To mark the competition in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on December 22nd, the mayors of Lafayette, LA and Greenville, NC have engaged in a friendly challenge to benefit the two cities. The "winning" Mayor will be treated to home cooking from the "losing" Mayor following the game. Since both cities are known for their outstanding food, it was a logical side contest to the main event of the football game. "As an alumnus of East Carolina and Mayor of Greenville, I would normally be on hand cheering for the Pirates," said Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas. "I thought this would be a fun way to add to the festivities and build some camaraderie between our communities." Lafayette is the home to the Ragin' Cajuns from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Greenville is home to the Pirates of East Carolina University. Greenville has engaged in friendly challenges with teams in the past, and Lafayette mayor and UL alumnus Joey Durel was happy to participate, "This contest is a perfect example of what a strong university and a strong athletic program can do to highlight a community. Our two cities don't know a lot about each other, but the football game will give us an opportunity to share our culture and joie de vivre with another thriving community in the Southeast." In what is becoming a tradition for Greenville, the losing Mayor will also provide a tree native to their city to the winning Mayor so that the winning community can further share in the victory. Greenville has offered a crepe myrtle (with the City's official flower) while Lafayette would provide a bald cypress, a tree the Lafayette Mayor feels he can identify with. Mayor Thomas said, "Greenville has been a Tree City USA community for nearly a quarter of a century now and I wanted to make sure that when the Pirates win, we can add another tree to our special collection at City Hall. I figured that Mayor Durel would be interested since Lafayette has also been a Tree City USA community for more than 20 years." Greenville won an Oklahoma red bud tree from Tulsa a few years ago for winning the Conference USA championship. 2012 marks the Cajuns' second trip in a row to New Orleans for the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. This will be ECU's sixth bowl appearance in the last seven years.