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Old 10-27-2013, 05:02 AM   #1
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Fat Tuesday in Eunice, Louisiana - A Little Cajun History

Hello Everyone,

I realize it is still early, but I want to start a thread and give everyone a chance to discuss a trip for Mardi Gras. There is a highly recommended campground near Eunice, but it is always booked at least a year in advance. If you want to try anyway, their info is as follows:
Contact Us
Lakeview Park 1717 Veterans Memorial Hwy Eunice, Louisiana
Office (337) 457-2881
Email Us
lvparkoffice@gmail.com
Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 9am - 5pm, Friday & Saturday 9am - 7pm, Sunday 9am - 5pm
Winter Office Hours: Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 9am - 2pm
Welcome to Lakeview Park

Other accommodations are listed at the following link: Eunice Camping | Camping in Eunice, LA - YP.com.

Festivities Eunice is small, quiet town laying claim to a population of about 12,000 people. Amidst crawfish ponds and fields of wildflowers, Eunice is aptly named the "Prairie Cajun Capitol". On most days, its citizens enjoy a quiet laid-back atmosphere. However, at certain times of the year, Eunice residents celebrate with an unmatched joie de vivre (Joy of living) Listed below are annual festivities when our people
laissez les bon temps roulez! (Let the good times roll)

Every year I go to Eunice Louisiana for Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday. I always have the best time. The whole town closes down except for a few restaurants. I park my MH in the hardware store's parking lot because I can walk to everything that is happening in Eunice. Parking is allowed almost anywhere you can find a place without blocking through-traffic. Last year there were people from Alaska who parked next to me! They had been to New Orleans. There will be street dances and two stages where they have live Cajun music. I normally go to Mobile for a week then stop off in Eunice on my way back home.

Of course there are also things happening in near-by Mamou (which is a short 10 mile drive away). 2009 Tee-Mamou Women Mardi Gras Courir (50 of 59) | Flickr - Photo Sharing! You might have to copy and paste this link into your address bar. These pictures show the costumes used. Each are self designed and home sewn.

I am posting items from last year's write up. This year's schedule hasn't been established yet. I know that Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys will be on one of the stages Tuesday afternoon following the parade. It's a very small town and things move slow. When the 2014 schedule is available, I will post a link that will give you exact dates, times and locations for all activities. For now, this will give you an idea of what to expect about how much fun and enjoyment is available in this small, quaint, little town. If you have further questions, please give be a shout and I will be glad to research it and try to get an answer for you.

Ongoing
Liberty Center for the Performing Arts250 West Park Avenue
Rendez-Vous des Cajuns
Live Radio and TV Show (We call this the Cajun Grand Ole Opry)
Every Saturday Night 6 p.m - 7:30 p.m.
See our Calendar for Band Information
For more information: (337) 457-7389City of Eunice Website Liberty Schedule

Mardi Gras Date for 2014: February 21 thru March 4h.


[IMG]file:///C:/Users/CHARLI~1/AppData/Local/Temp/msohtmlclip1/02/clip_image001.jpg[/IMG]
Old Time Boucherie
A traditional old time boucherie (hog butchering) and cochon de lait (a suckling pig, now often used to refer in general to a pig roast) held downtown. The Boucherie begins in front of City Hall at 10 a.m. Visitors can see and enjoy the products of a Cajun tradition that is still common at many family gatherings: a hog is slaughtered and then made into a variety of dishes: backbone stew, boudin, gratins (cracklings), and other delicacies. By 11:30, the first dishes are ready for tasting.
Downtown Eunice


Courir de Mardi Gras
Monday, January 6, 2014
to
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
The Courir de Mardi Gras is a traditional Mardi Gras event held in many Cajun communities of south Louisiana on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday. Courir de Mardi Gras is French for "Fat Tuesday Run". The rural Mardi Gras celebration is based on early begging rituals. As Mardi Gras is the celebration of the final day before Lent, celebrants drink and eat heavily, and also dress in specialized costumes, ostensibly to protect their identities. Popular practices include wearing masks, capuchons, and costumes, overturning social conventions, dancing, drinking alcohol, begging, feasting, etc. Louisiana has a state law prohibiting the wearing of hoods and masks in public. Mardi Gras is one of the few occasions when exceptions are allowed, as are Halloween celebrations and religious observances.[



Courir de Mardi Gras


Monday, January 6, 2014


to


Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Eunice, Louisiana hosts one the of the largest Courir De Mardi Gras or Mardi Gras Runs in the area. Riders on horse back travel the countryside from house to house seeking ingredients for a community gumbo. A chicken here, some potatoes there and pretty soon you have everything you need. The catch is that the riders will probably have to work for the contributions. For instance, if someone is donating a chicken, the donor will probably throw the chicken and the riders will have to chase it down and catch it. A good time is had by all.

Attractions

Courir starts at 8:00 a.m.
  • Festival starts at 10:00 a.m.
  • Courir and Truck Parade starts at 3:00 p.m.
  • Other activities throughout the day.
FOLLOWIING MARDI GRAS:
Annual World Championship
Crawfish Etouffee Cook-off
Held the last Sunday in March, (the third Sunday if Easter falls on the last Sunday). The event is held at the Northwest Community Center on Samuel Drive in Eunice. It is held under a massive pavilion and is free to the public. The Cook-off is an activity for the entire family. About 100 teams compete to see who can cook the best crawfish etouffee (smothered crawfish usually served with rice). Thousands of visitors come to this annual event to view three categories of cook-off participants. Celebrity judges choose winners in the three categories including Amateur, Professional and Club/Organization. A Pre-Cook-off Dance will be held featuring local musicians. There will be fun for the whole family! Cajun & Zydeco music, dancing, poker run, arts & crafts, petting zoo, pony rides, fun jumps, boiled crawfish, plenty of Etouffee and other great food! So come on out and pass a good time!

Take advantage of a little of the fun. Take advantage of ALL the fun. Do, eat, dance, sit, walk, visit, socialize, as little or as much as you are comfortable with. I hope to see you there.

Let me hear from everyone !

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Old 11-01-2013, 03:44 PM   #2
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Sounds nice! I recruited in Baton Rouge for three years and plan to retire to the house I bought down there. A few years ago I hung out with my neighbor for our town's parade--he parked his RV on the sidewalk that morning and the ladies hung out inside (it was cold that year!) while we cooked, drank, and took food to the cops that were on duty at a nearby intersection. Good times! I won't be able to make the trip to Eunice, but hope to get leave around Fat Tuesday to go ready my house for rental.
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Old 12-20-2013, 02:19 AM   #3
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Charliene how delightful this sounds... and loads of fun too!

Do they really give the history of the 'Cajuns?? it is quite fascinating when known from it's origins and how it all evolved.
I bet there are some folks down there who have found a few surprises in the family tree and perhaps not if they know their history,

I would love to be able to go for the sheer enjoyment of the culture....

Do have a wonderful time and think of your Canadian cousins up here in the cold!!

Do let us all know of your experiences and some photos too!!
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Old 12-21-2013, 04:16 AM   #4
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Enokie

So good to hear from you.

Yes. They really give ALL the history of the first Cajuns to arrive in Louisiana and also the histories of the first Cajuns who settled in Eunice.

The costumes and old-time Mardi Gras are very different than today costumes & customs. That is why I always end my celebration in Eunice. It brings my focus back into the for-true meaning of Mardi Gras. It is a celebration of family and close friends & community. Every year when it is over & I must leave, I've always left Eunice with new friends. What a blessing!

I will be thinking of you guys and will dance one for you.
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Old 12-22-2013, 01:58 PM   #5
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Hello Charliene,
Thanks for the info.. Love to be there for sure.
I am from the original Acadian world and was married to an Acadian French heritage person, tho he didn't speak French, I did, ( not Acadian tho )
there is nothing on earth as loving and as wonderful as the bonhomie found at a gathering of these wonderful people ...

I am jealous for sure but not enough to deny you any of the 'joie de vivre' you will experience, and remember me when your feet hit the floor in the clogging or 2 step, fiddles playing (do they do spoons??) and all else that makes music.

Make sure to enjoy the journey, because the destination will be an explosion of JOY!!


(that is the whole package,)
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Old 01-01-2014, 07:01 PM   #6
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Enokie

How Ya'll Are Way Up There?
Sorry I've been so long about getting back to you. Holidays are wonderful but hectic and I'm glad it's over and I can get geared up for Mardi Gras!

I agree with you completely about bonhomie (exuberant friendliness, good-humoured fellow, good-natured easy friendliness). I never meet a stranger in Louisiana!

Thank you for the 'joie de vivre' (energy and love of life, Hearty or carefree enjoyment of life) complement. That is how I try to live my life. I think we Cajuns are all like that.

Referencing your question (do they do spoons??), no these bands don't use the spoons (though I grew up playing the spoons.....it was all we had)....these bands play a "scrub board". We used to call it a "wash board" that you scrubbed your clothes on to get them clean! Put the spoons (or a metal rod) on the scrub board and rub them up and down to make sound.

Here are some links you might enjoy;
Dance for a Chicken: The Cajun Mardi Gras History
Traditional Boucherie for Mardi Gras 2013</SPAN>
Faquetigue Mardi Gras Courir de Mardi Gras
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XPV2THM-w44

Courir Riders at the Street Dance in Eunice, LA, Mardi Gras
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