Tee Mamou-Iota Folklife Festival delights crowds for 33rd year

Tee Mamou-Iota Folklife Festival delights crowds for 33rd year

LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -One of the oldest and most colorful Mardi Gras celebrations takes place east of Lake Charles at the Tee Mamou-Iota Mardi Gras and Folklife Festival.

It’s a place to soak in the sights, sounds and flavors of an old-time country Mardi Gras.

The back roads of Tee Mamou are a scary place for a chicken on Mardi Gras, as strange looking creatures scour the countryside looking for gumbo fixin’s. But for the more civilized among us, lovely downtown Iota is not too far.

There are culinary wonders like candied pecans and souvenirs for those who, thought they'd seen everything!

And Iota is a place to come if you have happy feet. That is, there is one band after another providing plenty of good dancing music and an ample stage to join in the fun. And, of course, to keep this Mardi Gras tradition going-- enter the Petite Mardi Gras-ers.

It's important to get the young ones trained early. If they can walk, they can beg.

And they can sing that old time Mardi Gras song in French.

The locals say their Mardi Gras is the best. Youngsters Colt Cormier and Austin Hebert say some of the attractions include "jambalaya, boudin balls, curly fries, snow cones, fun jumps, and honey." But that’s all they could easily call to mind. There is much more.

One of the best parts is when the Mardi Gras-ers, who have spent the day terrorizing the countryside, come rolling into town around 2:30 in the afternoon. The revelers, wearing colorful costumes and pointy hats, come in pounding on the side of their wagons and even rocking them a bit. Their whooping and hollering animal- like sounds fill the air, just in time to help wrap up another Tee Mamou-Iota Mardi Gras, until next year.

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