All hail the flambeaux!

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Tradition of lighting the way continues

Flambeaux carriers in the Krewe of Sparta Mardi Gras parade (LeBron Joseph photo)

Data pix.

NEW ORLEANS-- The tradition of the flambeaux dates back to the beginning of Mardi Gras. In fact, nighttime Mardi Gras was non-existent without the free men of color and enslaved Africans lighting the way for the pageantry of the parades.

The word 'flambeau' means a flaming torch, and the early ones we made of several thick wicks dipped in wax.

While the illumination is no longer needed, they remain a valued part of New Orleans Mardi Gras. We followed along as the flambeaux carriers that work the Krewe of Sparta got ready for their big night.

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