LAFAYETTE, LA (WAFB) - In Lafayette, Mardi Gras is all about family, new or old.
"This the happiest place to be in Louisiana! Everybody know everybody, everybody love everybody. It's fun, food, and excitement," one carnival goer said while holding his baby boy.
The King's Parade rolled at 10 a.m. on Fat Tuesday, led by King Gabriel. For 2017, the role of King Gabriel was filled by lifelong Lafayette resident and prominent businessman, Thomas Stuart Chance. "It's certainly a tremendous honor to represent the City of Lafayette and the greater southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras," said Chance.
Chance and other locals say the Carnival festivities in Lafayette offer a fun party in a family friendly atmosphere.
"Lafayette Mardi Gras is a combination of everything from the craziness of the parade to the pomp and circumstance of the formal balls and everything in between," said Chance.
Among the hundreds of thousands who lined the parade route was Rose Stewart, a North Carolina native and first time parade goer. "It's beautiful, beautiful! Look at all my beads," laughed Stewart. "I don't think I've ever seen anything in North Carolina like this."