BEAUMONT, Texas — Mardi Gras of Southeast Texas started out with a high-energy chicken toss, or 'Courir de Mardi Gras' in downtown Beaumont Thursday night. 

The 25-year Cajun tradition hosted by the Krewe of Chicken Chasers, had boys and girls scrambling to catch poultry.

Beaumont Mayor Becky Ames had the honor of tossing the chickens.  

Kids scrambled across the Great Lawn and even under a float, to catch the birds outside the Beaumont Event Centre after the gates opened. 

Weston, 13, from Beaumont, TX, and Tucker, 9, from Hamshire, TX, were the lucky winners of the three rounds of chicken tossing.

Weston told 12News his mindset once the chicken began to ran was "Grab it."

Tucker ended up grabbing two. 

"He ran over there and I just grabbed his tail again," Tucker said. "This is my second time catching one today but my first time catching them ever."

The chickens, named Elma and Fred, played along well in the festivities and were not hurt during the tosses.

The Krewe of Chicken Chasers say the chickens actually enjoy it. 

"I like to see the kids chase them, you saw the kids out there enjoying it." Joey Villemez, a member of the krewe said.

Joey Villemez, who is part of the Krewe, even dressed up for the occasion. 

"I like to see the kids chase them, you saw the kids out there enjoying it." Villemez said. 

During the first toss, Fred decided to hide under a float which seemed to be a smart move until Tucker outsmarted the bird.  

After nearly 30 years of hosting Mardi Gras in Port Arthur, the party came to Beaumont. 

Daniel Bogorogeannu is a local vendor who has been selling gyro's at local festivals for years. Last year he set up at the Mardi Gras in Port Arthur. 

"I think it's gonna be a lot better location than Port Arthur to be honest with you, I haven't seen it yet because of the weather, but I got high hopes for it.", said Daniel. 

The weather wasn't ideal, but regardless, people were still able to come out and enjoy the festivities. 

Day two of Mardi Gras kicked off with the Valero Krewe of Krewes parade. 

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