"King Marion 1985," George Rodrigue, oil on canvas. Loaned by Donna Edwards; Courtesy of the Louisiana State Museum

Capitol Park Museum to Unveil Washington Mardi Gras Exhibit

12:00 September 08, 2022
By: Burke Bischoff

Mardi Gras in the Nation's Capital

A brand-new exhibit, which focuses on Mardi Gras in Washington, D.C., will be unveiled at the Louisiana State Museum's Capitol Park Museum in Baton Rouge in October 2022.

The exhibit, titled Carnival in the Nation's Capital: The Washington Mardi Gras Ball, will officially be revealed to the general public on October 18, with a private opening taking place on October 15. The exhibit will remain on view at the Capitol Park Museum until September 16, 2023.

The exhibition will primarily focus on the presence of Mardi Gras in the United States capital, which was started in 1944 by homesick Louisianians who wanted to introduce Washingtonians to their holiday and who went on to eventually form the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians. Washington Mardi Gras is now a three-day-long event of parties, networking, and food that is capped off with a formal ball put on by the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians. Said ball also honors about two dozen queens who were crowned at Louisiana's different festivals, including the Orange, Strawberry, Frog, and Shrimp and Petroleum Festivals.

"Washington Mardi Gras is more than a party," Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser said in a press release. "It's an important annual event in our nation's capital that promotes the culture of business, and the business of culture in our state."

Carnival in the Nation's Capital: The Washington Mardi Gras Ball will feature all kinds of memorabilia from throughout Washington Mardi Gras' history, such as costumes, royal regalia, posters, photographs, and more. Some of the photos show national political figures taking part in the festivities like John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, Sandra Day O'Connor, and more. The different pieces in the exhibit were brought in from private lenders, the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians' archives, and the Louisiana State Museum's own collection.

Admission for the Capitol Park Museum is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors, students, and active military members, and free for children 6 and under. The Capitol Park Museum, which is located on 660 N. Fourth St. in Baton Rouge, is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information about the exhibit and the Capitol Park Museum, visit louisianastatemuseum.org.

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