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Where Partying is Big Business

Popular for its king cakes — coffee cake-like pastries decorated in Mardi Gras colors and baked with a tiny plastic baby representing the infant Jesus tucked inside — Haydel's Bakery got its start in 1959 as a 24-hour doughnut stand. Five years later, it was a full-service bakery. In the late 1980s, it became the first local company to sell mail-order king cakes, says David Haydel, Jr.

Every year, Haydel's raffles off a large fiberglass replica of the traditional Mardi Gras Bead Dog® statue for charity. "Kids used to make animals out of the broken plastic beads [thrown from parade floats]".

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