Wild and Wacky, Only At Mardi Gras

What a wild and wacky day.  We drove to Point Church with friends and fellow RVers Jim and Cheryl to see the “Going Out”.  This is a reenactment of an old Acadian cultural event where riders would go out to farms in the area collecting chickens, vegetables, rice, money, and whatever else they could get for bringing back to town to make a gumbo.  Often, they would have to chase the chickens in order to catch them.  The modern “Going Out” began in Point Church in 1961, celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.  We arrived for the 8 AM “Going Out” and never in my life have I seen so many riders in costume on horseback; nearly all had already started drinking beer, and the riders were followed by several wagons containing cases of beer, with some water and a few soft drinks.  You had to be there to really appreciate (I use this word lightly) the weirdness of this event.

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After the riders and wagons left, we departed for Eunice for the boucherie, or slaughtering of a hog.  Of course, the hog had already been slaughtered, and 3 butchers were on standby to cut it up, and several booths in the area stood by to use ALL the parts.  There were two pots cooking fresh cracklin’s, one pot making backbone stew, another making pork steak sandwiches, a booth selling head cheese, and another making boudin.  We sampled everything but the boudin, and we didn’t sample it because it wasn’t ready.  After seeing some of this stuff made, I’ll have a hard time eating it again!   While in Eunice, we toured the Cajun’ music museum, the old depot museum, and the National Park Service’s Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center.

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Following the boucherie, we returned to Church Point to see the riders come back into town with their chickens; really, they come into town in the form of a Mardi Gras parade.  The parade came into town after 2 PM; remember, these folks had been parading all day since 8 AM, and it was wild.  I have never seen such a spectacle in my life.  Horse after horse, and float after float came by.

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We returned to the campground to freshen up and then we were off again, this time to meet Kay’s friend, Donna, and her husband at Pat’s at Henderson for dinner, Cajun music, and dancing.  Pat’s is, in my opinion, the best Cajun restaurant in the area, and we were not disappointed.  Kay and I had etouffee and fried crawfish, and the two dishes were wonderful.  The music was great as well; we were able to hear two of the area’s best bands.  The large dance floor was packed, and dancing was much like bumper bodies.  We did not know how to do the Cajun 2-Step because it’s really a 3-Step, but they played some waltzes, some Texas 2-step, and some Swing.  We tired pretty early and returned home about 9 PM, too tired to even watch the news.

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