Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras Parade Schedule
The countdown is on to Fat Tuesday (2/28)! Parades and chicken runs are scheduled throughout southwest Louisiana, and we don’t want you to miss a minute of the purple, green and gold fun of Mardi Gras.
Thanks to our friends at the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, there’s even an app for that to download to your phone! And here’s a list so you can decide where you’d like to spend your time catching the best throws and having the best time.
The fun starts at Heritage Square at noon with live music and games, like laser tag, for the kids. The parade rolls down Cypress at 2:00, followed by the king cake taste off that’s free while supplies last!
If you’d like to run with “the mardi gras,” registration begins at 8AM in dowtown Lake Arthur and they depart at 9AM. They will return to 7th street to join the parade which begins at 2:30.
Horses, floats, and ATVs leave the Lake Charles Civic Center at 1:00 and return to the front lawn at 4:00 to actually chase the chicken! The parade is followed by a zydeco concert featuring Keith Frank, Chris Ardoin, Lil Nate, and other great artists.
Business and social organizations roll down the streets throwing beads and having just as much fun as those in attendance. It’s one of the best-attended parades in the area, and kicks off the Mardi Gras weekend! It starts at the Civic Center, continues down Ryan Street, and ends on Sale Road.
The Knights of Columbus get the party started in downtown Vinton when they start cooking gumbo at 10:00. The parade starts at Vinton Middle School at 1:00 and ends at the KC Hall where judging for the gumbo cookoff takes place and free tasting begins.
The Krewe of Omega parade will begin at 2:00 on the north side of the Lake Charles Civic Center to Broad St, turn left onto Enterprise, then left on Mill St, and head back to the Civic Center.
Mardi Gras goes to the dogs during this very popular, well-attended parade. Feel free to bring your four-legged family members dressed in their best costumes for a chance to capture the title of “Mystical Dog.” The parade of pooches begins at 3:00 at the Lake Charles Civic Center.
Activities begin at noon at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Kids will learn about what makes Mardi Gras so unique through fun, educational activities. Krewes should pack plenty of throws for the parade that begins at 3:30! It starts at the north end of Bord du Lac Drive, crosses over Lakeshore Drive onto West Mill Street, turns right onto Ryan Street and continues south on Ryan to Sale Road where it ends.
What’s the point of living in a city with a large lake if you can’t have a boat parade? Grab a spot on the Lakefront Promenade and watch these beautifully lit vessels glide across the water starting at 7:00.
The Iowa Chicken Run is the epitome of the traditional Cajun Mardi Gras! Anyone who wants to know how folks on the prairie celebrated Fat Tuesday should plan to wake up early, wear comfortable clothes, and plan to pass a good time all day long. The “run” starts at 8AM at the Knights of Columbus Hall located at 503 E Highway 90 in the town of Iowa. You can get all your instructions when you get there, or read all about it here, so you are prepared for the experience! There is a $10 entry fee for adults. Children 12 and under pay $5.
The Second Line Stroll is brand new to Lake Charles! It will be a walking parade, although participants may pull wagons. There is a $5 per person entry fee, or $50 for groups of 10 or more people. Anyone participating in the parade must wear family-friendly costumes or traditional Mardi Gras colors. Lineup begins at 10AM, and the parade begins at 1PM. Entry forms and complete parade rules are available through the Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana Inc.
Jeepers get to celebrate in their own unique way when they roll down Ryan Street at 2:00 to celebrate Fat Tuesday.
Following the Jeeps, hot rods, motorcycles, and classic cars will take over the parade route starting at 3:00.
Wrapping up a full weekend of revelry is the Krewe of Krewes parade. At least 80 krewes are featured on float after float filled with beads and people in elaborate costumes. They roll by attendees waiting to catch the best beads of the carnival season. It begins at 5:00 at the north end of Bord du Lac Drive, crosses over Lakeshore Drive onto West Mill Street, turns right onto Ryan Street and continues south on Ryan to Sale Road where it all comes to an end.