The Mardi Gras exhibit is now open on the second floor of the Presbytere! Please visit to see It's Carnival Time in Louisiana and Living with Hurricanes - Katrina and Beyond.
Since 1699, when Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d'Iberville celebrated his arrival at the mouth of the Mississippi on Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras has been integrally linked to Louisiana's cultural heritage. The story of this extraordinary tradition is dynamically told in a ground-breaking new exhibition of the State Museum. Mardi Gras, brings together rare, historic artifacts, scores of magnificent costumes, spectacular displays, engaging videos and hands-on activities.
Parades, Balls and the Courir du Mardi Gras - are explored in the show. Based on original research, the exhibit traces the emergence of New Orleans' parades and balls to the present-day, statewide extravaganza that attracts millions. The vast scope of the Museum's collection appears in three focus galleries replete with ephemera. Favors, souvenirs, invitations, etc., are displayed in huge cases and "open storage" cabinets. The most dazzling focus gallery - the Crown Jewels Vault - houses an astonishing array of tiaras, scepters, necklaces and other baubles worn by generations of royalty.
The more pragmatic aspects of Mardi Gras are addressed in the Making of Mardi Gras display, a section devoted to behind-the-scenes functions such as police protection and sanitation, as well as the Carnival industry, encompassing everything from formal wear suppliers, to bead manufacturers to bakeries specializing in trinket-bearing king cakes.
Mardi Gras: It's Carnival Time in Louisiana is a permanent exhibition. The Presbytere is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, students and active military and free to children 12 and under. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Individuals with other special needs are asked to call in advance to make arrangements.
For more information or to make reservations, call the Louisiana State Museum at 504-568-6968 or, toll free, 800-568-6968.