2016 Mardi Gras in Rural Acadiana
The photos in this collection of 2016 photos of Mardi Gras in Rural Acadiana begin with shots of Wayne Toups and ZydeCajun at a large street dance in downtown Eunice on Feb. 5, 2016, the Friday before Mardi Gras. There are more photos of other bands over the next four days at the new Fred Charlie Stage. Where in the past, Eunice had two stages downtown, in 2016, organizers decided to offer only one stage with more bands. It was named in honor of Cajun musician and record producer Fred Charlie, the original organizer of the Second Street stage who is still an organizer for the event. Various businesses and individuals contributed to fund the stage.
Based on the size of the crowds, the new stage seems to have been a resounding success. The stage did present a few problems for me. The rotating splashes of colored lighting that illuminated the stage at night created some rather weird photographic effects that I could only partially correct in post-processing. The orientation of the stage so that the sun set behind the far left corner produced a strong glare that my lens hood could not block so that, for a while, on Mardi Gras day, I had to hold my hand next to the hood to shield the lens. Those issues, of course, did not affect anyone else enjoying a great Mardi Gras experience in downtown Eunice.
I also photographed the Liberty Theater’s annual Mardi Gras Show, the Grammy-nominated Revelers performing at a Lakeview Park barn dance three miles north of Eunice, and Geno Delafose and French Rockin’ Boogie at his annual gig at Ruby’s Restaurant Dance Hall Mardi Gras evening in downtown Eunice.
For the most part, the weather this year was beautiful. It was cool and often windy, but, after 2014’a bitter cold and freezing precipitation and 2015’s deep chill, conditions this year seemed pleasant. I managed to get shots of courirs in LeJeune Cove, Tee-Mamou (both women’s and men’s runs), Basile, Eunice, and Mamou, plus photos of the Tee-Mamou Courir arriving at the Iota Tee-Mamou Mardi Gras Folklife Festival.
For a listing of Cajun and Zydeco bands and current Mardi Gras photos included on these Flickr pages, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com or www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mobile. For a listing of photo sets of Mardi Gras in years past, go to www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mardigras/ or www.cajunzydecophotos.com/mardigrasmobile/.