If you’re not into the madness of Mardi Gras each February and are otherwise fully stocked on your supply of beads, there are still places to visit in quieter days that allow you to understand and appreciate the Mardi Gras culture without the need to expose body parts.
Mardi Gras History
The largest Mardi Gras museum in the US is in an old school house in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The Imperial Calcasieu Museum tells the global history of Mardi Gras, the importance of costume design and much more.
The museum houses more than 1,000 costumes in six former classrooms. As you wander through the displays, you are encouraged to dance a little fais do-do as long as you are there. Don’t worry about having rhythm. Painted footsteps on the floor will tell you where you are supposed to be when.
You can’t help but appreciate the detailed brilliance of these hand-made costumes and why the wardrobes are so valuable. Some of them weigh up to 65 pounds, and the revelers will revel in these into the wee hours. Talk about a great cardio work-out.
And then, there’s the little cafe to sit and enjoy King Cake, that wonderful pastry with a Baby Jesus baked inside. While you’re enjoying a cup of coffee and fresh pastry, you’ll learn more about the 12th Night Tradition, the beginning of Mardi Gras season.
Such delights as these should not be celebrated just once a year. Visit any day of the year in Lake Charles Louisiana.