Mardi Gras

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Filipinos in New Orleans have a history of participating in Mardi Gras. The community, referred to as the Filipino colony in newspaper articles, designed held Mardi Gras balls and designed floats to participate in the annual carnival season.

In 1936, the Mardi Gras float designed by the Filipino community won an award for the best decorated float in the Krewe of Orleanians, a Mardi Gras day parade. The Krewe of Orleanians had over seventy-five trucks designed by independent organizations, including representatives of Mexico, Spain, and Holland. The float featured members of the community playing guitars. The truck was decorated to represent the Philippines with "a sea of red, white and yellow roses on a background of coral reafs [sic] ." [1] The night before the parade Caballeros de Dimas Alang Inc., Louisiana Lodge No. 34 U.D. held a Mardi Gras ball at the Italian Hall to select a queen to take a prominent position on the "tropically designed float." [2]

In the 30's and 40's, community floats were decorated in front of a bar run by Miguel Guillera, first the Colony bar and then the Fiesta bar and restaurant located in the 1000 block of Frenchman Street (Doris and Carmen Guillera, personal communication, Feb. 20, 2016). Community members drove out to Chef Menteur Highway in the eastern part of New Orleans to cut cane from the marsh to decorate the floats (Evelyn Guillera Gonzales Planchard, 2008)


  1. "Carnival Capital Pours Adulation Into Celebration." The Times-Picayune [New Orleans] 26 Feb. 1936 3. [PDF]
  2. "Selection of Queen is Slated by Colony." The Times-Picayune New Orleans States Item [New Orleans] 26 Jan. 1936 16. [PDF]