Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Mardi Gras season has arrived in the River Region

  In my youth, which was mostly expended on mindless shenanigans, I often complained about a lack of adventure, activities, and varieties of trouble to get into in the Montgomery area. 

  As I've grown older, though not in a comparable way in terms of maturity, I've come to realize that the River Region not only has a wealth of leisure activities and adventures to offer, especially in light of Montgomery's extraordinary growth downtown, but many such activities come at an affordable price, sometimes even free. Enter Mardi Gras.

  This month offers at least five family-friendly, mostly free-of-charge or low-cost Mardi Gras events in the River Region, all of which are easily accessible, help promote area businesses and groups, and like any neighborhood event, open the door to meeting new people. Also, Moon Pies, y'all. So rock out with your beads out (just your beads, no appendages or anything.)  Laissez les bons temps rouler!

February 8: Prattville’s 16th Annual Mardi Gras Parade and Celebration

  Beginning with a car show at 8 a.m. in Pratt Park, Prattville's Mardi Gras celebration will pick up at 11 a.m. with food vendors, arts and crafts vendors, inflatables, and other family-friendly activities. The parade will roll at 2 p.m. at the Autauga County Courthouse and will travel Main Street through downtown, turn right on Northington then left on Doster Road, ending at Stanley Jensen Stadium. 

    For more information, call (334) 595-0854 or visit: https://www.prattvilleal.gov/special-events/mardi-gras-parade.html.

February 15: DBA Montgomery's 7th Annual Mardi Gras Block Party

  Featuring a cajun cook-off in which paying participants can sample the dishes made by all the participating cooks and vote on their favorites, the block party will be held on Commerce Street in downtown Montgomery from 12 - 6 p.m. (The cookoff will last from noon until 2 p.m.) The party will include three bands and a second line. Admission is free. To sample the food and to vote on your favorites, advance tickets for $20 are available until Feb. 14, and $25 tickets will be available at the gate on the day of the party. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will benefit Valiant Cross Academy and That's My Child. There will also be vendors.

    For more information, call (334) 320-7006 or visit: https://www.dbamontgomery.org/.

February 15: Millbrook Revelers Mardi Gras Festival and Parade

  The festival, which begins at 9 a.m. at the Village Green, will feature pony rides, a water walker, a climbing wall and the zip ride, and vendors from throughout the southeast. The parade will begin at 12 p.m. from Mill Creek Park and continue down Main Street for roughly a mile. 

    For more information, call (334) 322-0749 or visit https://www.millbrookrevelers.org/.

February 22: Wetumpka's Mardi Gras Festival and Parade

  Beginning at 9 a.m., dozens of vendors will be in and around Gold Star Park along with plenty of activities for children. Then the Order of Cimarrón parade will roll at 1 p.m. The parade route begins at First Baptist Church, 205 W. Bridge St. The parade will follow W. Bridge Street across Bibb Graves Bridge and take a left on E. Bridge Street, then turn right onto Hill Street, right onto E. Commerce and go in front of the Elmore County Courthouse. Then it will turn left onto S. Main Street and end at the Wind Creek Casino employee parking lot.

    For more information, e-mail: oocmardigras[at]gmail.com or visit: http://www.wetumpkamardigras.com/.

February 22: Harriott II Mardi Gras Cruises

  The Harriott II is hosting an 11 a.m. Scenic Cruise (kid-friendly) or 6 p.m. Beads and Booze Cruise (21 and older only). Both cruises last two hours and include live entertainment, concessions, and cash bar access. All seating is general admission - first come, first serve. For the 11 a.m. cruise, tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for children for inside seating, and $15 for adults, $10 for children for patio seating. For the 6 p.m. cruise, tickets are $25 for adults for inside seating, and $20 for adults for patio seating.

    For more information, call (334) 625.2100 or visit https://www.funinmontgomery.com/riverboat/harriott-ii-riverboat.

  About the author: Joseph O. Patton is the editor-in-chief and founder of the Capital City Free Press. He is a former news editor for the Coosa County News, lead reporter for the Montgomery Independent and editor-in-chief of the AUMnibus, the student newspaper of Auburn-Montgomery. Patton is also the creator of and writer for the satirical news radio segment "Goat Hill Gossip," which previously aired on WAUD in Auburn, Alabama and has appeared on several Central Alabama radio programs as a political analyst.

Copyright © Capital City Free Press

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