A grand exhibit is now on display at the Louisiana State Archives honoring the history of the Washington D.C. Mardi Gras Ball and Mystic Krewe of Louisianians in the nation’s capital.
Included in the wide array of Mardi Gras memorabilia are 11 display cases full of Krewe royal crowns, posters, gowns, dubloons and more. There is also a $165,000 custom royal-eggplant Cobra SR chopper. The Mardi Gras motorcycle is adorned with 1,000 Swarovski crystals, and was donated by Norco native Glen Smith who was the krewe’s king last year. The bike also has spinning crowns inside the wheels and an alligator-hide seat. Krewe characters are painted on the sides and the entire vehicle is lit by 1,000 LED lights.
The first Krewe of Louisianian ball took place in 1944 as a “taste of Mardi Gras” for transplanted Louisianians living in the nation’s capital. Through the leadership of former U.S. Sen. Russell B. Long, the celebration has grown to become the most successful state celebration there.
The exhibit will run through April 15. Admission to the Archives is free and the building is wheelchair accessible. Operating hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the first Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (225)922-1000 or visit www.sos.la.gov/archives.