Mardi Gras de la Louisiane 

History of Mardi Gras in Alexandria

The Mardi Gras au Coeur de la Louisianne (Mardi Gras in the Heart of Central Louisiana) spirit has really taken hold of Central Louisiana since the first Alexandria parade was held on Sunday, February 13, 1994.  Alexandria's Mardi Gras has grown that year from a total of ten floats and participation of four Mardi Gras Krewes, to presently twenty-two floats and 23 Mardi Gras Krewes.  The Sunday afternoon Krewe parade attendance is now estimated at 120,000, and the Saturday morning Children's parade attendance in Downtown Alexandria is estimated at 25,000.  The Alexandria Mardi Gras Association was begun in 1994 by a consortium of local business leaders, the Alexandria-Pineville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mardi Gras enthusiasts, and the Krewes existing at that time.  In the summer of 1993, the Conventions & Visitors Bureau Board consisting of Anne Fitzgerald, Mike Tudor, Fred Rosenfeld, Tom Hardin, Mike Hadnot, Bart Schmolke, Ann Johnson, and Executive Director Emory Oney, voted to provide seed money to kick off a parade in 1994.  The Conventions & Visitors Bureau contracted with Frances Methvin as coordinator and Mike Tudor as committee chair to put the inaugural parade together.

Through the leadership of Past President Pat Elliott, a Childrens Parade was organized for downtown Alexandria in 1997.  Like the Sunday krewe parade, it has a Grand Marshal and an international feature with special guest of honor as float captain.

Through the AMGA's strategic management, Mardi Gras in the Heart of Louisiana has continued to expand and offer families the pomp and splendor of this Louisiana tradition in the safety of small-time city parades.  This year, in addition to the parade there will be a host of events including a childrens parade in downtown Alexandria, and a post-parade party following the Krewe Parade.

The Alexandria Mardi Gras Association's parades are truly unique with as many ingredients as a good gumbo.  The good times roll downtown and midtown Alexandria as people from all over Central Louisiana take part in the revelry.  The Mardi Gras Parades come alive with the music of high school bands and masked riders from AMGA krewes.  This year's parades will cost in excess of $100,000 to stage.  More than 85% of this cost is paid for by the parade participants.  Collectively, the Association consists of over 2,000 local people.  Krewes that are members of the Association have an opportunity to take part each year in the Association parade.

Every year the Association chooses a person of distinction either from the central Louisiana area, or from the state to serve as Grand Marshal of the Sunday Krewe Parade.  Previous Grand Marshals have included former Dallas Cowboy kicker and Super Bowl winner Chris Boniol, blues musician Grady Gaines, former Miss USA Ali Landry, Natchitoches native and country music recording artist Trini Triggs, CNBC London anchor, Sydnie Kohara, an Alexandria native, Actor Scott Paetty, Mr. Food - Art Ginsburg, as well as local personality, Martha Angelo, Eddy Raven, Doug Williams (Football Coach for Grambling State University), Ronnie Kole (New Orleans Jazz Pianist), Scott Stoker (Football coach for Northwestern State University), Kisha James (LSU Women's Basketball), Barbara Bonnette, international auctioneer, and Faith Ford, Actress.

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Click for Krewe Listing and Ball Dates

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E-mail:  info@alexmardigras.com
PO Box 13651, Alexandria, LA 71315
Phone: (318) 473-9501
CVB: 1-800-551-9546