It’s Mardi Gras season and who knows how to celebrate Fat Tuesday better than Louisianans? These employees may live in Austin now, but they never stray far from their Cajun roots. Meredith, Shaler and Katie are sharing how they celebrate the holiday with their favorite traditions and foods.
If you’re not familiar with the history of Mardi Gras, you can learn more here.
What is your favorite Mardi Gras memory?
My step-brother and I decided that we were going to be the unofficial Bacchus parade commentators a couple of years ago. We sat on our parents’ front porch with a PA system and commented on all of the different floats, bands and other parade happenings. It was fun, but for some reason we haven’t been asked to do it again… - Meredith Cranch, Employee Events Specialist
It was the Mardi Gras right after Hurricane Katrina. Everything was still a mess and there were barely any tourists, but the locals were out in full regalia and in full party mode. - Shaler Wells, Software Engineer
Mardi Gras is more than a party. It’s a holiday tradition for my family (much like Christmas!) and something my family has been actively involved in for 40 years. I’m from a smaller town outside of New Orleans and growing up, I remember going to our family friend’s house each year to watch the parades. I had this feeling of pride seeing my dad ride on the float. He would always be sure to find us in the crowd and throw something special just for us. Most recently, I was able to take my 3-year old daughter back to that same house for her first Mardi Gras parade and watch her uncle (my brother) and her own dad ride and throw something special just for her. - Katie Terry, Global Traveler Product Marketing Manager
Now that you live in Austin, how do you celebrate Fat Tuesday?
I’ve lived in Austin for over 10 years now, and I try to at least eat some King Cake, wear beads and rock purple, green and gold on Mardi Gras day. This year, I’m excited that I’m getting to celebrate with Team HomeAway at the Culture Week closing party at our office! - Meredith C.
I’ve been away from Louisiana a long time, but we still do beads with the kids, and make it back when we can. - Shaler W.
After 14 years in Austin, I still order a King Cake each year from my favorite bakery, Haydel’s Bakery, and have it delivered to work. This year I’ll be in Louisiana for Mardi Gras! - Katie T.
What are your favorite traditions and foods?
KING CAKE! JAMBALAYA! GUMBO! - Meredith C.
King Cake, Gumbo, Shrimp PoBoys - Shaler W.
Listening to Mardi Gras music and eating lots and lots of king cake (and seeing who gets the baby, of course)!!!! Mardi Gras Mambo, anyone? - Katie T.
Red beans and rice and Randazzo King Cake - Matt Carboni, Recruiter
What do you miss most about Louisiana?
Getting days off for Mardi Gras! And reasonably priced boiled crawfish… - Meredith C.
The food, the architecture, the slower pace of life. The fact that every neighborhood has its own unique culture. - Shaler W.
Absolutely the food and getting days off for Mardi Gras, but also in my area of Louisiana, I would have to say the people. Everyone there seems to genuinely care about each other and the community. Cajuns are a tight-knit group. You can’t go to a grocery store without striking up a conversation with someone in the checkout line. They always wish you and your family the best and do it all while calling you “cher” (pronounced “sha”) - Katie T.
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