Celebrate Mardi Gras in Decatur, AL

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A full day of Mardi Gras themed events is on the agenda for March 2, 2019, when the Carnegie Visual Arts Center holds its annual Carnegie Carnival. Now in its eighth year, Carnegie Carnival fills the city’s historic downtown area with parades, crewes, floats, throws, music, and other family fun, all while promoting art and creativity. The annual event also serves as a fundraiser for the arts and other non-profits located in Decatur and Morgan County.

During Carnegie Carnival, downtown restaurants and merchants will be open and festivalgoers can dine and shop for locally made and one-of-a-kind items. Festival organizers encourage parade-goers to participate in the Catch and Release bead-recycling program. The Carnegie Visual Arts Center, in conjunction with the Decatur High School Developmental Program, collect and recycle thrown beads from previous Carnegie Carnival parades. Beads may be dropped off at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center during their regular operating hours. DHS Developmental Program students and volunteers wash, sort and repackage the beads to make the beads available for resale at an economical price. Catch and Release Beads are available for purchase at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center while supplies last. All proceeds from the sale of the beads benefit the Decatur High School Development Program.

Carnival Frolic

Carnegie Carnival gets underway at 8 a.m. with the Carnival Frolic, a 13.1-mile race through the historic districts, along the Tennessee River and through Point Mallard Park.

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Children's Games and Train Ride

At 11 a.m. at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, join CASA of North Alabama for a morning of free kids’ events and games, family entertainment, and art for everyone. To join in the parade, register your child to walk or ride their bike for $5 at casaofnorthalabama.org or the day of the parade at the Carnegie. 
Plenty of activities will keep children entertained throughout the day. At 12:00 p.m., kids of all ages will want to make their way to the Morgan County-Decatur Farmer’s Market on 1st  Avenue for carnival-style games and prizes. A $5 donation to Mosaic of North Alabama lets festivalgoers in for unlimited play. The Carnegie Carnival Creation Station opens at 12:30 p.m., offering free hands-on art projects for kids. Sponsored by Kiwanis of Decatur, the Creation Station will be located at the Morgan County-Decatur Farmer’s Market by the Carnival Midway games.

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Children Parade / Prince and Princess Parade

 The Carnival Prince and Princess Parade gets underway at 12:30 p.m. Watch local children and teens parade via foot, bike, and float starting at Founders Park at the corner of Bank Street and Church Street to 2nd Avenue and ending at the Morgan County-Decatur Farmer’s Market on 1st Avenue where the Carnival Prince and Princess are crowned.

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Pooch parade and dog walk

At 2 p.m., dogs of all sizes and breeds, dressed in their Mardi Gras best, will take to the streets of historic downtown Decatur for a colorful pooch parade and dog walk. The parade begins at the intersection of Second Avenue and Johnston Street, goes to Lee Street, turns and ends where it started. The event is free to attend. Parade registration is $10 + $5 for each additional dog and the proceeds collected will benefit Rescue Rangers. Sir Bow Wow and Lady Barks A Lot will be crowned the canine king and queen of Carnegie Carnival following the parade.

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Carnegie Carnival Parade 2019

The grand finale of the daylong event is the Carnegie Carnival Parade where crewes proceed in traditional Mardi Gras-style complete with themed floats, costumes, throws, and music. Set to hit the streets at 6 p.m., the parade route begins on 2nd Avenue at Gordon Drive, continuing onto Lee Street/Bank Street, and ending at Founder’s Park near the Old State Bank. Immediately following the Main parade at the Princess Theatre there will be a Royalty Coronation Ceremony and announcement of the parade winners. This event is free to the public.

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Parade registration forms and activity information are available at www.carnegiecarnival.org.

**Proceeds benefit the Carnegie Visual Arts Center and other non-profit organizations in the Decatur area.

For additional information, call the Carnegie Visual Arts Center at 256.341.0562