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(Rick Hickman / American Press)

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

Krewes parade inside for first Mardi Gras party of season (with video)

Last Modified: Monday, January 07, 2013 3:37 PM

By Lance Traweek / American Press

More than 60 krewes were introduced as Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana 2013 made its grand entrance Sunday with the Twelfth Night Parade inside the Lake Charles Civic Center.

“This is a first for Lake Charles,” said Anne G. Monlezun, chairman of the Twelfth Night and the president of the Krewe of Krewes. “We have the very first Mardi Gras indoor parade for Twelfth Night.”

The krewes assembled either on a float, by car or on foot for the 2-hour event indoors.

“This is the way of toasting to the new season and saying goodbye to our other kings and queens from last year,” Monlezun said.

Twelfth Night, which derives its name from being 12 days after Christmas, is the beginning of the Mardi Gras season prior to Lent.

“It’s a great show with a revamped format with the parade coming through the coliseum,” said Katie Harrington, chairman of Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana.

Twelfth Night this year had record ticket sales, Harrington said.

“It is more than we expected,” Harrington said. “This is just the start to a great season.”

As the season’s Grand Duke, Tommy Navarra will be the ruler of Mardi Gras and oversee the season. Navarra began Sunday’s parade on the back of a convertible, throwing beads to those in attendance.

“This is the first time they’ve ever done anything like this, so I’m looking forward to it,” Navarra said before the parade. “I like seeing everyone in their colors and costumes.”

This Mardi Gras season Linda Woolford, with the 12th Night Revelers, is most excited about visiting nursing homes, schools and veterans homes “to bring joy and spread a little Mardi Gras cheer.”

“We’re a happy and unique group who bonds with one another,” Woolford said. “We’re such good friends, and I think it shows when we go out there.”

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