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Mardi Gras: Port Arthur rejoices; don’t miss out


The Krewe of Aurora’s Mardi Gras ball this weekend heralds the approaching arrival of what will be Mardi Gras No. 27 in Port Arthur, set for Thursday through Sunday downtown. Are you ready? Mardi Gras won’t wait for you.

The “Color Me Carnival” themed event will open at 5 p.m. Thursday and continue for four nights and weekend days. The first parade comes courtesy of Lamar State College Port Arthur, and leaves the Carl A. Parker Multi Purpose Center at 6 p.m. and makes its long way to Houston Avenue. You should be there.

Thursday’s events will be followed by these scheduled features:

  • Friday: Gates open at 6, close at midnight downtown. A golf cart and ATV parade will be followed by the Valero Krewe of Krewes Parade at 7, which starts near Rosehill.
  • Saturday: Gates open at noon, close at 1 a.m. Sunday. Kids Zone open from noon-6 p.m. with three parades scheduled: Krewes Royalty March inside the festival grounds at 2, Motorcycle Showcase Parade at 5:30 (starts at Rosehill), and Total Krewe of Aurora Grand Parade at 6.
  • Sunday: Gates open at noon, close at 8. Umbrella Brigade Parade at 2 inside the festival grounds, Munchkin Parade inside the festival grounds at 3, and Motor Parade, starting at Rosehill at 4.

Laura Childress of Mardi Gras Southeast Texas says an appearance by the Philadelphia Mummers string band — it will be the first Mummers appearance in a decade+ — should serve as a Mardi Gras highlight. For Cajun and zydeco music aficionados, the new zydeco music stage will enhance the colorful, local appeal of the event.

Pricing has been restructured with additional discounts, more value added for the patrons and — this is important — Mother Nature may smile on this event with favorable early spring weather. Fingers crossed, please.

Mardi has woven its way into our community’s cultural fabric and given us respite from winter doldrums. Music offerings — DeAndre Nico is scheduled for 3 p.m. Saturday on the Main Stage — promise to be superb, and pricing has made the event more accessible than ever to the public.

There’s more: Organizers say the annual four-day celebration encourages reunions of all sorts around Greater Port Arthur. That means social groups and families who make this event a must-attend one.

We encourage Greater Port Arthur people and others to attend. Police presence safeguards the downtown area, parking is available and the beads never stop coming.

We encourage safe and responsible behavior that supports the family emphasis of Mardi Gras Southeast Texas. That means giving the parade safe distance, obeying city ordinances, keeping watch over your children and using common sense.

New Orleans offers these tips for behavior, and they seem good anywhere: “Don’t get overly drunk, be obnoxious or behave irrationally.”

But enjoy.