2006 Mardi Gras Pictures
L'Anse Maigre/Duralde Run, Feb. 26, 2006
The photos were taken starting about 8 a.m. That Marcel Johnson in the first photo checking the male runners for weapons. Several chickens were thrown before the run. The photos of the riders were taken on a gravel road at the start of the run through the countryside. Click on thumbnails to access larger photos.
The photos were taken about 10:45 at the home of Jim and Betty David, who, once again, generously welcomed visitors from far and near, including a contingent of motor bike riders. The charge down their long driveway is shown in the first shot, and their barn, a familiar backdrop in many Mardi Gras photos and videos, is in the next shot. Bradley Venable on accordion led the musicians in the music wagon. One of the shots in the second row shows a man about to throw a chicken from the barn. The last photo in the first row shows a Mardi Gras catching a chicken. Click on thumbnails to access larger photos.
The photos were taken in the afternoon during the run through the countryside and at one stop. After they were allowed on the property, the Mardi Gras formed a circle, sang their song, and then a few were selected to receive a whipping, during which a couple of additional Mardi Gras piled on the heap as an act of solidarity with their brothers. The ritual lashing goes back to ancient times, undertaken on the Grand Marais run in exchange for contributions from homeowners. In representing themselves as humble beggars, the co-captains dress in burlap sacks and dab black on their faces, their version of sackcloth and ashes. Apparently too poor to wear masks, the Mardi Gras have dabs of paint on their faces. At the stop shown in the photos, after the Mardi Gras completed their usual act of submitting to the lash, Captain Thomas Deshotel had all of them lie face down in a long row in front of Captain Wallace, the man who started the Grand Marais run and who is now confined to a wheel chair. The co-captains went up and down the line with their whips, and then all of the Mardi Gras posed with Captain Wallace for a picture (the last thumbnail below). Click on the thumbnails to access larger photos.
By the time the first of the photos below were taken around noon in downtown Eunice, the products of the boucherie (of the pig that was butchered) had made their way into boudin, pork stew, and cracklins. Meanwhile, in the first photo, Charlo and his band provided music from the main stage. At the Walnut Street stage, Travis Benoit on accordion celebrated the release of his first CD, produced by Fred Charlie's Acadiana Records. Most of the members of his band played with the late Kenneth Thibodeaux, who was Travis' accordion teacher. Ray Thibodeaux is shown on vocals and drums, and Jimmy Higginbotham on bass is shown singing a song he composed in memory of Kenneth Thibodeaux. The next photos show Fred Charlie and the Acadiana Cajuns, with Fred on guitar and Jeff Thibodeaux on accordion. Performances by Fred Charlie and Belton Richard, shown in the bottom row, were switched to Sunday after a rainy Saturday. Click on thumbnails to access larger photos.