Moncla Community Center’s Lundi Gras to be celebrated Monday
The seventh annual Lundi Gras celebration, benefiting the Moncla Community Center and Theatre, will be held at Bailey’s on the Square in downtown Marksville at 7 p.m. Monday (March 4). Tickets are $10 and will include snack mixes and king cake.
For more information or to sponsor a table for eight guests, call 253-9424.
Supported, in part, by the Avoyelles Commission of Tourism, the annual event will feature music by the Cajun Crossroads Band, under the direction of Jimmy Armand. Attendees are encouraged to take center stage by entering the costume contest and sweet potato dance competition where winners receive coveted, hand-painted vintage shingles.
An art auction will feature re-purposed vintage desk drawers. A two-seater bicycle from Moncla days-gone-by and vintage theater seating in sets of three will take the stage as live auction items.
LUNDI GRAS ROYALTY
David and Susan Brouillette, long-time residents of the Moncla community, have been selected by the Moncla Community Center Board to reign as Lundi Gras King and Queen for 2019. Willie Elmer and Edna Gauthier, 2018 royalty, will crown this year’s royal couple. Previous royal couples include Dr. Paula Childress and Roy Riche (2013), Linda and Richard Tassin (2014), Jennifer and Mark Dubea (2015), Emily Borrel and Thomas Borrel (2016), and Tanya and Al Mahfous (2017).
Lundi Gras King David Brouillette became a resident of Moncla at the age of 10, after his father retired from a career in the Air Force. Prior to settling in central Louisiana, David’s family lived in areas across the US and Canada. Following high school, he enlisted in the Air Force, which included a tour of duty in Vietnam.
After serving for four years, he returned to make Moncla his home.
He spent many years helping his father farm sweet potatoes. He retired as a correctional officer after 23 years of employment at La. State Penitentiary at Angola. David then became a licensed insurance agent, retiring from that field several years ago. He was an active participant in the Moncla Community Theatre’s annual Passion Play held on the banks of the Red River. He shares many memories of the Moncla community Mardi Gras parades and celebrations having constructed and ridden in some original Mardi Gras floats. When the Courirs de Mardi Gras would visit his house early in the morning on horseback, he and his family always had rice or sausage or sweet potatoes to donate for the community gumbo cooked at the Moncla Community Center.
David’s wife Susan, 2019 Lundi Gras Queen, is a native of Marksville and has lived in the Moncla Community her entire adult life. She attends St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Moncla where she participates in the church choir and is a member of the Ladies Altar Society.
Susan worked in the medical field and completed her degree as a Registered Nurse while employed at the Mayeux Family Clinic. She then worked at Rapides Regional Medical Center. During the last 18 years of her nursing career, Susan was employed in the home care industry and became Director, then Regional Administrator for Synery Home Care in Alexandria and later in Marksville until her recent retirement.
Susan and family were active in the Moncla Community Theatre in the 1980s and 90s. Some of their productions include the Theatre’s annual “Cajun” Christmas shows, the outdoor Passion Play, A Cajun Wedding (Une Noce Cadienne), and the Political Gridiron Show.
Susan was also a part of the Moncla Mardi Gras Celebration, playing her guitar along with the Moncla Cajun Band for many years on the front porch of the Moncla Community Center.
The Moncla Community Center building is the Acadian style home of former Governor Edwin Edwards’ late grandfather. The structure was moved from nearby Johnson Lake to its current site on the Old Moncla Highway in the early 1970’s.
The building now accommodates a theatre stage, seating area, a kitchen and a community classroom space. The late educator Murkle Dupuy oversaw the production of numerous plays that drew audiences from across Central Louisiana for over 30 years. Dupuy and former Board President Dr. Paula Childress created the first Lundi Gras celebrations as fundraisers for the continued operation of the 60 year old community center. Polly Campbell, daughter of Max and Carol Campbell, has chaired the past three annual celebrations assisted by members of the Moncla Board.