Mardi Gras Vicksburg Style

Bill Seratt

February 14


Mardi Gras Vicksburg Style!  Let the Good Times Roll!

It seems that Vicksburg is about the northern most point in Mississippi where there is a vibrant celebration of Mardi Gras. Although we are just a few hours, about 200 miles, north of New Orleans there just isn’t much celebration north of here. Across the I-20 corridor to our west there are large celebrations throughout northern Louisiana.  Mardi Gras officially begins on the day after the Epiphany or King’s Day, traditionally January 6th and culminates on the day before Ash Wednesday – Fat Tuesday.  Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, reflecting the practice of the last night of eating richer, fatty foods before the ritual fasting of the Lenten season.  For many the celebration of Mardi Gras is not just the day, but, all of the days between Epiphany and Ash Wednesday.

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The celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans is legendary.  Other celebrations along the Gulf Coast and throughout Mississippi and Louisiana are much calmer and family oriented.  For many, the celebration of Mardi Gras in New Orleans is a bucket list kind of thing.  Everyone should experience it at least once!  Vicksburg’s celebration of Mardi Gras has grown to be one of historic downtown Vicksburg’s largest events.  Get ready to grab some beads and have some fun!

The Mardi Gras festivities make a grand entrance with the River Reveler's Masked Ball on Saturday, Februrary 18th, at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails.  Black-ties for the guys and high cocktail attire for the ladies!  Enjoy a scrumptious dinner and dance the night away to New Orleans sounds of Got Grove.  This evening of mystery and fantasy will be highlighted by the crowing of the Queen and King of River Reveler’s Masked Ball and will reign over the Downtown Mardi Gras Parade the following Saturday, February 25th! Tickets are $50 person with a cash bar.  For reservations call Vicksburg Main Street at 601-634-4527 or email kimh@vicksburg.org. Oh, and don’t forget to wear your favorite mask! 

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Join the bead-hungry crowd along Washington Street on Saturday, February 25th, for the 16th Annual Downtown Mardi Gras Parade.  The fun begins at 4:00 p.m. with lots of great floats and, of course, lots of Mardi Gras swag.  There is still time to register your krewe!

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Immediately following the parade head up to the 6th Annual Carnaval de Mardi Gras & Gumbo Cook-Off at the Southern Cultural Heritage Center presented by the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Legal Tender.  Many teams will compete for bragging rights and trophies. The first-place winner will receive a $200 cash prize.  Additional food items and beverages can be purchased during the event. To get all the details to enter a team call Nancy Bell at 601-636-5010.  Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children. There will be lots of activities for children. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum on Washington Street. It’s a street party so wear your dancing shoes.

Let the good times roll in Vicksburg:  The Key to the South.  www.visitvicksburg.com