Feb 16, 2014 7:33 PM by Akeam Ashford
For many, New Orleans is the Mardi Gras capital of the world, but according to city-parish President Joey Durel, Lafayette is a close second.
Vermilionville kicked off its traditional Couree de Mardi Gras celebrations this weekend.
Behind the masks and costumes, lies a rich tradition. It's a tradition Potic Rider says the participants are trying to pass on to the next generation.
"To me it's heritage, it's culture, and it's tradition. I'm just trying to keep it alive. That's why we do this, to keep it our traditions alive," Rider said.
Following the Acadian tradition, Rider serves as capitaine of the group. His job is to lead the couree from house to house, as participants beg, sing and dance around the village.
"It means so much to the cajun people. The people that watch us, they love it, because they're seeing something they haven't seen before," Rider said.
After the couree, it's the childrens turn to chase the chicken, which Trey Poole was lucky enough to get his hands on first.
"It was hard because there was a bunch of little kids running in circles," Poole said.
Originally from Alabama, Poole says this was a great way for him and his family to learn more about the Acadian tradition; and what chasing the chicken is all about.
"Mardi Gras is about heritage and tradition. In the past all the Mardi Gras people would go around collecting ingredients from the houses, and then the village would have a big gumbo for everyone to enjoy," Poole said.
The celebration also included a capuchon making workshop and a performance by the Pine Leaf Boys.
Mardi Gras will be held on March 4th..