Courir de Mardi Gras is the cajun celebration, the old-time, small town celebration as totally unlike the debauchery in New Orleans as the little towns of Mamou, Moncla, or Eunice is unlike the metropolis on the river.
In the little celebrations, riders gather at daylight and move from house to house. The Capitan of the crew leads the way and asks permission from the homeowners if they can visit the property. They chase chickens, beg rice, dig onions, and generally put on a show while gathering ingredients for a gumbo. Then they move to the next country house and repeat the performance.
In town, while the riders are going through their circuit, the townspeople gather and dance in the streets, listen to music and generally await their return.
As in all things Cajun, there is beer involved. Lot of beer. At the end of the day, the Courirs ride into town in a triumphal parade and gather at a location to make their gumbo.
We're going to Eunice this morning to listen to some good Cajun music and buy jambalaya from the vendors. At noon, we'll head to Mamou, where we'll buy a drink from Fred's saloon, dance in the street and await the Courirs.
This ain't New Orleans, but it sure is Mardi Gras.