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Loreauville Legend, Papa Red Dog Continues Mardi Gras Tradition

Lawrence "Papa Red Dog" Zacharie is known in South Louisiana for starting the Mardi Gras parades in Loreauville.
Posted at 4:20 PM, Feb 22, 2023

Loreaville natives say Mardi Gras is all about good food, Zydeco music and fun.

Wynne Zacharie, President of the Papa Red Dog Mardi Gras Association said it was her father, Lawrence "Papa Red Dog" Zacharie, who helped launch the festivities in Loreauville.

"The living legend," Wynne said. "He started the parades because in Loreauville, they had stopped giving parades many years ago. So, he was like, 'You know what? We're tired of going here and there and we wanted to be family-oriented."

Wynne said Papa Red Dog started small—gathering people together for trailer truck rides and a few cars followed. Now, people come from all over the world to experience Mardi Gras in South Louisiana.

"It's all about having fun," Wynne said. "Yes, you're going to have a lot of Mardi Gras music up there, whether it's Mardi Gras music, Zydeco music, or just R&B music, whatever it is, you're going to enjoy yourself on the float."

Papa Red Dog said he is looking forward to hosting the only parade for Iberia Parish on Fat Tuesday this year.

"Another guy, they had called him Papa Red Dog, but he was a little too big for the name so, he gave it to me and it looks like it sits long with me, until now," Lawrence said.

If it's your first time attending Mardi Gras, members of the Papa Red Dog Mardi Gras Association say you can expect lots of candy, beads, dancing and fun.

"Hopefully, everybody come out and have a nice time and no disturbance," Lawrence said.