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Le Tournoi held today

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Posted at 8:29 PM, Oct 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 21:29:53-04

Covid or not, Le Tournoi happened today as it has for most of the past 200 years.

The event, which showcases knights wearing traditional garb and riding horseback, was first introduced in Ville Platte in the early 1800s. After a hiatus for several decades, the ancient sporting event of jousting was brought back in 1948 by a group of local WWII veterans.

Spectators at the event witness competitors attempt to retain seven small rings suspended on posts around a semi-circular quarter mile track at break-neck speed. The rings symbolize the seven enemies of cotton: flood, drought, boll weevil, bollworm, silk, rayon, and nylon.

After three rounds, the knight who retains the most rings in the quickest time is declared the winner.

The event usually is held during the Cotton Festival, but because that festival was cancelled this year, le Tournoi was held alone.

Competitors had to qualify for the event last month; today was the finale.

"It's a very good time," said Jeanne Fontenot, Mrs. Tournoi 2020. "It's a lot of happy wholesome people. We just get together, hang out, cook some good food and watch these men compete."