Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras, Feb. 16, 2021
These photos of the 2021 Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras are the only Mardi Gras photos I took this year. Almost all cities and towns in Louisiana, including Eunice, cancelled Mardi Gras celebrations because of the covid-19 pandemic, but Pat Frey, capitaine of the Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras, decided to move forward with plans for the 125th annual courir, limiting it to 150 participants consistent with the governor’s guidelines for public gatherings and implementing other adjustments to make the run safer. Then came the cold and ice. With temperatures forecast to be in the upper teens during the early morning and many roadways covered with ice, the 2021 courir began later than usual at 10 a.m., started at a different location, and followed a shorter route. About 50 Mardi Gras took part in the run, which began on Highway 29 about a mile east of Highway 13, headed west to Burk Manuel Road (Parish Road 6-284), continued north and west and turned onto Highway 13 and then right on Soileau Road (next to a water tower), headed east on Soileau Road, turned right on Carl Loewer Road (Parish Road 6-270) and then continued south to Highway 29 and back to the start.

The temperature at the start was in the low twenties. My fingers quickly became too cold to manipulate the camera buttons. I was fumbling with my camera as the first chicken chase began but got some other shots as the Mardi Gras assembled for the run. I went home and returned to catch up with the courir at the water tower at about 11:30. By then, the thermometer was still below freezing, but the sun had warmed things up enough to make it easier to take photos. (Mardi Gras on March 4, 2014, was also icy, but the coldest Mardi Gras ever occurred on Feb. 14, 1899, a weather event known as the Great Valentine’s Day Blizzard.)

As far as I know, the dedicated Mardi Gras in the Eunice Courir were one of a very few groups to hold courirs in 2021. The Mamou Courir also took place, but, like Eunice, Mamou did not have any city-sponsored celebration. (LeJeune Cove and Elton had courirs the Saturday before Mardi Gras. Mermentau and Gueydan had courirs before Mardi Gras week.) Everyone is looking forward to 2022 when the pandemic will be over and, I hope, the weather will be warmer.

For information on the Eunice Courir de Mardi Gras, go to www.facebook.com/EuniceMardiGras.

For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com or www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mobile.
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