The annual winter festival of Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, which heralds the beginning of Lent will take place February 22-25th in 2020.The Saturday celebration, the “Parade of Fools” is a family-friendly event that travels from the Fayetteville Square down to Dickson Street, ending in the Walton Arts Center parking lot at the corner of Dickson and West streets.“This event brings thousands of people out for the costumes, floats, and beads,” said Lee Ann Kendrick, event organizer.“The creativity on display is truly amazing, and a portion of all sponsorships are given to a local charity.”
In addition to the annual Mardi Gras Royalty, each year there is an honored Grand Marshal.This year there are two esteemed dignitaries: Peter Lane of the Walton Arts Center and his wife, Barbara Putman of the Community Creative Center.“We are so delighted that Peter and Barb will be leading the parade for our community” said Chaddie Platt of the Krewe of Barkus.
Anyone can start their own Krewe, which are social groups that come together to decorate floats, bicycles, wagons, and often have a theme in the spirit of New Orleans.There are several Krewes in Northwest Arkansas, including the artistic Krewe of Olympia, Krewe of Barkus, and the original Demented Krewe.There is always room for more!
Being a sponsor or a volunteer is a great way to become involved and find your Krewe. Volunteers are needed to walk in the parade and sponsors make it possible for the organization to make a nice donation to a local charity each year. Sponsorships range from Green ($50.00), Purple ($75), Gold ($100) and Royal Supporter ($300). This year’s chosen charity is the 7 Hills Homeless Center. The public is invited to join the parade participants in the WAC lot after the parade for more celebration, where a check will be presented to 7Hills.
To volunteer or become a sponsor you can e-mail: email@example.com, and check out the Facebook page for great float ideas at facebook.com/fayettevillemardigras.For interview or story opportunities, call Chaddie Platt at 479-601-3125.There will also be an opportunity to feature a float building session the week before the parade. You can mail your sponsorship to our 501c3 non-profit organization at: Committee For Mardi Gras Inc., Fayetteville Mardi Gras, P.O. Box 812, Prairie Grove, AR72753, or complete a sponsorship online at www.fayettevillemardigras.com.
Brew Krewes Contest
Participating breweries are encouraged to get creative and think outside the box when planning their parade entry. Not only are floats an option, participants may choose to decorate bicycles, lawnmowers, scooters, wagons, grocery carts, recliners, or golf carts, for example. Or if a brewery would like to coordinate costumes and walk in the parade, that would also count as a valid entry.
The winner of the new contest will be chosen by independent judges, and will be announced at the end of the parade when it stops in the Walton Arts Center parking lot. The prize for the contest will include a Family Pack spread from Penguin Ed’s Bar-B-Que for Fat Tuesday evening, February 25th, to help the brewery celebrate Fat Tuesday in style. The winner will also be awarded a trophy for display, and will be featured on the Fayetteville Mardi Gras website and Facebook page.
Breweries that are interested in entering the contest may do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Click through the photos below to spark your imagination!