Monday, February 8, 2016

Elton, Louisiana: Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run

Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run 2016. Elton, Louisiana.

Saturday was the annual Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run in Elton, Louisiana. This particular run is a junior offshoot of a Ceaser's run that an elder generation puts on. That one takes place in or near a town called Soileau, if my trailer companions were correct.

Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run 2016. Elton, Louisiana.

Friends and I arrived at the Elton-based run about 10 or so Saturday morning. Inside the stable, there was a wood fire blazing within a drum. Two men, an uncle and his nephew, tended big pots of neonatal gumbo. It would be ready for eating by the time the trail riders returned to base in mid-afternoon. 

Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run 2016. Elton, Louisiana.

Flatbed trailers with folding chairs were parked in the pasture and alongside the road. Horseback riders began to arrive, either riding over from nearby homes, or via horse trailers and pickups. A family event, trailer and horse riders included children, adolescents, and adults.

Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run 2016. Elton, Louisiana.

Albeit tiny, Elton attracts me because it is a cultural intersection of Coushatta Indians, Creoles, and Cajuns. Once our ride got underway, with trailers leading and horses following, we wound our way through the village.

In front of a Baptist Church, the retinue stopped for drink replenishment, to use the port-a-john, sing, and dance. Was there irony in our stopping in front of the Baptist Church, a bastion of teetotalism? Or does a Baptist Church in South Louisiana take on some of the laissez-fairedness of the Catholic Church in some matters?

I held the reins of a man's horse while he used the port-a-john. The port-a-john rattled and shook from the jostling of its attached trailer bed, enhanced by the nearby rocking sound of speakers that accompanied our street merriment.

Presently, we pulled ourselves together and reloaded, after which we proceeded to an open field. There, the hosts facilitated some chicken runs ... um ... let's call them chicken tosses, into the air, with children ready to run them to ground.

Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run 2016. Elton, Louisiana.

(Just so's you know, there were four chickens to start with. One escaped into a residential area after an exciting chase by the kids. The other three ended back in their shared cage, having survived several chases. The chicken in the gumbo we enjoyed when we got back to the home base was not so fortunate, but we had not been introduced to her previously.)

Ceaser's Mardi Gras Chicken Run poster 2016.

In the video below, one of the men led a traditional Mardi Gras song in French:

And then more dancing, of course!

Eventually, we returned to our trailers and horses, and made our way back to base. The gumbo was ready - so welcome on this chilly afternoon.

A slide show of the day below:

A fine day.

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