It's 7 a.m. in Mamou, and the party has already started.
"We ain't stopped since last night. We ain't went to bed. We don't sleep in Mamou for Mardi Gras," Slade Doucet said.
Before the parade, a captain reads the rules to the 150 riders
"You can't carry a gun. You can't carry a pocket knife. You gotta get down and dance, then they gonna throw you some chickens," Captain Kenneth Mouiller said.
Then the Courir de Mardi Gras trots down main street.
"It goes back to medieval days in Europe, and it's based out of a celebration for the last hoorah before Lent," Gerald Fontenot said.
The challenge for riders is to catch chickens. At every stop there are more chickens. This ride goes on all day from house to house, collecting chickens that all end up in a big pot of gumbo in downtown Mamou. It seems that any mud hole becomes a magnet for this Mardi Gras.
It's a raucous tradition that some riders eventually outgrow, but there are plenty of younger men eager to take their place in the Mardi Gras ride in Mamou.