Who says New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Lafayette have all the Mardi Gras fun?
Travel just a little and you'll find Carnival mayhem from Shreveport to Lake Charles.
Here's a glimpse of how the rest of Louisiana will be celebrating through Fat Tuesday on Feb. 13.
In the extreme northwest corner of state, the Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau reports that its four largest Mardi Gras parades draw 500,000-plus parade goers for family-friendly fun. There are numerous daylight parades and designated family-friendly zones along the parade routes.
The Krewe of Centaur Parade XXVII, 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3
Route: Begins in the 800 block of Clyde Fant Parkway and proceeds south along the riverfront, ending in the Shreve Island neighborhood.
Alcohol-free family zone: Veterans Park on Clyde Fant downtown.
The Krewe of Barkus and Meoux Pet Parade, noon Sunday, Feb. 4
Look for hundreds of ornately costumed dogs, cats, ponies, chickens and other pets.
Route: Begins at 2000 Reeves Marine Center in Bossier City.
The Krewe of Gemini Grand Parade XXIX, 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10
Route and family zone: Same as the Krewe of Centaur.
The Krewe of Highland Parade XXIII, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11
The quirky neighborhood parade features walking groups and homemade floats in addition to the larger floats traditionally associated with Mardi Gras.
Route: Begins near Marilynn’s Place restaurant in the South Highlands neighborhood and follows a circular route through Highland.
For more parades, concerts, balls and other events, visit SBFunGuide.com or call (800) 551-8682.
La.'s oldest city
Natchitoches squeezes its Carnival parading into one day this year — Saturday, Feb. 10.
The Krewe of Wag-uns Children & Pet Parade at 3 p.m.
Route: Begins at Bank of Montgomery, south on Front Street to Amulet Street, then right to the City Park Amphitheater.
The Krewe of Dionysos Mardi Gras Parade rolls at 6 p.m.
Mardi Gras festivities run from Feb. 2 through Feb. 11 in central Louisiana.
The fourth annual Pineville Light the Night Parade, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 2.
Route: Begins on College Boulevard, travels down Main Street, crosses the Jackson Street Bridge into Alexandria, turns onto Third Street and ends at Johnston Street.
The Hixson Autoplex Classic Cars & College Cheerleaders Parade starts Alexandria's Carnival weekend, 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9
The parade offers classic cars paired with college cheerleaders from colleges and universities in Louisiana and Mississippi.
Route: Winds through downtown Alexandria, from Murray Street to St. James Street.
The 22nd Annual Children’s Parade, 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10
Route: Same as Friday's car parade.
Children are then invited to the Alexandria Zoo's annual Mardi Gras Party at 2 p.m.
The 25th Annual Krewes Parade, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11
Route: Begins on Texas Avenue and ends on North Mall Boulevard.
This parade began with 10 floats and four krewes and now 24 krewes participate, according to Kelli West at the Alexandria/Pineville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Preceding this parade is Mardi Gras in The Zone — an alcohol and tobacco-free area safe for families to celebrate before the parade. The Zone will offer food and drink for sale, complimentary popcorn and water, jumpers, face painting, live music, a rock climbing wall and more from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Enter from the parking lot across from Bringhurst Field at the corner of Masonic and Texas avenues.
New this year is the Finale Royale at the Rapides Parish Coliseum. Following the Krewes Parade on Sunday, visitors can dance the night away with The Molly Ringwalds. Tickets are available online and at the RPC box office.
West to Lake Charles
The Lake Charles Mardi Gras Chicken Run, 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 4
Held at the Lake Charles Civic Center, 900 Lakeshore Drive, this is a parade of horses, ATVs and floats. A Mardi Gras concert featuring a variety of zydeco musicians follows at 4 p.m., same location.
The Lighted Boat Parade at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8
Also at the Lake Charles Civic Center, visitors will be "dazzled by the glowing boat parade on shimmering Lake Charles," says Colten Miller at the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Parades and other events also include:
- The Merchants’ Parade, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, downtown-midtown Lake Charles
- Krewe of Omega Parade, 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, downtown Lake Charles
- Mystical Krewe of Barkus Parade, 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, Lake Charles Civic Center
- Krewe of Illusions, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, Civic Center
- Taste de la Louisiane, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.Sunday, Feb. 11, Civic Center, $10
- Children’s Day, noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, Civic Center
- Mardi Gras Madness 5K, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, downtown-midtown Lake Charles
- Children’s Parade, 3:30 p.m, Sunday, Feb. 11, downtown-midtown
- Lundi Gras Day Party, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday, Feb. 12, Blue Martini, Golden Nugget Lake Charles
- Royal Gala, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, Civic Center
- Second Line Stroll, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, downtown
- Jeeps on Parade, 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, downtown
- Motor Gras Parade, 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, downtown-midtown
- Krewe of Krewes’ Parade, 5 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, downtown-midtown.
For more info, visit SWLAMardiGras.com.
Along the Cajun Coast
St. Mary Parish's 2018 Carnival season offers multiple parades through Fat Tuesday.
The parades include:
- Krewe of Adonis, 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9, Morgan City
- Baldwin, 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10
- Krewe of Dionysus, 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, Berwick
- Cypremort Point, 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, Cypremort Point
- Krewe of Galatea parade, 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 11, Morgan City
- Krewe of Amani, 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 12, Patterson
- Franklin, 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13
- Siracusaville, 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, Siracusaville
- Krewe of Hephaestus, 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13, Morgan City
Oaklawn Manor plantation in Franklin is decked out in purple, green and gold and open for tours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily in the Mardi Gras season. Admission is $15, $10 for students.
For more info, call the Cajun Coast Visitors & Convention Bureau at (985) 380-8224 or visit cajuncoast.com/mardigras.