Alexandria kicks off their Mardi Gras weekend Friday, February 28th with the Hixson Autoplex Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders Parade. The Hixson Autoplex CCCC Parade will roll at 4:30pm. 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 and Arkansas.
Grand Marshal for the Hixson Autoplex Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders Parade will be Lt. General Russel Honoré (retired). In addition to Honoré, other parade guests include soldiers from Camp Beauregard and Fort Polk and the Victory Belles from the National World War II Museum in New Orleans.
The annual Taste of Mardi Gras will commence Friday, February 28th at the Alexandria Riverfront Center in downtown Alexandria. The Taste of Mardi Gras was created in 1997 as a fundraiser for the Cenla Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association (LRA). The first year, it was held in conjunction with the grand opening of the Alexandria Riverfront Center, and was named “Taste on the Riverfront”. There were 14 food booths and approximately 350 people attended the first “Taste”. Today, Taste of Mardi Gras has grown to 40 food booths and more than 2,500 attendees annually. The date of the event coincides with the Alexandria Mardi Gras weekend to offer visitors a Friday night event and another reason to come early to Central Louisiana for the Mardi Gras weekend celebrations. Tickets are now available at the Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Office, located at 707 Second Street in Alexandria, or by calling (318) 442-9546 or (318) 729-6045.
The 17th Annual Children’s Parade will roll at 10:00am on Saturday, March 1st. The parade route will wind through downtown Alexandria, from Murray Street to St. James Street. Children are then invited to celebrate Mardi Gras at the Alexandria Zoo for the annual King Cake Party at 2:00pm! Enjoy king cake, music, costumed characters, and don’t miss the up-close encounters with Zoo animals. There will be special appearance made by Bugs Bunny and entertainment provided by the Victory Belles. Standard zoo admission rates apply.
The YMCA of Central Louisiana will be hosting the Mardi Gras Madness 5K beginning at 1:00pm on Sunday, March 2nd, prior to the Krewes Parade. Learn more at www.imathlete.com/events/YMCAMardiGrasMadness5K.
The 21st Annual Krewes Parade will roll Sunday, March 2nd at 2:00pm, beginning on Texas Avenue and ending on North Mall Boulevard. This parade began with 10 floats and 4 Krewes, and has since grown to now feature 24 floats and 23 Krewes currently participating. 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’s Krewes Parade Grand Marshal is Kyle Steven Templin, an actor who hails from Pineville.
The goal of the AMGA is to provide a cultural event, appealing to all cross sections of the community, state, and region, to help stimulate the economy. For additional information, visit the www.alexmardigras.com or www.AlexandriaPinevilleLA.com or call (800) 551-9546.