats (called a Capuchon). The fringe represents the torn and tattered clothes from the Have-Nots. The masks allow the Mardi Gras to be anonymous and uninhabited; therefore, more mischievous.
The Captain rides into the yard of a neighbor living along the trail ride and asks the owner if he/she has any food for the community gumbo. If the neighbor says he/she does, the Captain raises his red flag and the Mardi Gras come riding in on their horses, dismounts and the fun begins! The dancing and mischievous antics guarantee a fun and fabulous time!
The food given is then taken to the cooks making the gumbo and the Mardi Gras mount their horses to travel to the next house to start the process all over again.
Sonnier’s Stop Party
PLAN YOUR VISIT
For more information, please call the Allen Parish Tourist Commission, 888-639-4868 or check out our website: www.allenparish.com.