The Mardi Gras Street Festival will feature music, entertainment, face painting and a walking parade for children and adults. There will also be a variety of contests for the young and young at heart!
One of the day’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 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. Awards will be presented for “Best Decorated Vehicle (wagon, cart, bicycle or stroller),” “Best Baby,” and “Most Festive Family.” Judges will also select a "King & Queen" and "Prince & Princess" for the best costumes.
Free face painting will be offered in the town hall lobby from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. and in the Depot Parking Lot from 2-4 p.m.
Feeling creative? Children can make a mask in the town hall lobby from 11 a.m. -1 p.m. The activity is offered by Wake Forest ARTS. Then make sure to leave your mark by participating in sidewalk chart art in front of the Depot Parking Lot from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
Got a lot of energy? A free bounce house will be open from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Depot Parking Lot, 100 S. White St. Kids (and kids at heart) can learn how to hula-hoop at the Hoop Jam in Centennial Plaza from 11:15 a.m. until 12:45 p.m.
Just want to see the sights? Roaming acrobats, a juggler, a balloon twister, a magician and other street entertainers will provide plenty of entertainment throughout the day.
Teenagers and adults are invited to participate in the King & Queen Costume Contest prior to the start of the walking parade. The costume judging will take place at noon in the vicinity of the Centennial Plaza flagpoles. The winners will serve as the parade’s grand marshals and lead the walking parade.
A Prince & Princess Costume Contest will also be offered for younger participants. Anyone wishing to enter the contest should gather at the Centennial Plaza flagpoles at noon. The winners will ride in a horse and carriage at the front of the procession.
Contests for Best Baby, Best Decorated Vehicle (wagon, cart, bicycle or stroller) and Most Festive Family will be held at 12:30 pm in front of the flagpoles in Centennial Plaza. Anyone may enter.
A Best Mask Contest will be held at 2:15 pm in Jones Plaza (corner of S. White Street and Jones Avenue). Awards will be given to one youth and one adult.
The ever-popular Bubblegum Blowing Contest will be held at 3 pm in Jones Plaza (corner of S. White Street and Jones Avenue).
Downtown Merchant Specials
Several participating downtown merchants will offer special discounts and activities – many with a Mardi Gras theme - throughout the day.
Mardi Gras App
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 at www.wakeforestnc.gov/app.aspx.