Courir de Mardi Gras: Eunice Mardi Gras tradition of catching chickens instead of beads and doubloons

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If you’re looking for a different kind of Mardi Gras experience this year, head to the City of Eunice. Instead of catching beads and doubloons, revelers chase chickens in colorful costumes during Courir de Mardi Gras & Chicken Run. Events Coordinator, Courtney Elkins says the chicken run is part of their Cajun tradition that everyone loves to participate in.

“They go and stop at houses. When they get to the people houses they beg to entertain them. They dance with them. They throw a chicken and run and try to catch it – catch the chicken to be able to cook a gumbo.”

The Courir de Mardi Gras is Eunice’s largest community event of the year.

Elkins says the celebration dates back to the late 19th century. She says men and women on horseback wear handmade wire masks, colorful costumes, and…. 

“And a capuchon, which is a hat it’s pointed at the top. They do different things but it’s full of fringe and different types of materials, some that are sequins, there are some that are handkerchiefs, old clothes.”

Elkins says attendance continues to grow each year. Last year, she says people from around the world visited their rural town.

“Last year we actually put up a big map and people would pin where they’re from. And we had 48 of the 50 states here. And people were writing in Spain, Europe, and New Zealand.”

The Courir de Mardi Gras parade starts at 3 pm.

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