BATON ROUGE, La. - Robert King has been part of Spanish Town Mardi Gras for 40 years.
“Just like ‘Man, I love flamingos’ and that’s Spanish town,” King said.
Every year when carnival season starts on the epiphany, he starts getting excited about the upcoming parade and ball.
“It’s a day after a year where we have judges, lawyers, doctors, people who must toe the line all year long. They can let their hair down, they become something they’re not, they can dress up, they can party,” King said.
This year the parade theme is “man, I love flamingos” in honor of Doug Cossman, a member of their organization who passed away last year.
“If it wasn’t for him, the ball wouldn’t be where it’s now because he took it, and when it was just a small little thing with 100 people, 200 people. Now it’s grown to 3000-something people and he’s brought in some great music, and we’re trying to follow in his footsteps,” King said.
Spanish Town Mardi Gras brings people together and brings business downtown.
“With all the people down here, people are always coming into the store trying to get everything pink, everything flamingo, everything, purple, gold, and green. It brings a clientele Downtown that normally wouldn’t be here,” Luke Lognion, co-owner of Brass and Circa 1857 said.
Lognion also lives in the Spanish Town neighborhood, and even he is already starting to prepare.
“We are making sure that we have all of our parking down, we’re making sure that we have food because once the once the festivities begin, we won’t be able to leave our house, all the streets are shut off going to and from our house so we are here making sure that you know we have all the preparations we need plus we have a huge party every year,” Lognion said.
He said he loves this parade because of how it brings people from all over Baton Rouge.
“The Spanish town market, the capital grocery, which is like a nice little center hub of Spanish town life. It is a very friendly neighborhood where people always know each other, and we love being able to share that with everybody at Baton Rouge,” Lognion said.