New Roads : first Mardi Gras in Louisiana

IMG_20160923_171326.jpgAbout 30 minutes down the river is the historical town of New Roads. The Pointe Coupee Parish set & home to the oldest Mardi Gras in Louisiana. 

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Le Poste de Pointe Coupée (“the Pointe Coupée Post” or Cut Point Post) is one of the oldest communities in the Mississippi River Valley established by European colonists.

The trading post was founded in the 1720s by settlers from France. It was located upstream from the point crossed by explorers, immediately above but not circled by False River. The name referred to the area along the Mississippi River northeast of what is now New Roads.
The post was initially settled by native French, as well as French-speaking Creoles born in the colony. Additional ethnically French settlers migrated down the Mississippi River from Fort de Chartres, Upper Louisiana. The colonists imported numerous African slaves from the French West Indies (Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint-Domingue), and many directly from Africa, as workers for the plantations.

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New Roads hosts the oldest Mardi Gras celebration in Louisiana outside of New Orleans each Shrove Tuesday.[citation needed] This parade, started by the Carnival Club, was founded by a French-Spanish Creole named James Mortimer Boudreaux, more commonly known as “Jimmy Boudreaux.” He is buried in St. Mary’s Catholic Church cemetery. The town’s first recorded Mardi Gras ball was staged in 1881, and its first-known parade rolled in 1897. Today, as many as 80,000 people converge on the hospitable Creole town for family-friendly parades. New Roads’ parades are civic events, open to public participation. The Community Center Carnival parade, founded in 1922 and the state’s oldest outside New Orleans, rolls at 11 a.m. The New Roads Lions Carnival parade, founded in 1941 and which is staged as a charitable fundraiser, rolls at 1:30 p.m.

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