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Mardi Gras 2021

Enjoy a taste of Mardi Gras with a sumptuously sweet king cake.

February 1, 2021:

There’s no question Mardi Gras looks a little different this year, but Visit Louisiana Coast is still ready to Laissez les bon temp rouler! (“let the good times roll!!”). Mardi Gras is the holiday of the Carnival celebration, beginning with the feasts of the Epiphany and culminating on the day before Ash Wednesday. Carnival celebrations usually involve pageants, parades and big crowds, which aren’t possible this year. But we’re still finding creative ways to celebrate.

Calcasieu/Cameron Parish
Lake Charles, Louisiana’s Playground

While Mardi Gras may be different this year, there are still opportunities to get into the Mardi Gras spirit by ordering King Cakes from local bakeries, creating Mardi Gras shoebox floats or even dressing up in traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold!

Traditionally, there is the annual World Famous Cajun Extravaganza and Gumbo Cook-off where krewes and teams from around the area get together to compete for who makes the best gumbo while the public wanders from group to group sampling and filling up on savory bowls of delicious gumbo. With 2021's Mardi Gras being a virtual experience, we want you to be able to bring the competition home and delight your family and friends with your best version of gumbo. To start you off, Gumbeaux Gator has generously provided you with his personal favorite recipe here!

After you've had your fill of delicious gumbo, you have to treat yourself to King Cake! After all, what is Mardi Gras without King Cake?! You can show off your baking skills by making either a traditional King Cake or a Boudin King Cake. Or, if you'd rather leave the baking to the professionals, there are several bakeries and markets who are shipping King Cakes worldwide!

Every year, Visit Lake Charles hosts the Mardi Gras Shoebox Float Contest where schools, civic organizations and individuals get crafty and create float replicas out of shoe boxes for a chance to win prizes! This year, the contest is virtual and open to families and individuals worldwide. To watch a demo on how to build your very own shoe box float, click here.


For more inspiration on how to celebrate Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana style, visit swlamardigras.com.


St. Tammany Parish/Louisiana Northshore
St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana Northshore

Parades may not be rolling in St. Tammany Parish this year, but there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Carnival in style. While we'll all miss the parades, balls and parties, you can still let the good times roll this Carnival season on the Northshore. Grab your Krewe and geaux!

Dog House Float by @by.drake

We can't let a parade-less Carnival season go by without some wacky fun with our families and neighbors, so the City of Covington has invited residents to decorate their houses as Mardi Gras floats with Rollin' on the 3 Rivers House Floats, January 23-February 17. Not to be outdone, the Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws wants you to decorate the dog house, too with A Month of Mutty Gras, through February 20. The City of Mandeville gets in the game with Krewe du Pooch's Fun Walk/Run and Costume Contest on the theme "Go Dog, Go" and other Dr. Seuss favorites. Find more fun events during the season and all winter long on our Events Calendar.

Listen to Poppy Tooker’s podcast on Randazzo’s Camellia City Bakery and ship one of their king cakes to a friend or relative you’re missing. Established in 1965, the Slidell bakery continues a long family tradition of braided king cakes, handmade from scratch. Poppy’s colorful NPR-affiliated radio show and podcast, Louisiana Eats!, honors Louisiana’s storied food traditions.

Taste liquid Louisiana at Abita Brewery, nestled in the quaint town of Abita Springs. They brew their own King Cake Soda in honor of the season, as well as the annual local favorite, Mardi Gras Bock (stop by the Tasting Room or purchase via Drizly). This year, the small-batch, high-quality, brewed with love, must-taste Chafunkta Brewing Company debuted Foolish Flambeaux, a King Cake flavored beer. Pyre Provisions and Kappy's Daiquiri and Sports Bar added King Cake Daiquiris to their menus, too.

Make sure to leave a little room in your bags for glittery purple, green and gold Mardi Gras merch; our local boutiques are the hot spot for the fiercest Carnival attire and home décor. Order a Mardi Gras charm, necklace, or bracelet from Northshore native and artist Jose Balli. Browse Fleurty Girl in Mandeville or order some fun and flirty Mardi Gras T-shirts, earrings and more online. Discover more places to find that perfect bit of decoration on our Shopping page

Connect to the celebration by exploring the history of Carnival. Slidell's Mardi Gras Museum is a must-visit on the Northshore. The museum houses a collection of over 800 pieces of Carnival memorabilia-dresses, costumes, scepters, goblets and throws and historical scrapbooks of past kings and queens. Call for tour dates and times.

For more fun and funky ways to Mardi Gras on the Louisiana Northshore, click here.


Jefferson Parish
Jefferson Parish

Haydel's Bakery king cake

Although there are no parades this year, the spirit, pageantry and comradery of Mardi Gras will still be on parade in Jefferson Parish by way of family celebrations, King Cakes, restaurant specials, carnival décor, and the Krewe of House Floats, our region’s "Yardi Gras" celebration that brings the fun, colors, spirit and celebration to the doorsteps of our community!

Don’t miss Mardi Gras For All Y’all! Visit Jefferson Parish is partnering with New Orleans for three nights of star-studded programming, showcasing the best of our area and Mardi Gras. The program is scheduled to be shown in three segments on Feb. 12, 13 and 14 on the NOLA.com and theadvocate.com news websites, YouTube and Facebook Live. The event will bring viewers close to the sights and sounds of Carnival, with celebrity interviews, musical performances and Carnival features narrating the history of the celebration and its unique culture.

Find more ways to keep the good times rolling safely HERE.


Iberia Parish
Iberia Parish

No parade does not mean we can’t celebrate Mardi Gras in Iberia Parish. Our area’s bakeries are offering a wide variety of mouth-watering king cakes and seasonal specialties.

French king cake - Photo by Caribbean Company

Caribbean Ice Company

Cajun Glaze Donuts and Meche’s Donuts offer fried dough king cake in a variety of flavors from boudin to Nutella and “Bon Pecan.” Caribbean Ice Company makes a French king cake with homemade flaky puff pastry, an almond cream filling and chunks of candied (local) citrus and cranberries.

Stroll through the New Iberia National Register Historic District for a slice of architecture and a slice of Praline Pecan Cream Cheese King Cake from Cane River Pecan Company, or go for Mardi Gras Mambo Hot Chocolate bombs at Fudge It.

After eating your fill of cake, take a walk through New Iberia to check out the residents’ homes and yards decorated float-style for Yardi Gras.

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all!


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