With Monday's Mardi Gras flag raising ceremony at City Hall, the festival season has officially began in Lafayette Parish.

Lafayette City-Parish President Joey Durel joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to talk about Lafayette's family-friendly Mardi Gras as well as the season's economic impact on the region.

Boasting the second largest Mardi Gras in the world, Lafayette takes pride in ensuring fun for all ages.

The reason why people come back here year after year, why Lafayette Mardi Gras continues to grow, is because we are known as a family friendly Mardi Gras. People can come here with their entire family, and not only will they experience a family friendly Mardi Gras here in Lafayette, they can also experience the rural chicken chases and horse back rides. - Joey Durel

Durel says Mardi Gras is all about family and friends coming together for a good time, but admits that as a bi-product, the season is also an economic stimulus for the entire region.

When you start thinking about the amount of food, beverages, tuxedo purchases, beads, restaurants, hotels; it’s a huge economic impact. - Joey Durel

This year, Mardi Gras will extend to Lafayette's Horsefarm, as Farmers Market organizers are planning a Mardi Gras celebration that could potentially include horseback riding and a chicken run among other things.

Aside from being fun for local residents, Durel says celebrations like Mardi Gras allow for visitors from around the world to come to Lafayette and experience our culture.

Whether it’s Mardi Gras, Festival International, or Festival Acadiens, people come here, experience the culture, and come back year after year.

To listen to the full interview, click the play button below: