"Lafayette parades sucked."

"Too short."

"They didn't throw enough."

Complaints like these about Lafayette Mardi Gras 2017 have been plentiful in social media.

Carnival is over. Lent has begun. It's a season of penance and reflection. This seems to me like a great to reflect on this year's festivities.

I'm the Townsquare Media float captain. As such, I've been dealing with the logistics of placing a float in the Independent Parade for nearly a decade. It's an expensive undertaking. The parade fee is $1,000, Float rental, $2,000. The mandatory one day, $2 million dollar insurance policy costs $625. We threw more than $10,000 worth of beads in this year's parade. Add food & "refreshments. This brings the tab to nearly $14,000, with no direct monetary return on the investment.

A lot of the floats are entered by businesses. We're all aware the business community in Lafayette has had a tough couple of years. Compound that with layoffs and people dealing with the impact of a historic flood.

Perhaps we should all be grateful we still have Mardi Gras in this beautiful, unique community.

Remember, "Everywhere else, it's just Tuesday."

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