By Kevin Shannahan
The 13th Cloutierville Mardi Gras parade rolled through the south Natchitoches parish town Saturday, Feb 23rd. Over 100 units participated in the popular event, bringing everything from a fire truck, floats and horses to two beautifully restored classic cars. Parade Grand Marshal, Cloutierville resident and physical therapist Jerry Jones, led the parade with his family.
Over 1,000 eager paradegoers lined the main drive through Cloutierville and called out for beads and trinkets to the passing units. They were not disappointed! Beads, cups, candy and small frisbees were just a few examples of the huge number of items thrown by the members of the parade units. It was a rare child indeed that did not go home with a neck full of beads and a bag of candy. Nor was the crowd entirely local. Chicago residents Alesia and Dennis Nelson came down to visit family and catch the parade.
The parade ended at the St. John the Baptist church hall, transformed into one of the best restaurants in the state, as the parishioners served up bowls of homemade gumbo, meatpies and other Creole delicacies. A DJ kept the party going with a mix of music guaranteed to get anyone on the dance floor.
The Cloutierville Mardi Gras parade is a superb example of the unique culture that makes Louisiana such a wonderful place to live. The Natchitoches Parish Journal is looking forward to next year’s parade.