LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - A day of Mardi Gras celebration was underway by noon on Fat Tuesday in downtown Lake Charles.
Krewe de Charlie Sioux Block Party kicked off at the corner of Ryan Street and Broad Street.
The Krewe consists of folks from both Lake Charles and Sioux City, Iowa.
"It started a long time ago with meeting a few people from Sioux City and we eventually became sister cities," said Blane Bourgeois, the president of the Krewe de Charlie Soux.
Now Lake Charles invites their Sioux City friends to Louisiana every Mardis Gras holiday.
"We started it for the Krewe from Iowa to have a really nice parade and have a party," said Bourgeios.
But the sister city exchange goes beyond the city of Lake Charles.
"We go up there and bring Mardis Gras to their festival in July," said Bourgeios.
"Up in Sioux City, kids say that Mardis Gras is on the 4th of July because that's when we celebrate it," said Roger Caudron, a Krewe member from Sioux City, Iowa.
The event included a personal visit from Gumbeaux Gator, a Cajun style buffet, and a toe tapping Zydeco band.
The Red Hat Parade kicked off at 1 p.m. in downtown Lake Charles.
The parade consisted of various floats, costumes, and of course, beads.
The Red Hat Societies in the five parish area is behind the event as they hope to celebrate a Mardi Gras spirit through the parade.
Arthur Perry of Lake Charles said he comes out every year for the Lake Charles Mardis Gras events.
"I saw it when it first started," said Perry. "Every year you see something different. It's colorful and very interesting also."
Perry says the great thing about Mardis Gras is that it brings out the best in Louisiana culture.
"The heritage has a lot to do with it," said Perry. "It goes back so far. I think this is the thing that gets a lot of people out is the heritage."