Oberlin residents celebrate Mardi Gras with traditional run - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Oberlin residents celebrate Mardi Gras with traditional run

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OBERLIN, LA (KPLC) -

Despite the rain and cold Tuesday morning, Oberlin residents came out early for their annual traditional Mardi Gras run.

The run is a decades-old tradition folks in Oberlin use to mark this festive season. One of the riders said it's all about tradition.

"The rain came, the sleet, but we've been doing this the last, what? Fifty, sixty years?," he said. "Right here in this small area. You know it's all about tradition."

Someone who knows a little something about tradition is Mardi Gras' run captain James Rider.

"My grandfather's done it, my dad done it and my older brother did it," Rider said. "Now it's me and I got a couple of other nephews I'm grooming to take over."

Rider said it's a celebration of friends and family at every stop the riders make to collect the gumbo ingredients.  

"We enjoy ourselves before Lent starts but as you can look and see, it's about family and friends," he said. "With the weather we've had today, these guys have some true grit."

The oldest of the riders, Donald Fontenot, has been participating in the run for 60 years. He said they'll do the Mardi Gras run no matter what.

"I ran in 1976 and the weather was worse than this, but it's a tradition," Fontenot said. "We would run rain, sleet, sleet or snow. We'll run and we enjoy it."

It's a tradition alive and well with nothing mother nature, or anything else, can dish out to stop it.

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