LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Here in Lafayette, so many great organizations will be in attendance for tomorrow’s parades, one of these organizations is Mardi Gras Festival, Inc.

Jayla Williams and Tyrone Alexander have been enjoying the Mardi Gras festivities their entire lives, but this year will mean even more as they prepare to take the ride around their community as king and queen.

Jayla Williams, Queen Suzanne Simonne LXV, said, “I started out as one of the attendants on the float, then I saw the jester. So I was the jester for two years in a row. After performing for the queen for two years in a row, I decided I wanted to be the queen. And now I’m here the 65th queen.”

Tyrone Alexander, King Toussaint L’Ouverture LXV, said, “With me, it started in high school, the year that I did it the first time I was a duke. After that I played the earl, the king waiting. Ten years later I kept trying and trying to be king and finally, we’re here today to say that I am King Toussaint.”

But the work doesn’t stop after the crown is placed on your head. Since Williams and Alexander were crowned on Feb. 4, public appearances have been a daily routine. Even with all the work that comes with being the king and queen, their favorite part of Mardi Gras remains the same.

“My favorite part has to be the parade,” Williams said. “Being able to get on the float, dress up again and see everybody happy and having a good time.”

Speaking of dressing up, the costumes worn on the float are something the king and queen said separates their parade from the rest.

“Our organization doesn’t make us follow certain guidelines, we can free range however we want,” Alexander said.

“Everybody has their own unique costume, and being able to show the community the difference in our costumes is just cool,” Williams said.

Along with the unique costumes, King Toussaint said the connection to the youth will always be the highlight of their Mardi Gras.  

“It’s not about the adults, it’s about the youth,” Alexander said. “If I’m not mistaken, the only adults are the king and queen and the rest are all kids. We’re mentoring youth and for them to say they have something to look forward to.”  

The king and queen compared the feeling of getting on their float to the play clock hitting zero at the Super Bowl because it’s finally time to celebrate and let the good times roll with all the members of their community.