Pageantry and politics at the Washington Mardi Gras

The political power in Louisiana is leaving the State Capitol this week and headed for Washington D.C. Mardi Gras, where, as The Monroe News Star reports, every statewide official and congressman will relocate to the Hilton Hotel, where the sign over its bar welcomes patrons to Louisiana’s “65th Parish.”

“It’s really amazing to see 3,000 people up and relocate to an entirely different city for a few days every year,” says Jeremy Alford, publisher of

Since Louisiana’s political elite make the journey, those who seek their favor follow them.
Among those groups: the Louisiana School Boards Association; the University of Louisiana at Lafayette; the Monroe Chamber of Commerce; the Central Louisiana Regional Chamber of Commerce; and even students from Captain Shreve High School.

“It’s really the only time other than a governor’s inauguration that this many elected officials and businesses leaders and lobbyists get together in one location,” said former Republican Congressman Rodney Alexander, now a lobbyist and lieutenant in the Mystick Krewe.

Gov. John Bel Edwards leaves Wednesday for Washington Mardi Gras and returns Sunday.

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