The 2017 Carnival season officially starts this weekend with Epiphany, but I couldn’t wait to kick off Mardi Gras here on Southern Flair! And the party won’t stop until Fat Tuesday in February, so buckle up! In yesterday’s “Word of the Year” post, I mentioned connecting blog posts throughout the month through similar themes. Well, January is ALL about New Year’s Resolutions, but how can you stick to your health goals when there’s King Cake everywhere you turn in Louisiana?? So this month’s theme is all about balancing New Year’s resolutions while still getting the Mardi Gras party started! We’ll talk a little bit of fitness and 2017 goals mixed in with A LOT of Mardi Gras!
To kick off Carnival Season, this week I threw on my favorite SFT pink flamingo Spanish Town tee (also seen here in last year’s donut party!) and took a stroll through the Baton Rouge iconic neighborhood.
Spanish Town in Baton Rouge is unlike any other local neighborhood. Everyone greets you with a wave from their front porch — or will even roll their windows down to say good morning!
Here in Spanish Town, they’re not even saying “Happy New Year” — it’s already “Happy Mardi Gras!”
So what’s with the pink flamingo? Well, just as the flamingo is seen as tacky lawn decor, some Baton Rouge folks thought the Spanish Town neighborhood was a little weird and tacky. Eventually, it was adopted as their neighborhood mascot.
This week, I’ve actually done quite a bit of research on Mardi Gras for another project, but it was mostly geared toward the history of New Orlean’s Mardi Gras and traditions, which date back a couple hundred years.
When looking into Baton Rouge, the Spanish Town Parade didn’t start until 1981 — so clearly not anywhere as old as traditional New Orleans parades. But it’s weird and fun (and a little inappropriate) and that’s why it’s one of my favorites of the year!
Around this time of year, one of the coolest Baton Rouge traditions is the kidnapping of pink flamingos from the LSU Lakes. Giant pink flamingos are placed in the lakes overnight and you have to take your canoe or kayak out to steal one! Yep, stealing is even encouraged when it comes to Spanish Town.
This year’s Spanish Town parade is Saturday, February 25, so we’ve got plenty of time to celebrate ALL the pink flamingos before then! But to get things going, we’re celebrating with a SFT Spanish Town T-shirt giveaway!
Head on over to Instagram tonight at 7PM (@southernflairblog) to enter. One lucky reader will win this T-shirt pictured from SFT! The giveaway will run through Thursday, Jan. 5 at 7PM.