Mardi Gras parade set for next weekend with new route through downtown
Published 8:30 am Saturday, February 4, 2023
On Feb. 11, the seventh annual Krewe of Mask Mardi Gras Parade is set to take place. Krewe of Mask Ambassador Goose Boudreaux said this year’s parade will be bigger and will include 60 floats with one being its first-ever animated float.
“We will have a lot of new things. It will be a new, interesting experience for all to enjoy,” Boudreaux said.
The parade will begin at 7 p.m. and will have a new parade route. The parade will begin at Wild Leap, pass Lafayette Square, go north to Ridley Ave., turn west on W. Haralson St. and turn south on Church St.
The parade will make a stop to make the Marriot Hotel for the king and queen to toast the city and continue down Bull St. finishing at Southbend Skate Park.
Krewe of Mask said in a press release, this year’s King and Queen for the 2023 Mardi Gras season is Kenneth and Cheryl Gordon. They also announced Barbie Watts as the parade’s 2023 grand marshal.
Kenneth Gordon is a resident of LaGrange, a physician, and a part of LaGrange Internal Medicine. Born in New Orleans, he has four degrees from LSU and Tulane University, including biology, philosophy, physiology, and Doctor of Medicine.
Cheryl Gordon grew up in Atlanta and met her husband, Ken in New Orleans, where they both attended Tulane University. She earned a bachelor of science in biology at Tulane, then furthered her education at Emory University in Atlanta, where she graduated with a bachelor of science in nursing.
For Watts, the Mardi Gras parade has become a family affair. The submarine float and streetcar float featured in the parade every year were originally built by her family in the first years of the parade.
Along with animated floats, Boudreaux said there will be high school bands from North Carolina and South Carolina that will be performing.
As the story goes, Krewe of Mask members Gordon and John Cashman, natives of New Orleans, felt it was terrible their grandchildren wouldn’t be able to have the experience and excitement of Mardi Gras. They decided to work to bring a Mardi Gras parade to LaGrange filled with the traditions and beads of an authentic Mardi Gras celebration.
“It took five or six years to get the city to allow us to throw things,” Boudreaux said. “We could have a parade, but we couldn’t throw anything and you can’t have a Mardi Gras parade and not throw things. It took us a long time to make them understand that we wouldn’t make a mess, and we would clean up our mess.”
Boudreaux said due to what Mardi Gras is portrayed as in media, people get the impression a Mardi Gras parade can’t also be safe for families.
“It took us a while to understand that we were a little bit on the strange side for LaGrange, Boudreaux said. “We found we had to do a lot of educating and give a lot of history to separate what we do from what they see on TV. A person that’s never been to New Orleans, will think that is what the parade is like and it’s not. We hope that people can come out and see that this is for everyone — man, woman, or child.”
The Krewe of Mask has been parading through downtown LaGrange since 2017. The organization is dedicated to promoting fellowship and community spirit while also putting on a whimsical and fun parade for all to enjoy.
Following the parade an after-party/dinner will be held at Brick House Grille at 8 p.m. Tickets for the after-party/dinner will be $25 and can be purchased at the restaurant.
For more information on Krewe of Mask or to buy tickets, visit www.kreweofmask.com/