Mardi Gras On the Boudin Trail
Carnival in Lake Charles and Southwest Louisiana (SWLA)
Chesire Cat Mardi Gras Costume in Lake Charles, Louisiana
Photos Courtesy of the Lake Charles - Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau
Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, LA, or Southwest Louisiana (SWLA) is shot through with what Cajuns refer to as “joie de vivre”, or the joy of living. With over 50 krewes participating, Mardi Gras in Lake Charles is said to be the second largest in Louisiana in terms of number of parading organizations participating (second only to the Big Easy).
Lake Charles is also the only place in Louisiana where the public is invited to view the ornate royal costumes from each krewe in one place. Viewings are open to the public on Twelfth Night eve, and at the Royal Gala, held the night before Mardi Gras day (Fat Tuesday). In most other Louisiana Mardi Gras locations, non-krewe members would need an invitation to each krewe’s ball in order to view the royal regalia.
Roughly 200 miles southwest of New Orleans, Lake Charles is the beating heart of Southwest Louisiana’s bayou country and culture. With over 75 festivals a year, from Mardi Gras to the Contraband Days Pirate Festival, the friendly, good-natured folks of Lake Charles find some reason to celebrate nearly every weekend of the year.
Lake Charles Feature Stories
Travel Along the Boudin Trail- A Guide to Southwest Louisiana's signature sausage
The Royal Gala- Lake Charles' Annual Mardi Gras Royal Regalia Fashion Show
Mardi Gras Museum- World's Largest Collection of Mardi Gras Costumes