The Krewe of Carnivale en Rio began rolling through the streets of Lafayette at 6:30 this evening (Saturday, February 19th). This marks the first major Mardi Gras parade to roll through Lafayette's four-mile parade route since the public health emergency was declared in response to the coronavirus.

Staff Photo
Staff Photo
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Over the past few weeks, actually, since Christmas and New Year’s, you could feel it building. No, this year South Louisiana did not experience the post seasonal letdown that the end of the holiday season brought last year. No, this year the energy was building for what could be one of the most memorable Mardi Gras seasons ever.  

Admittedly there was more than a bit of fear and trepidation as the days on the calendar flipped into January. Louisiana was seeing some of its highest COVID case counts during the Omicron surge. Would the surge take away Mardi Gras as the first wave of COVID had done the previous year? 

Chris Graythen, Getty Images
Chris Graythen, Getty Images
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Cautiously, or with “reckless abandonment”, it really all depends on whom you are talking to, Mardi Gras Krewes in Acadiana made their best decisions and many chose to move forward with balls, parties, and parades. And it looks as if that has been a good decision as virus numbers across the region have dropped significantly.  

In fact, the COVID case improvements have really enhanced the building vibe of the Carnival season. And if you thought people in South Louisiana loved getting together before, just wait until you see how enthusiastic and large crowds along the parade routes are going to be this year  

Elaine Sarantakos via YouTube
Elaine Sarantakos via YouTube
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As evidenced by what we’ve seen from the Krewe de Canailles parade in Lafayette last night, the Carencro Mardi Gras Parade which rolled this morning at 11 and the Krewe des Chiens Parade which rolled in Lafayette. The weather conditions were a bit chilly but otherwise perfect for last night’s walking parade and judging by the photos and comments on social media, the sunshine made the conditions perfect for the daytime parades.  

Here's to a safe parade season in Acadiana. Keep scrolling for your first look at the Krewe of Rio Parade for 2022.

Krewe of Rio Parade 2022