Mardi Gras time is nearly here.

Even if you didn’t have a calendar, you would know that delicious king cakes have started showing up in homes and offices across our region.

The king cake, with its plastic baby, is a sign in south Louisiana that Carnival is on the horizon.

Local Mardi Gras krewes are holding their annual balls, which come in varying degrees of lavishness.

And, soon enough, we will be standing along the parade routes, cheering on the marching bands and begging for beads and trinkets.

For the generous krewe members, Mardi Gras preparations continue throughout the year. They buy and store countless throws all so they can give free gifts to all the parade-goers along their routes.

Whether you prefer the parades in Houma, those in Thibodaux, or any of the marvelous processions that take place in the smaller communities, Mardi Gras is a special time indeed.

It gives families and friend groups an excellent chance to get together and catch up on what has happened since last year – which in some cases is the last time people saw one another.

These are important community events. And they serve as vital links to our rich cultural heritage.

They are public celebrations that give local folks yet another reason to celebrate.

While the imagination of the world focuses on Mardi Gras in New Orleans, the more family-friendly events here are the things that help give our local communities pride and public spirit.

And with good reason.

They are spectacular affairs that bring out throngs of people for the free fun.

As great as they are, though, they wouldn’t be much without the planning, organization and protection of the many first responders who take part in them or are on hand just in case they are needed.

For those folks who are working during the parades, this is a different time of year. It is one that is busy and that keeps them away from their own family celebrations.

But their participation is vital. And, like those who ride in the parades, the police and other emergency workers began planning for this year as soon as last year’s parades ended.

That is how much cooperation and coordination is demanded by these enormous public events.

They are nearly here.

It will soon be Mardi Gras time, and we can almost feel the excitement in the air.


Editorials represent the opinion of the newspaper, not of any individual.