Get A Free 2014 New Orleans Guidebook
First, Sign-up for our New Orleans Monthly Newsletter

Sign-up for our newsletter today so you can stay up-to-date with the latest
news on good deals on upcoming events. As a bonus we'll send you our handy guide to the city.

Get Exclusive Access To:
  • The latest news about can't-miss events and festivals
  • Insider information on where to dine, shop, sleep and celebrate
  • Savings opportunities you'll find nowhere else
Yes I want to stay up-to-date with the latest New Orleans insider information
Tell Us Where To Send Your Newsletter:
Your privacy is important to us - we never sell or share your information. You can unsubscribe anytime by clicking the unsubscribe link in any of our newsletters.
Mardi Gras History
 

The Flambeaux Tradition

Flambeaux Carrier
Flambeaux Carrier

Lighting up the sky with heavy blazing torches, the flambeaux carrier originally served as a beacon for parade-goers to better enjoy the spectacle of night festivities. The flambeaux carriers were originally slaves and free men of color parading, twirling and fooling around in robes. Initially, the flambeaux were established by the old-line Carnival organization Comus, which sought to make “new people and customs the salvation of Mardi Gras.” The sight of African-Americans lighting the way of the elaborate floats was unforgettable.

Crowds tossed coins to slaves and free men of color trying to earn money for their task of lighting the way for the floats - a custom that continues today. Now, incorporated in modern processionals, the torchbearers are not only a historic footnote, but serve as a world-class example of performance art. The torches may be lighter and use butane or kerosene, but the entertaining exchange between the crowd and the flambeaux is a rich Carnival tradition.

 
Arrival
Departure
 
Hotels Bed and Breakfasts
 

 
 

View Gallery

See More

Sign Up