The Mardi Gras Street Festival will feature music, entertainment, face painting and a walking parade for children and adults. In addition, over 20 downtown merchants will offer exceptional discounts and activities throughout the day. There will also be a variety of food trucks in the Fidelity Bank parking lot, 231 S. White St., plus fun and exciting 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 and in the Depot Parking Lot, 110 S. White St.
Feeling creative? Children can make a mask in the town hall lobby. 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.
Got a lot of energy? A free bounce house will be open in the Depot Parking Lot, 110 S. White St. Kids (and kids at heart) can learn how to hula-hoop at the Hoop Jam in Centennial Plaza.
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 in Jones Plaza (corner of S. White Street and Jones Avenue). Awards will be given to one youth and one adult. Please note: Only homemade masks are eligible for entry in the contest.
The always-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.
This year's Mardi Gras Street Festival will feature a variety of food and dessert trucks in the Fidelity Bank parking lot, 231 S. White St., and along East Owen Avenue:
- Bam, Pow, Chow
- Baton Rouge Cuisine
- Charlie’s Kabobs
- The Chuckwagon
- King’s Authentic Philly Cheesesteaks
- Lumpy’s Ice Cream
- Sweet Traditions
- Virgil’s Jamaica
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 2016 Wake Forest Mardi Gras festivities, the function offers instant access to the day’s schedule of events, downtown merchant specials, volunteer opportunities 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.