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Changes coming for rural Mardi Gras in Acadiana

Rain doesn’t stop Courir de Mardi Gras in Church Point
Posted at 6:57 PM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-13 19:57:51-05

BRANCH, La. — Several more Acadiana communities have canceled their Mardi Gras festivities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeanerette and Henderson have canceled their parades. Mamou also canceled its regular and children's parades, but no decision has been made regarding the town's courir.

Church Point has already canceled its Courir de Mardi Gras.

Now, some area businesses are chasing new ways to make up for lost revenue.

"We have the mask, the capuchon, the whole set up you can get here," said Karen Thibodeaux, owner of Sew What in Branch.

Sew What is a business centered around Mardi Gras with costumes and balls and the traditional Courir.

But in the middle of that, a new addition.

"In case the Courir doesn't work out, we have designed some Mardi Gras clothing so that you can wear to work or go out to eat and still feel the Mardi Gras spirit," she said.

A t-shirt line, along with Cajun-themed clothing added to their inventory, which is something that Thibodeaux says will be a hit.

"It's critically important because if they don't come in and buy the Courir de Mardi Gras costumes," said Thibodeaux. "If we want to keep our business going and all our employees here we had to come up with some idea that maybe people would come and buy."

Those costumes are normally worn around here, where things usually kick off for the courir.

But this area will be empty, which will be a first in decades.

"This would be coming up, this it would be our 60th year," said Joey Richard, chairman of the Saddle Tramp Riders Club.

Saddle Tramp Riders Club puts on the courir each year and Richard said it was a tough decision to cancel the courir, but it needed to be done.

"We get in town, we've had as much as 35,000 people," said Richard. "Participants, we probably get 5 or 600 plus 60 wagons that follow us."

But they say they are remaining optimistic, saying "so what" to the challenges, rolling with the punches and looking forward to 2022.

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