SWLA ushers in Mardi Gras 2014 - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA ushers in Mardi Gras 2014

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Twelve nights after Christmas and it's time to get Southwest Louisiana's biggest party of the year started. Kings, queens and captains of more than 40 SWLA krewes bid farewell to Mardi Gras 2013 and paraded through the Civic Center Coliseum.

The night, known as Twelfth Night, makes way for a new Mardi Gras season. While it may be their last promenade, not everyone is ready to give up the royal perks.

"It was fun. It was great. I'm going to miss it," said Kala Billedeaux, Queen 2013 of Krewe de Charlie Sioux.

It may be Twelfth Night, but Kory Moss also had another big reason to party.

"It's my birthday. Every year and it starts off Mardi Gras. It's really cool because you get to party and have fun," said Moss.

But before all the glitz, glam and pageantry - it takes months to prepare. Organizers say the more sequins and feathers the better.

"It takes a couple of months to get it done right. We plan our design and theme and then get started immediately after the season ends," explained Melissa Jones, Krewe of Komova.

Fat Tuesday doesn't roll around until March 4th, giving us nearly two full months to celebrate what makes Southwest Louisiana's Mardi Gras so special.

"The parades and all of the camaraderie. The balls it's just all beautiful. Everything is just wonderful," said Theresa Charles & Raymond Rideaux, Queen & King 2013 of Krewe de Classique.

"The greatest thing about Mardi Gras SWLA is it's all about the family. So lots of great affordable events ... A lot of them are free - to get out and experience with the family," said Katie Harrington, Mardi Gras SWLA Executive Director.

To stay on top of everything Mardi Gras SWLA there's now a mobile app you can download for your I-phone or android. They'll post information on parade routes, schedules and time changes should anything change.

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