LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– One of the oldest Mardi Gras balls in Lafayette is happening right now, its the city ball and it’s been a huge part of the Lafayette Mardi Gras for nearly 100 years.

“We’ve certainly been patiently waiting and we’re so fortunate to be back. Clearly, Acadiana was ready and we’re ready to roll. It’s going to be a wonderful event.”

Watching the Mardi Gras city ball pageant truly makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Jimmy Bienvenu says he’s honored to take the stage and role of King Gabriel the 82nd for the historic ball.

“I grew up in Lafayette, and we all grew up with a love for Mardi Gras. Not only the parades, but the family atmosphere. Typically Mardi Gras symbols a return of good weather and our last fling before we hunker down for lent. Mardi Gras means so much in Acadiana. I think this year it means even more because of the pandemic and the pause.”

The king says last year was the first year they’ve had to put a pause on the ball and the festivities since world war II so it’s a pretty big deal to be back this year, continuing the tradition.

“Almpost 100 years now. We’ve got it down to a science. A lot of volunteer effort goes into making this just an incredible ball, and it’s going to be a great night.”

President of the Greater Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras association says it’s the perfect way to end the Mardi Gras season.

“Oh, it’s great. It’s been an incredible day. the crowds were great today, as they have been all weekend. the festival did really well, and everybody’s just in Mardi Gras spirits.”