King Cake

January 16

• Krewe of Golden Years

Senior citizens who have passed down Mardi Gras traditions celebrate the season with food and a Mardi Gras ball. The event is free to those 60 and older and will take place at the Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall from 8 a.m. to 12 noon.

January 25

• Mardi Gras Community Dance

A free Mardi Gras dance will be presented by the City of Lake Charles and Community Inclusion on January 25 at the Lake Charles Civic Center (Convention/Event Center) from 6 to 8:30 p.m.

February 3

• Vinton Mardi Gras Celebration

Frills, feathers and Mardi Gras magic will be in full swing during the Town of Vinton’s Mardi Gras celebration in downtown Vinton. Knights of Columbus will host a gumbo cook-off at 10 a.m. when the teams will begin cooking with a parade at 1 p.m., starting at Vinton Middle School and ending at Knights of Columbus Hall where the gumbo judging will begin at 2 p.m. Free gumbo tasting begins after the judging.

For more information on the event and updates, call Vinton City Hall at (337) 589-7453.

• City of Sulphur Mardi Gras Parade

Jumping into the Mardi Gras spirit is the City of Sulphur’s Mardi Gras Parade. The parade will begin at 2 p.m. and consist of Mardi Gras Krewes, merchants, individuals, groups and organizations, and the route will be from Cypress Street through the S-Curve to South Huntington Street. Mardi Gras festivities will begin at 12 noon in Heritage Square. Stay after the parade for the King Cake Taste Off from 3 to 5 p.m.

To sign up for the parade or for more information, contact Sulphur City Hall at 337-527-4500 or email

• King Cake Taste-Off

Come join in the fun at Henning Cultural Center in Sulphur to experience some of the best King Cakes to be had in the area. Local bakeries compete to take first place in a variety of categories. The King Cake Taste-Off is free to the public, so come taste the best of King Cakes that Southwest Louisiana has to offer and cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award.

February 4

• Lake Charles Mardi Gras Chicken Run

Follow the parade of horses, ATVs, and floats along the Lake Charles Civic Center at 1 p.m. Enjoy a concert featuring Zydeco musicians beginning at 4 p.m. For more information call (337) 660-1050 or email

February 8

• Lighted Boat Parade

Sponsors of the annual Lighted Boat Parade invite you to be dazzled by the glowing boats shimmering on the lake at the Lake Charles Civic Center on Thursday, February 8 at 7 p.m.

February 9

• Mardi Gras Merchants’ Parade

The Mardi Gras Merchants’ Parade will begin at 7 p.m. Local business leaders and social organizations take to the streets on festive Mardi Gras floats from the Lake Charles Civic Center to Ryan Street, ending at Sale Road.

February 10

• Mardi Gras Zydeco Dance

Come join in on the fun at the Zydeco Dance where you will hear a live band playing Mambo and Zydeco music on February 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. Free admission at the Lake Charles Civic Center (Convention/Entertainment Center).

• World Famous Cajun Extravaganza Gumbo Cook-Off

You will not want to miss this taste-from-every-pot event or the Southern and Cajun music that comes along with it. Admission is $5 and children five and under are admitted free. Takes place at the Lake Charles Civic Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

• Krewe of Omega Parade

Happening in downtown Lake Charles on Saturday, February 10 at 2 p.m.

• Mystical Krewe of Barkus Parade

On Saturday, February 10 at 3 p.m. come check out these fantastically disguised canines as they parade in full Mardi Gras attire, all vying for the title of Mystical Dog taking place at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

• Krewe of Illusions

Celebrate Mardi Gras with the annual presentation of the Krewe of Illusions. Tickets are $40 for orchestra seating and $15 standard balcony seating, casual attire. Presentation begins are 7:30 p.m.

February 11

• Mardi Gras Children’s Day

On February 11 Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana and area sponsors will host the Mardi Gras Children’s Day at the Lake Charles Civic Center (Convention/Event Center) from 12 noon to 3 p.m. for children ages 3 to 11. The event is free and will include exhibitions of performing arts, technology and science, safety and health, and arts and crafts—all interactive and hands-on. The event coordinates with other public Mardi Gras events that day such as Taste de la Louisiane at 11 a.m. and the Children’s Parade at 3:30 p.m., offering entertainment and culture to the public at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Typical activities for Children’s Day include an education station, making Mardi Gras arts and crafts while learning about the traditions and history of the carnival season and more. Groups present cultural and historic experiences of Mardi Gras. Children have the opportunity to be photographed in a costume display sponsored by the Mardi Gras Museum of Imperial Calcasieu. Entertainment includes colorful characters such as jesters, dance groups, and promenading pageant queens. Each child is served traditional king cake and takes home a bag of souvenirs.

• Taste De La Louisiane

A sampling of traditional Louisiana cuisine for a $10 admission fee. Held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

• Mardi Grad Madness 5K

Taking place in downtown and midtown Lake Charles the start of the race is in the Police Jury parking lot on the corner of Lakeshore Drive and Gill Street, beginning at 2:30 p.m. This point to point race coincides with the Mardi Gras Children’s parade route. Enjoy food, King Cake, Music, and beverages at the finish.

• Children’s Parade

Held in downtown and midtown Lake Charles and beginning at 3:30 p.m., the Children’s Parade will be a grand display of purple, gold and green for the young and young-at-heart.

February 12

• Royal Gala

The Cinderella moment of the season features the 2018 courts of more than 60 crews with kings, queens, royal dukes and duchesses, captains, courtesans, and jesters. Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 at the door. Children five and under are admitted free.

• Lundi Gras Day Party

Held in the Blue Martini at the Golden Nugget in Lake Charles the event is hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters. This masked party (cocktail attire) will feature a variety of Cajun dishes, cocktails, and music by the New Natives Brass Band. Tickets are $75.

February 13 — Fat Tuesday

• Iowa Chicken Run

The chicken run starts and ends at the KC Hall in Iowa and runs west down Hwy. 90. Ride a float, catch a chicken, and finish with some gumbo and live music for a toe-tapping good time. The event will be held starting at 10 a.m. on February 13.

• Second Line Stroll

With purple, green, and gold as far as the eye can see, area groups strut their Mardi Gras spirit down Ryan Street to the tunes of Mardi Grad music in this walking parade. Begins in downtown Lake Charles at 1 p.m.

• Jeeps on Parade

In conjunction with Seven Slots Society, Jeep lovers unite to roll down Ryan Street in the jamming’ Jeep parade. Begins in downtown Lake Charles at 2 p.m.

• Motor Grad Parade

Happening in downtown to midtown Lake Charles, see hot rods, classics, and motorcycles as they cruise down Ryan Street beginning at 3 p.m.

• Krewe of Krewes Parade

More than 100 elaborate krewe floats, costumes, beads, and more wind through the city in the culmination of the Fat Tuesday celebration. Parade begins and ends in the downtown to midtown Lake Charles area at 5 p.m.