Feb 8, 2012 8:59 AM by Cecilia Stevenson
"Le Festival de Mardi Gras a' Lafayette" 2012
The Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association will host the 19th annual "Le Festival de Mardi Gras a' Lafayette" from Friday, February 17th through Mardi Gras day at U.L.- Lafayette's Cajun Field. The Festival, presented by Service Chevrolet, will include an exciting carnival mid-way, native Cajun foods, and an outstanding line-up of live music. To make the Festival a complete Mardi Gras experience, the route for all of Lafayette's parades will pass directly through the Festival grounds.
This popular festival enters it's 19th year with a robust line-up of live music, a gigantic carnival midway, ample parking, and terrific viewing spots for all of Lafayette's parades.
"The Festival has earned a reputation for being a wonderful, family oriented celebration of Mardi Gras. We are constantly working to improve the event and the entertainment we offer. We've designed the Festival so that it offers something for everyone. This year, we are fortunate that Service Chevrolet has agreed to serve as 'presenting sponsor' and we've used the extra income to invest in the bands, stage and lighting, among other festival improvements," said chairman Randall Mann. The festival will spend over $90,000 in music, stage, sound and lighting in 2012.
The Louisiana Lottery midway will offer a wide variety of rides, from an area specially designed for small children, to fast, exciting, and wilder rides. We have also developed several price promotions that make our carnival within everyone's budget. The Rouses Soundstage features an extensive and diverse array of local and regional musicians, including the Molly Ringwalds, Marc Broussard, Jamie Bergeron, 10 Years, Wayne Toups and many more. A total of 22 bands are scheduled to perform at this year's festival. Borden's Elsie the cow will be on hand. Plus, all of the parades pass right through the Festival grounds.
"Cajun Field will be transformed for the 5-day event, with the huge carnival midway, the live music soundstage and plenty of convenient parking. It's quite a sight to see and everyone wants to be at Cajun Field for Mardi Gras!" Mann said. "We are very excited to have local restaurants and caterers participating again this year. The quality and variety the food these local vendors provide is tremendous. We work hard to make the Festival site the easiest, safest, and most convenient spot to watch the parades," Mann added.
Another feature added this year is a free app for iPhone and Android that the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association developed with the support of Service Chevrolet. The app includes a complete schedule of Lafayette's Mardi Gras parades, the festival's bands and ride specials, Mardi Gras history and traditions, information about Lafayette's Mardi Gras krewes and more. For the first time in Lafayette's Mardi Gras history, the parades will have GPS tracking devices, provided by Acadian's Mobile Monitoring, with live tracking maps available through the free app. The app is available in Apple's App Store and the Android Market by searching for "Lafayette Mardi Gras"
What's the best part about "Le Festival de Mardi Gras a Lafayette?" -- IT'S FREE! Admission to the Louisiana Lottery Midway, the Rouses soundstage, the Borden train , as well as the parade viewing areas are free. There is a $10 charge for parking at Cajun Field. All of the money generated from the Festival will be used by the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Association to develop and promote Lafayette's Mardi Gras parades and activities. The event is sponsored by the Service Chevrolet, Louisiana Lottery, Rouses Supermarkets, Borden and the Lafayette Regional Airport Commission.
The festival is hoping to announce a few surprise performers, so keep everyone is encouraged to download the app, visit the festitval's FaceBook page (search "Le Festival"), or visit www.GoMardiGras.comand sign up for the email list.