Residents react to long-awaited Mardi Gras celebration

Mardi Gras Fest, St. Martinville, 2022
Posted at 1:45 AM, Feb 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-28 02:45:44-05

ST. MARTINVILLE, L.a. — Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, St. Martinville missed its Mardi Gras celebrations — but on Sunday, things were different.

Along New Market Street in front of City Hall, people of St. Martinville got together at a festival hosted by the Newcomers Club after multiple years without a celebration.

"Here in St. Martinville we like to have a good time we like to just have a really good time coming together as a family -- this is a family town," said Newcomers Club representative, Pete Patterson.

Festival-goer Javontae Torrence agreed.

"It's about people coming together then and during the pandemic and stuff," Torrence said. "And since we can't get the parade back, this'll probably be the only chance we have to spend with everyone during Mardi Gras."

That parade he mentioned is one that many at Sunday's festival said they miss — one that can't be replaced.

"It's no parade, we need the parade back, we really do," said Sandra Batiste, St. Martinville Area Queen of 1980. "'Cause St. Martinville was the second biggest parade after New Orleans, they had a lot of people coming to the St. Martinville area."

Not to mention, a celebration many said was long overdue.

"Yeah they ready they doin' it right now, listenin' to this music, but I mean shoot, no, they have got to get our parade back," said Michael Pete, a lifelong St. Martinville resident. "I mean you've got people that are, you know, against one another that have got to come together if we wanna have a better Mardi Gras or whatever kind of parade and that's plain and simple."

Others told KATC they are just happy to be back in the saddle.

"I'm still shocked that we had it this year being that before Mardi Gras we had a big COVID spike so I'm kinda surprised that we have it but I'm not surprised because Louisiana loves Mardi Gras," said another former Area Queen, Staisha Alexander. "So once they gave us the 'go' for Mardi Gras, everybody is going to come out, so it's not surprising that people actually still wanted to come and celebrate Mardi Gras."

Still, however, the spirit of the season stays the same, according to Racquel Edmond, director of Once Was, Inc. which had a booth at the festival.

"Mardi Gras is us celebrating the gift of Christ and his sacrifice for us," she said.

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