The City of West Monroe announces various activities planned for the 2021 Mardi Gras season. Details for the unusual 2021 Carnival season have been adapted for social distancing guidelines in lieu of canceled parades. Activities include the stationary Krewe de Riviere Parade in the Park, a Downtown Gallery Crawl Mardi Crawl “parade,” a downtown scavenger hunt, and a king cake promotion.
Parade in the Park:
The Twin Cities Krewe de Riviere will host Parade in the Park on Saturday, February 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. in Kiroli Park. The public is invited to view stationary Mardi Gras floats that will be placed throughout the park. There is a $2.00 entry fee per person and attendees are encouraged to dress in costume.
In addition to the on-site floats, highlights include:
- New Orleans Mardi Gras Indians: The performance group will travel from New Orleans and will be wearing their famous ornate hand-made suits.
- Local Mardi Gras dance teams the 318 Swampers and the Louisiana Luna Chicks
- Live Bands: Josh Madden, Four on the Floor, Dead Reckoning, and Josh Love Band
- A King Cake Competition with local bakeries from the Twin Cities
- Pet Costume Contest: Attendees are invited to bring their pets in costume. The contest will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Main Stage.
- Food vendors and other festivities
More information can be found by visiting the Twin Cities Krewe de Riviere Facebook page.
Mardi Crawl Parade:
The Downtown Gallery Crawl group will present an adapted art crawl in the Twin Cities beginning February 12 through March 1. The interactive art experience will pair businesses with local artists to create Mardi Gras installations on storefronts. The public will be able to view the displays from their vehicles and vote on their favorite designs.
More information can be found by visiting the Downtown Gallery Crawl Facebook page.
Downtown West Monroe:
Downtown West Monroe is hosting various Mardi Gras activities in the district to encourage the public to safely celebrate the unusual 2021 Carnival season. Activities include a scavenger hunt with virtual QR code “doubloons.”
Downtown West Monroe has once again been named as the Northeast Louisiana King Cake Headquarters, with six locations offering unique king cake creations. A wide variety of options is available downtown, from savory to spirited to traditional. A list of participating merchants is below:
- Caster and Chicory has become a well-established local favorite for king cakes, having expanded from their food truck business to a downtown bakery storefront in 2020.
- Downtown Nutrition offers a king cake shake along with other Mardi Gras-themed drink flavors taken from their energizing teas and healthy shakes.
- For an organic and healthy option, For His Temple Family Foods locally offers the Eat Fit King Cake. New Orleans’ nutritionist Molly Kimball with Ochsner Health System developed this all-natural cake which is low-carb, zero sugar, and free of gluten, grain, and dairy.
- The district’s newest restaurant, JAC’s Craft Smokehouse, is serving a savory twist to the king cake: The King Dog. The creation features a purple-frosted Gambino’s bun, smoked sausage, jalapeno cream cheese and bayou gold mustard sauce.
- Luna Piena’s spirited version combines all the flavors of king cake into a glass garnished with purple, green, and gold sugar. This cocktail includes vanilla and cake vodka, cinnamon schnapps, and Irish cream.
- Rustique Gator sells the most flavors of Gambino’s king cakes in the area. Gambino’s is an internationally famous New Orleans bakery known for their traditional king cakes.
In addition to king cakes, a Downtown Mardi Gras Scavenger Hunt will run in the district until Friday, February 12. Downtown West Monroe partnered with the West Monroe West Ouachita Chamber of Commerce to present the free activity. Virtual doubloons are scattered throughout a dozen downtown shops and restaurants offering king cake creations or Mardi Gras merchandise. Participants can enter up to 12 times by visiting the locations and scanning each QR code. Winners will be drawn live on the Downtown West Monroe Facebook on February 12.