Cenla Mardi Gras events are just around the corner

Published: Feb. 1, 2023 at 6:52 PM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - With Carnival season in full swing, Mardi Gras events are just around the corner for residents in Central Louisiana.

The events kick off in Pineville with the city’s “Night of Lights” Mardi Gras Parade rolling down Main Street on Feb. 10, starting at 7 p.m.

The fun resumes across the river the following weekend:

The Classic Cars and College Cheerleaders Parade is on Feb. 17 at 4:30 p.m. with Peabody basketball coach Charles Smith as the Grand Marshal. The Taste of Mardi Gras will follow the parade starting at 7 p.m. in downtown Alexandria.

The Children’s Parade is on Feb. 18 at 10 a.m. The Grand Marshal is Mary Laura Hunt, the 2022 Miss Louisiana Outstanding Teen.

Wrapping up the events, the Krewes Parade is on Feb. 19 at 2 p.m. Mr. Mardi Gras Chris Chelette will serve as the Grand Marshal alongside the 2022 Miss Louisiana, Gracie Reichman.

“Our parades are always going to be a great time,” said Chelette, who is serving his 15th and last year as the President of the Alexandria Mardi Gras Association.

Chelette said unlike New Orleans or other Mardi Gras celebrations around the state, the local events are tailored for a more family-oriented atmosphere.

“We’re trying to give a family-friendly environment that you’re happy to bring your kids to but they still get the experience of Mardi Gras,” said Chelette.

Whether it is king cakes, parades, partying or beads, Chelette said finding your own way to celebrate Mardi Gras is what makes carnival season special.

“That’s one of the unique things about the carnival season,” said Chelette. “I think you’re able to tweak it in your own little way and make it however it’s special to you and you keep it that way.”

For more information on events and parade routes, CLICK HERE.

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