We’ve all heard about Mardi Gras, that special New Orleans party that happens each year with bead throwing and boob flashing. Well the Wake Forest Mardi Gras is going off on March 1. That’s sure to stimulate the local economy. Woo Hoo!
But sadly we think there will be a noticeable absence of boob flashing at the Wake Forest version even though what happens in Wake Forest stays in Wake Forest.
According to the Town, the Wake Forest Mardi Gras Street Festival promises fun-filled activities for both children and adults, including face painters, strolling entertainers, free horse and carriage rides, live music, an inflatable playground, special contests and much more.
What, no body painters?
One of the event’s highlights promises to be the Mardi Gras Walking Parade. The lineup will begin at 12:45 p.m. in town hall’s Centennial Plaza, 301 S. Brooks St., and the parade gets underway at 1 p.m. The parade route will extend from town hall, up East Owen Avenue, and north along South White Street before ending at the Depot Parking Lot, 110 S. White St.
The list is missing the highlights we had hoped for but oh well. Still rooting for the boob flashing contest but then again life’s full of disappointments.
The walking parade is open to both children and adults. No pre-registration is required; however, all children must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. Youngsters are invited to walk, roller skate, ride their bicycles or be pulled along in a wagon. Participation is free, but bicyclists must wear their helmets.
Parade participants are encouraged to flex their creative muscles by decorating their bicycles and wagons, dressing up in their best Mardi Gras garb, and wearing a mask. Kids will also have the opportunity to take advantage of the free face painting that will be offered from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the town hall lobby and from 2-4 p.m. in the Depot Parking Lot, 110 S. White St., and the Wake Forest ARTS office, 205 S. Brooks St.
Teenagers are invited to participate in the King & Queen Costume Contest prior to the start of the parade. The costume judging will take place at noon in the vicinity of the Centennial Plaza flagpoles. The winners of the costume contest will serve as the parade’s grand marshals and have the opportunity to ride in a horse and carriage at the head of the procession.
A Parade Prince & Princess Costume Contest will also be offered for younger participants. A complete schedule of events and activities is available here.
The day-long festivities will conclude with a sensational evening of music, dancing and fun during our Mardi Gras Renaissance Ball at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre, 405 S. Brooks St.
Doors will open at 7 p.m. Attire is black-tie optional, but Mardi Gras masks are encouraged.
A Renaissance Ball King & Queen will be crowned during the evening. Each guest will receive two free raffle tickets on which to nominate their choice for King & Queen. Additional tickets may be purchased to increase your nominees’ chances of winning. The winners will be drawn from among the submitted tickets and crowned our Renaissance Ball King & Queen.
Tickets to the Renaissance Ball are now on sale for $60 per person. The ticket price includes live entertainment, a buffet dinner, cash bar, two King & Queen raffle tickets – and one drink ticket redeemable for a ‘Hurricane.’
Tickets can be purchased online with a Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit card, here. Tickets may also be purchased at the Parks and Recreation Department window in the lobby of the Wake Forest Town Hall, 301 S. Brooks St., with cash, check or credit card. A $2.95 processing fee will be added to the cost of any ticket purchased with a credit card.
Event proceeds from the Renaissance Ball will be used to support arts programming at the Wake Forest Renaissance Centre.
Volunteers are needed throughout the day of this event. To learn more or sign up, click here.
Android and iPhone users can have a handy pocket guide to this year’s Mardi Gras celebration in the palm of their hands by downloading the Town of Wake Forest app and using the app’s “Mardi Gras” function. Designed to provide smart phone users with useful information about all of the 2014 Wake Forest Mardi Gras festivities, the function offers instant access to the day’s schedule of events, volunteer opportunities, Renaissance Ball tickets and more.
IPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, and Android users can download the town’s free app by searching for “Town of Wake Forest” on iTunes, in the iPhone app store or in Google Play or by scanning the appropriate QR code provided here.
The Mardi Gras Street Festival is the perfect occasion to stroll South White Street, shop for that one-of-a-kind gift, dine in one of our distinctive restaurants and socialize with friends and neighbors. The Renaissance Ball is the perfect opportunity for area adults to come out dressed to impress and experience the new Wake Forest Renaissance Centre. For more information on this one-of-a-kind celebration, contact Downtown Development Director Lisa Newhouse at 919-435-9415 or email@example.com.