HOUMA, La. — Wearing costumes as part of the Carnival celebrations was once as much for parade spectators as participants, but that custom has almost completely died out.
The Krewe of Tradition is hoping to change all that.
The krewe, founded in Houma in 2013, is sponsoring a costume-making workshop Feb. 17 at the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum.
Andrea Dupree, a founding member of the Krewe of Tradition, said that part of the mission of the krewe is to bring costuming back to the Houma area for Mardi Gras.
“I grew up in Houma, and my mom would make us costumes for us to go watch the parade,” Dupree said. “My mom remembered in the 50s and 60s that everyone would get into costume. We thought that offering people an opportunity to learn easy things about making their own costumes would maybe encourage more people to try it out.”
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The krewe does not yet put on a full-blown parade, but it does a small split parade on Mardi Gras, ending at Le Petit Theatre de Terrebonne, where it holds a costume contest.
“We’re trying to bring back the real hand-made, community sort of feeling back to Houma,” Dupree said.
The workshop is paid for with support from the Louisiana Folklore Society, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
The workshop will be led by Lance Brown, the 2019 king of Tradition. Admission is $5 per person and includes materials and tools, but participants are encouraged to also take their own. Children up to age 15 are free and are welcome to attend but must be accompanied by an adult.
“I love making costumes and making people look good,” Brown said. “I’m going to bring costumes there, ones that I have made and the history of how we’re going to do this. It’s something fun, and it’s also something to get people prepared. Mardi Gras is coming, and people will want to get costumes made.”
Participants should take their own materials and ideas, especially those things that express their own individuality.
“Everyone who comes will leave with a gift,” Brown said. “We’re going to have prizes, a little contest where the winner gets a full costume made by me. Second and third places will get a headdress or a bracelet, something simple.”
The workshop will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Bayou Terrebonne Waterlife Museum, 7910 Park Ave. in Houma.