Louisiana political leaders party in Washington this week


FILE – In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, Gov. John Bel Edwards acknowledges his supporters as he comes out onstage for a debate with Eddie Rispone and Republican Rep. Ralph Abraham in Baton Rouge, La. Edwards is battling to hold onto the Democrats’ only governorship in the Deep South. (Bill Feig/The Advocate via AP, Pool, File)

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana’s political, government and university leaders have temporarily decamped to the nation’s capitol for the Carnival season party called Washington Mardi Gras.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, state lawmakers, other elected and appointed officials, lobbyists and business leaders are participating in partying and politicking events hosted by Louisiana’s congressional delegation.

Even the U.S. Senate’s ongoing impeachment trial of President Donald Trump didn’t disrupt the festivities, though Louisiana’s U.S. senators, Republicans Bill Cassidy and John Kennedy, will have to miss some of the events while they attend the trial.

Washington Mardi Gras — which includes three days of festivities from Thursday through Saturday — began in the 1940s. It occurs weeks ahead of Fat Tuesday, which is Feb. 25 this year. Several thousand people attend the celebration annually.

Edwards headed up to Washington for the events Wednesday. His office said he’ll return to Baton Rouge on Sunday.

Washington Mardi Gras is hosted by the Mystick Krewe of Louisianians, currently captained by Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise of Jefferson Parish. Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins of St. Landry Parish is chairman of the 72nd annual celebration.

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