Cleveland prepares for good time with Mardi Gras parade Featured

Laissez les bons temps rouler!

The Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce will host a Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 25 at 5 p.m. in downtown Cleveland.

According to Lisa Cooley, director of Team Cleveland/Main Street said, “The parade was the brain-child of the amazing Haley Kelly. She and her family bring some of the most fun ideas to the table.”

To participate in the parade a person needs either a float, a golf cart, or they can walk their dog.

Participants are encouraged to dress to impress but not undress to impress.

There will be a King and Queen chosen and Cooley said, “A committee will vote on the King and Queen. I'm not sure of the selection criteria. We had discussed picking either someone who is a great chamber volunteer or selecting someone based on their float.”

The parade is kid and dog friendly.

Cooley said the general reaction to the parade has been incredible.

“We had no idea how many people wanted Cleveland to have a Mardi Gras Parade. We already have quite a few participants signed up and our Facebook event has over 200 people who are interested.

“This parade is great because you can enter by having a float, a decorated golf cart, or you can walk your dog but he or she must be in costume,” said Cooley.

With several different parades in Cleveland throughout the year, Cooley said this would be a great addition.

“This parade is a little different than the others. This will be a very short route  — down Sharpe Street and then down Cotton Row. That really allows more people to participate if they want to walk. Also, there is something magical about Mardi Gras. We are excited that people want to come out and celebrate the season.

“We hope they will stick around and eat downtown after the parade. Several businesses are evening doing specials for Mardi Grass,” she said.

Cooley said, “The sky is the limit for costumes. In traditional Mardi Gras parades, it's difficult to know who is in the parade because of the costumes. People wear masks, funny outfits, the works. For this parade, the more outrageous the costume, the better.”

For more information about the parade call 662-843-2712.

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