2nd biggest Mardi gras parade with low turnout, but big spirit

LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - The city known for hosting the second biggest Mardi Gras party in the state got off to a slow start Tuesday. The threat of rain kept a lot of revelers off the streets of Lafayette, but it wasn't enough to spoil the Cajun carnival spirit.

It is a carnival celebration fit for a king. Stuart Clark IV, a commercial banker who has been a part of the Lafayette Mardi Gras scene for 20 years, reined as King Gabriel the 74th. The St. Louis native delivered only one order from his throne. "My only command is for everyone to enjoy Mardi gras as can only be done in Louisiana."

Revelers were more than happy to answer the King's call Cajun style. In Acadiana, you don't need a crown and a scepter to rule.

Marching bands from Lake Charles to East Feliciana and south to St. Mary Parish paraded before parade-goers, all eager to get their hands on this season's hottest throws.

City-Parish President Joey Durelo says Lafayette always makes good on its promise to deliver.

"What I hear from people who come here from out of state is that they were fighting for beads and people all around them were handing them beads and it's their first Mardi gras," said Durelo.

The crowds which are notoriously four to five people deep were few and far between.

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