Alexandria, LA – Come catch Mardi Gras fun in the Heart of Louisiana with two weekends of festivities!
Friday, Feb. 14: Pineville Night of Lights Parade kicks off Cenla Mardi Gras fun with its sixth annual parade at 7 p.m. The route begins on College Boulevard, travels down Main Street, crosses the Jackson Street Bridge into Alexandria, turns onto Third Street and ends at Johnston Street. The parade features Cody Ford, Buffalo Bills Offensive Tackle and Pineville High graduate, as the Grand Marshal. Join the areas only evening parade with lighted floats and area junior high and high school bands resounding through the streets.
Saturday, Feb. 15: The Town of Woodworth Mardi Gras Parade begins at 1 p.m. The parade will begin at Maison Rue and Castor Plunge Road, travel down Dan Triplett Road to Brookwood Drive, turn onto Hwy. 165 South, and then return to Castor Plunge Road. Also on Saturday is the Mardi Gras Golf Cart & Pet Parade at Indian Creek Recreation Area the Annual Pet Parade kicks off at 10 a.m. and is followed at 3 p.m. by the Golf Cart Parade.
Sunday, Feb. 15: The Ball Mardi Gras Parade begins at 2 p.m. and will roll north along Hwy. 165 from Paradise Elementary School to Ball Town Hall.
Wednesday, Feb. 19: LSUA Mardi Gras Parade will roll at 12 p.m. beginning on Tom Bowman Road. The parade will continue onto Grady Britt Drive, turn onto Garry Tisdale to Middleton Drive and rolls onto Acorn to The Oaks.
Friday, Feb. 21: Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders (CCCC) Parade will roll at 4:30 p.m. The parade route will wind through downtown Alexandria, from Murray Street to St. James Street, and will consist of classic cars paired with college cheerleaders from colleges and universities in Louisiana.
The 2020 Grand Marshal is Sheriff elect Mark Wood. Wood is a life-time resident of Rapides Parish and has served in the Sheriff’s Office since 1999 and has had extensive training and experience in the varied aspects of law enforcement. Mark has received numerous letters and certificates of recognition during his career including Louisiana Narcotic Officer of the Year.
That evening, the 26th Annual Taste of Mardi Gras will commence at the Randolph Riverfront Center in downtown Alexandria with the featured band, Karma. Tickets are now available at the Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau office, 707 Second Street in Alexandria, or by calling (318) 442-9546 or (318) 299-6738.
Saturday, Feb 22: Annual Children’s Parade will roll at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 2nd. The parade route will wind through downtown Alexandria, from Murray Street to St. James Street. The 2020 Children’s Parade Grand Marshal is Chanley Patterson, Miss Louisiana’s Outstanding Teen 2019. Children are then invited to celebrate Mardi Gras at the Alexandria Zoo for the annual Mardi Gras Party at 2 p.m.!
Sunday, Feb 23: The 27th Annual Krewes Parade will roll at 2 p.m. beginning on Texas Avenue and ending on North Mall Boulevard. The Central Louisiana Chamber of Commerce Military Affairs Committee hosts a viewing stand with snacks during the Krewes parade located in the Sears parking lot for anyone with a Military I.D. and their families.
Each year the Alexandria Mardi Gras Association chooses persons of distinction, who have had positive impacts on the quality of life in Louisiana, to serve as parade Grand Marshals. This year the AMGA is excited to announce the Krewes Parade Grand Marshal is Layon Gray, a writer director and native of Alexandria. Gray moved to LA in 2000 and quickly ascended as one of the city’s premiere playwrights earning more than 60 nominations and awards for his works. In the Fall of 2019 he proud his award winning production of Black Angels Over Tuskegee to Alexandria.
When asked about serving as Grand Marshal Gray states “It’s truly an honor to be selected as the 2020 Grand Marshal of the AMGA Annual Krewe Parade. Alexandria is my home. I tell all my colleagues how great it was to grow up in such a loving beautiful city. I’m excited and looking forward to sharing this glorious moment in time with family and friends.”
Sunday, Feb 23: The Finale Royale is mixing it up this year, taking place at Huckleberry Brewing Company and being open to the public. The party starts at 4 p.m. and then band kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Food trucks will be on hand for those that are hungry and all draft beers will be $5. A king cake eating contest will take place during the evening with King Cakes provided by Doce Vida Brazilian Bakery, you can enter ahead of time!
Tips to enjoy your Mardi Gras experience in CenLa:
- Plan ahead. Some roads are closed up to an hour (and sometimes more) before the parade actually rolls.
- Bring chairs. You may have to wait for the parade to arrive at your chosen location.
- Bring activities for the kiddos. Plan ahead and make sure to have ways to keep the kids occupied while waiting on the parade.
- Are you in the military? Active and retired military, and their families can watch the Sunday Krewe parade from a designated military viewing section. You must have a valid and current military ID to enter. The Pineville Parade military viewing section will be the parking lot of the OMV office on Main Street (off of Shamrock.) The Krewe Parade military viewing section will be in the parking lot of Sears at the Alexandria Mall.
- Most important – come to the parades to have fun and to enjoy yourself!