The Carnival revelry officially starts Wednesday in the celebration’s epicenter, New Orleans, and across the state. It all leads up to an early Mardi Gras — Feb. 9 this year.

Lake Charles does it up big for Twelfth Night. The party starts at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

The 2015 royal courts of more than 60 krewes will make their last glittering promenade, ushering in the 2016 season. There also will be door prizes, music and dancing. Tickets are $5 in advance or $6 at the door. Children 5 and younger are admitted for free.

Southwest Louisiana hosts the second largest Mardi Gras in Louisiana (after the Big Easy), from parades and galas to chicken runs and zydeco, festivities fill the calendar until Fat Tuesday.

For more information, visit

Park display recognized

The Travel and Leisure website has named New Orleans City Park’s Celebration in the Oaks the best Christmas lights in Louisiana.

In its 29th year, with hundreds of thousands of dazzling lights and displays throughout 25 acres of the park, the event has become an annual holiday tradition for families in the Crescent City and across the country.

To see winners in the other 49 states, go to:

Quilt patterns through time

Otis House at Fairview-Riverside State Park near Madisonville will display vintage quilts in every room of the museum during January.

This special tour will offer a bit of history on each of the patterns shared. Otis House is listed on the Louisiana Barn Quilt Trail featuring a block from a “Mariners Compass” quilt on the park’s entrance station. The “Mariners Compass” quilt is also displayed in the museum.

The program is free with museum admission of $4 per person ages 4-61, ages 12 and younger or 62-plus are admitted free.

Fairview-Riverside State Park is a mile east of Madisonville on La. 22 in St. Tammany Parish. For more information, call (985) 792-4652, (888) 677-3247 or visit

Tool demo at Point

Poverty Point near Monroe will give tool demonstrations 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, with sessions beginning on the hour.

The ancient implements were used by Poverty Point inhabitants, who lived in northeast Louisiana more than 3,500 years ago. They developed these tools to use in their everyday lives in order to survive.

Poverty Point World Heritage Site’s $4 admission fee provides access to the museum, video, hiking trail and tram tour. Children (12 and younger) and senior citizens (62 and over) are admitted free. Poverty Point is located in West Carroll Parish, east of Monroe on La. 577. The site is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. For more information, call (888) 926-5492.

Louisiana Travels is a column about travel destinations and events in Louisiana. Email items to or