When you think Mardi Gras, the first thing that pops in your head is probably a picture of the streets of New Orleans filled with rowdy, raucous parades. We have a different idea of Mardi Gras in Central Louisiana. Our parades are family-friendly, daytime parades. The Hixson Autoplex Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders Parade starts the weekend with a salute to our military. The Saturday morning parade is for the children, with family-focused floats and community participation. The Sunday afternoon parade is the big Krewe parade, which includes a tobacco-free viewing area.
Hixson Autoplex Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders Parade
The Hixson Autoplex Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders parade rolls Friday, February 28, beginning at 4:30 pm. It will roll from the intersection of Murray Street and Martin Luther King Drive, up Murray, to Jackson Street, turn onto Third Street and continue to St. James. This parade focuses on the military influence in the area, with four floats carrying soldiers from Fort Polk and Camp Beauregard. Grand Marshal is Retired Lt. General Russel Honore, special guests are the World War II Museum’s charming vocal trio – the Victory Belles. The parade also features more than 40 classic cars and college cheer squads from Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas.
Taste of Mardi Gras
Experience Central Louisiana’s premier culinary event after the HCCCC Parade on Friday, February 28, beginning at 6 pm for VIPs and 7 pm for general admission. Area restaurants, grocery stores, and drink vendors gather to offer a sampling of their great food and drinks. The band Stormy, from Baton Rouge, will perform during the event.
Tickets are $20 in advance for general admission, tables of 8 are available for $400. Tickets are available now at the Alexandria/Pineville Area CVB, Atwood’s Bakery, and Critic’s Choice – both the downtown and Jackson Street Ext. locations.
The 17th Annual Children’s Parade is a must-see event in downtown Alexandria. Beginning at the intersection of Murray Street and Martin Luther King Drive, the parade on Saturday, March 1, begins at 10 am and continues along the same route as the HCCCC Parade the night before. Featuring local bands and our International guests, the parade is just one family-friendly event during the Mardi Gras weekend.
King Cake Cookie Party at the Zoo
All the animals are asking for you at the Alexandria Zoo! Enjoy Atwood’s Bakery cookies, up-close animal encounters, live music by Common Ground and a performance by the World War II Museum’s Victory Belles on stage. And don’t miss Bugs Bunny! See this wascally wabbit at the Zoo and take your picture with him. 2-4 pm, regular zoo admission charged.
Free Zone on Sunday
Join the fun for a parade day filled with good times and good food in the Kid Zone, Teen Zone, Health Zone and Music Zone in one of the best viewing places on the parade route! Families love the smoke and alcohol free atmosphere conducive to a safe and healthy way for children and their parents to enjoy parade day.
VENUE: City of Alexandria Dixie Ball field Complex/Corner of Texas and Masonic. Enter from Parking Lot across from Bringhurst Field, 11:00 am- start of parade on Sunday
This is the 21st Annual Krewe Parade for the Alexandria Mardi Gras Association. Grand Marshall for 2014 is actor Kyle Templin, who grew up in Central Louisiana. The parade begins off Monroe Street in Alexandria, following Texas Avenue to Masonic Drive, then looping the Alexandria Mall via Memorial Drive and North Mall Boulevard. The parade route features a special military viewing section in front of Sear’s Department Store at the Mall, and a Tobacco and Alcohol Free Zone at the Masonic Softball Complex prior to the parade.
Military Viewing Section
A special section will be available for active military and their families to watch the parade on Sunday. The military viewing section is located in the Sear’s parking lot at the Alexandria Mall. You will be asked to show military i.d. for entry. This is a very special section that is given individual attention by the krewes.
Mardi Gras Merchandise
The Alexandria Mardi Gras Association presents annual merchandise for sale. Items for sale include the 2014 Mardi Gras poster – each poster is signed and numbered, the 2014 Medallion, and the 2014 Collectible T-shirt.
Merchandise is available for purchase at the Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau office, 707 Second Street in Alexandria, at Sassy Girl, 1707 Suite M Metro Drive in Alexandria, and online at the Alexandria Mardi Gras Association’s website.