|OLG and DCRT
2014-15 through 2018-19
The Atchafalaya Heritage Area has been designated by Congress as a National Heritage Area.
Mardi Gras Parades
For most people, parades, from the extravagant superkrewe productions in New Orleans to the makeshift processions in neighborhoods and small towns, are synonymous with Mardi Gras. With themes drawn from myth, legend, popular culture, politics and other sources, parades are designed to entertain, amuse, awe and inspire viewers.
The earliest parades were impromptu processions formed by maskers already in the streets. By the 1830s, young Creole men began organizing informal processions. The model for today's parades appeared in 1857 when the Mystick Krewe of Comus introduced the concept of a formally structured spectacle performed by its members for public viewing.
In the Parades Gallery, visitors can experience the excitement of watching a parade or the exhilaration of riding a float by climbing aboard a huge, interactive display created by Blaine Kern. A number of costumes, including one worn in 1991 by Zulu's Big Shot and Bacchus regalia sported by Harry Connick, Jr. in 1993, show the scope and variety of parades as well as the many roles played by participants. Terms such as boeuf gras and flambeaux are demystified through examples and artifacts