Family Gras in Metairie returns with new krewes, new throws and more fun. The Jefferson Parish Carnival celebration takes place at the at Clearview Center from Friday, Feb. 14 to Sunday, Feb. 16.
The annual event offers food, music, fun and of course a great spot to catch the carnival parades.
Here’s a rundown of new updates and details for parade-goers heading to Family Gras 2020:
For the second year in a row, Jefferson Parish has added a new krewe.
The Magical Krewe of MadHatters promises whimsy, innovation, and celebrity in its inaugural parade on Saturday, Feb. 15. The krewe will take on an “Alice in Wonderland” theme. MadHatter Bobby Hebert will reign alongside Amanda Shaw as Alice in this impressive 26-float addition to Carnival.
Parade-goers can also expect to see the Krewe of Centurions (Saturday, Feb. 15) make a historic move to the primetime Saturday night spot.
Back on the route for the first time in five years is the Krewe of Atlas, that will hit the streets of Metairie on Sunday, Feb. 16. Also packed into the growing Family Gras weekend parade line up is the Krewe of Excalibur (Friday, Feb. 14) and the Krewe of Kings (Sunday, Feb. 16).
Due to an overwhelmingly positive response, all krewes (except for Mardi Gras Day) have chosen to parade this year on the new westbound route, beginning in the Bonnabel neighborhood at Feronia Street and Clearview Center.
Parade goers on Bonnabel Boulevard will be entertained at Carnival kick-off with face-painting, balloon art, clowning, and more. All Family Gras weekend parades will roll directly into the Family Gras festival grounds.
Beach Boys founder and songwriter Brian Wilson, the Marshall Tucker Band, and a family tribute to Ricky Nelson will headline Family Gras 2020. Other artists performing include The Imagination Movers, Mia Kylie, Perfect Love, Cowboy Mouth, Jenna Hunts, The Cowsills and Brandon Bennett’s Tribute to Garth Brooks, among others.
Friday is a first-ever Family Gras produced set called “A Salute To Louisiana Legends,” featuring: Irma Thomas, The Dixie Cups, Al “Lil Fats” Jackson, John “Papa” Gros, Amanda Shaw, the Bonerama Horns, Jeff McCarty of Louisiana’s LeRoux, Telissa Long, and Chuck Credo IV and His Band.
The salute will showcase some of the most memorable songs to come out of New Orleans as various artists remember the great musicians of our city.
This year, parade-goers also have the opportunity to catch Mardi Gras Moola. The new throw is a unique wooden doubloon that offers discounts and specials at participating local businesses. All promotions will be valid through April 1, allowing the good time to roll into the post carnival season.
“We’re thrilled to continue to build upon the success of Metairie Mardi Gras with new krewes and new parades joining Family Gras weekend,” Jefferson Parish councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken said. “Plus, our new Mardi Gras Moola discount doubloon brings parade-goers to our streets and then into our stores. It’s a win-win-win for krewes, neighbors, and businesses. We welcome everyone to join in the fun!”
Here’s the 2020 Family Gras parade schedule:
Anyone planning to attend carnival events in Jefferson Parish may sign up to receive updates via text messaging by texting “JPMARDIGRAS” to 888777. The messages will inform updates regarding parade routes, weather, entertainment, and more. (Standard message rates apply).
For more information, visit the Family Gras website.