The Mardi Gras season is here, and we have so much to look forward to, from Krewe balls and parties to the many events that are open to the public. Get out there and enjoy the season, and make sure you stay tuned to our blog to find out how YOUR krewe can win the cover of our 2020 Mardi Gras edition!
Vinton MG Celebration and Gumbo Cook-off Feb. 23
Frills, feathers and Mardi Gras magic will be in full swing during the Town of Vinton’s Mardi Gras celebration in downtown Vinton. Knights of Columbus will host a gumbo cook-off at 8 a.m. when the teams will begin cooking and a parade at 1 p.m., starting at Vinton Middle School and ending at Knights of Columbus Hall where the gumbo judging will begin at 2 p.m. Free gumbo tasting begins after the judging.
For more information on the event and updates, call Vinton City Hall at (337) 589-7453.
Krewe of the Golden Years Senior Citizens’ Dance Feb. 26
Senior citizens who have passed down Mardi Gras traditions celebrate the season with food and a Mardi Gras ball. Free to seniors 60 and up. 8 a.m. – noon at the Lake Charles Civic Center. For more information, contact the Calcasieu Council on Aging at (337) 474-2583.
Sulphur Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 28
The City of Sulphur’s Mardi Gras Parade will consist of Mardi Gras Krewes, merchants, individuals, groups and organizations, and the route will be from Cypress Street through the S-Curve to South Huntington Street. Mardi Gras festivities will begin at noon in Heritage Square. To sign up for the parade or for more information, contact Sulphur City Hall at (337) 527-4500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lighted Boat Parade Feb. 28
Head to the Lakefront Promenade and be dazzled by the glowing boat parade on shimmering Lake Charles. Starts at 7 p.m.
Mardi Gras Merchants’ Parade March 1
Local business leaders and social organizations take to the streets on festive Mardi Gras floats from the Lake Charles Civic Center to Ryan Street, ending at Sale Road. Begins at 7 p.m.
Gumbo Cook-off March 2
The public tastes from every pot of chicken and sausage, seafood or wild game gumbo in a hot contest of more than 60 teams at the Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. Amateur and professional teams will stir up hundreds of gallons of gumbo and serve it at the Cajun Extravaganza and Gumbo Cook-off. The event is a must-be-there mix of award winning food, floor-stomping music, and the down-home spirit of Mardi Gras. Gumbo contestants begin cooking at 7:30 a.m., and judging is at 11:30 a.m., with gumbo served immediately afterward until 1:30 p.m. Admission is $5, and gumbo lovers will be able to sample from all the different gumbo pots. For more information, contact Katie Harrington at (337) 526-9009
Krewe of Omega Parade March 2
The Krewe of Omega Mardi Gras parade will be held in downtown Lake Charles at 2 p.m. The krewe was formed to bring Mardi Gras activities to the black community. To this day, it is the only Southwest Louisiana krewe to hold its own parade. It is held each year on the Saturday prior to Mardi Gras. Parade starts on the North side of the Civic Center to Broad St. heading east to Enterprise Blvd, left on Enterprise to Mill St., and left on Mill St. back to the Civic Center.
Krewe of Barkus Parade March 2
A parade of costumed pets and their owners makes for a whimsical, carnival atmosphere. The title of “Mystical Dog” is given to the most strikingly costumed participant. One of the most highly attended parades during the Mardi Gras season, the daytime parade attracts pet-lovers and families. Call (337) 439-3300 to enter your dog. Entry fee applies. Begins at 3 p.m. at the Lakefront Promenade.
Krewe of Illusions Presentation March 2
Celebrate Mardi Gras with the annual presentation of the Krewe of Illusions at the Rosa Hart Theatre at the LC Civic Center at 7:30 p.m. For the $30 orchestra seats (formal attire required, as it includes entrance the ball afterwards), call William at 436-5843. $18 balcony reserved seating and $15 standard balcony seating (casual attire) can be purchased at the Civic Center box office or Party Time store. Begins at 7:30 p.m.
Children’s Day March 3
Children’s Day, a free event open to children ages 3 to 11, combines Mardi Gras fun with culture, music and learning from noon to 3 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall. Includes exhibitions of performing arts, technology and science, safety and health, and arts and crafts-all interactive and hands-on. (337) 436-9588
Children’s Parade March 3
A purple, green and gold parade in Lake Charles for the young and young at heart. Parade starts at 3:30 p.m. and will begin at the north end of Bord du Lac Drive, cross over Lakeshore Drive onto West Mill Street, turn right onto Ryan Street and continue south on Ryan to Sale Road where the parades will end.
Taste de la Louisiane March 3
Enjoy pots and pots of traditional Louisiana cuisine ready to be sampled, all for a $10 admission fee at the LC Civic Center. Event is from 11 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Big Brothers Big Sisters Lundi Gras Party March 4
Lundi Gras parties have become a staple in the New Orleans Mardi Gras scene, and this event aims to bring the party right here to Southwest Louisiana. Hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters, this masked party (cocktail attire) will feature a variety of Cajun dishes, cocktails and live music at the Blue Martini at the Golden Nugget from 5-9 p.m. Tickets are $75 and includes two tickets for our Tito’s signature cocktail, food, and entertainment. All details with the link to purchase tickets can be found at www.bbbsswla.org.
Royal Gala March 4
The Cinderella night of Mardi Gras manifests on Lundi Gras, Mon., March 4 at 7 p.m. with a lavish promenade of more than 60 krewes’ royalty in extravagant, glittering costumes before thousands of residents and visitors at the Lake Charles Civic Center Coliseum. Advance tickets will be available at Gordon’s Drug Store, Party Time Store, Medearis’ Costumes, The Mardi Gras Lady and the Lake Charles Civic Center Box Office. Tickets are $6 in advance, $7 at the door. Children age five and younger are admitted free. And tonight’s the night The Jambalaya News’ presents our 2019 Mardi Gras issue!
Iowa Mardi Gras Run March 5
Catch a chicken at the annual Mardi Gras Run at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 503 E Highway 90, in the town of Iowa. Doors open at 8 a.m., the Mardi Gras floats start lining up at 9 a.m. and the parade rolls at 10 a.m. The parade goes west on Hwy 90 stopping at local businesses and continues going through neighborhoods with the horses following behind to get their ingredients for gumbo and ends back at the KC Hall. The ingredients are then put into a pot with the chickens, and gumbo is served to the riders while the children play from 2-4 p.m. The chicken run concludes with a Zydeco dance. The entry fee is $10 at the door for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For more information, contact Rodney Victorian at (337) 842-1875 or Kimmy Bellard at (337) 884-1403.
Second Line Stroll March 5
Purple, green and gold as far as the eye can see! Area groups strut their Mardi Gras spirit down Ryan Street to the tunes of Mardi Gras music in this walking parade. Starts at 1 p.m.
Jeeps on Parade/Motor Gras March 5
Here come the Jeeps! The Jeep Parade, held in conjunction with Seven Slots Society, will roll from Ryan and Mill Street and head south to Ryan and Sallier starting at 2 p.m. At 3 p.m., the Motor Gras Parade begins. Check out the hot rods, classics and motorcycles. This parade will roll from Ryan and Mill Street to Sale Road.
Krewe of Krewes Parade March 5
Hundreds of elaborate krewe floats, costumes, beads and more wind through the city in the culmination of the Fat Tuesday celebration in downtown-midtown Lake Charles. Starts at 5 p.m. Catch some beads and laissez les bon temps rouler!