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Friendly sibling rivalry helps spread Mardi Gras spirit

Posted at 10:15 PM, Jan 25, 2020

NEW IBERIA — The first parade of carnival season is a officially in the books! The Bayou Mardi Gras paraderolled through downtown New Iberia tonight. While the parade brings out the excitement to some people, for one family it brings out an annual competition.

When the parade rolls Bo Belanger's front yard transforms into a watch party.

"It's just a fun evening, it's very casual, everyone gets to sit down and catch up" Belanger said.

It's a family tradition that started with his parents. Growing up he lived only blocks away from where he is now.

"For the Sugarcane festival we begin having this big weekend open house, and it became a big tradition with my two sisters family, friends, it kind of became the meeting place" Belanger said.

After his parents death, he and his sisters were afraid that tradition would end. First she bought a house on main street, years later so did he. Now his house shines bright in Mardi Gras colors, and across the street his sister Phyllis Mata, competes.

"We almost want to be exactly the same. If he puts out a green light, I put out a green light, it's just a friendly competition, it's fun" Mata said.

For Belanger it's who can have more guest at the watch party, but for Mata, it's all about the decor.

"It's all about the decorations, we don't care if people come over, we just want those decorations" Mata joked.

Like the parade, they hope their spirits roll on.

"We're making it sound super competitive but really we're just trying to get everyone else involved" Belanger said.

Mata agreed with her brother saying, "If we keep doing it, everyone will follow suit, and main street will look great."

The siblings say they go all out for Christmas and the Sugarcane Festival.