Just got back from the Mardi Gras parade and ceremony at Bains Elementary, where my niece Rebekah goes to school. That’s her teacher, Sarah Fudge, above. Rebekah was on the Mardi Gras court:
Here’s the Mardi Gras king, rocking out to Professor Longhair:
There was even a second line:
I love this. Mind you, most of the people in West Feliciana Parish are Protestants, but in south Louisiana, even the Protestants are to a significant degree culturally Catholic. Julie and I are thinking of taking the kids on Mardi Gras day over to Eunice, for a real Cajun Courir de Mardi Gras, which is not the same thing as Carnival in New Orleans. It involves, for example, chasing chickens. Look. 
I remember a few years ago, when we were in Dallas, my sister Ruthie was shocked to learn that public schools in Dallas didn’t let out for Carnival, which is a state holiday in Louisiana. I’m not sure what things are like in north Louisiana, which is culturally Protestant (Baptist, in particular), but in the south, Mardi Gras is a fact of life. It’s almost as hard to imagine not having Mardi Gras as it is to imagine not having Easter and Christmas. Even if you’re Protestant.