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Mardi Gras returns to Texarkana - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Mardi Gras returns to Texarkana

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TEXARKANA -

Time is running out to enter into this year's Mardi Gras event in Texarkana.
    
The parade has already made history by being the first Mardi Gras parade in the state of Arkansas.
    
Now organizers are hoping to top last year and bring in even more revenue.
    
With super heroes and marvels as its theme, this year's mardi gras will include free admission to the event from 2 p.m. To 7:30 p.m. March 1 at Front Street Plaza.

Festivities this year will kick off with the Krewe of Paws and Little Rascals parade for kids and pets, followed by a motorcade parade.
    
Then the good times will continue to roll with the Krewe of Koinonia grand parade.   
    
"We have it extended the parade to the Texas-side and the throw zone is the whole parade route," said Charlotte Hartwell, Marketing Director. "Last year, it was just on Front Street."
    
Hartwell says there's alot of pressure to top their first Mardi Gras, but she believes it can be done.
    
She says they chose Mardi Gras because it's what the community requested.

"Instead of 8,000 people on Front street, I think we're going to have twice as many people and it will be spread out," explained Hartwell.

She says the event has been successful for area businesses.
    
Zapata's General Manager Alfonso Sanchez says it takes alot of planning, but it's worth it.

"It helps alot of local businesses around this area, it pulls alot of people in, said Sanchez. "It keeps us busy all night long."

So far, there are about 100 float entries and about 80 vendors.
    
Hartwell says what they really need now is more volunteers.

"It takes so many people to get this going, we need about 40 people and I have about eight," said Hartwell.
 
Other festivities after the parade included live music from the king of cajun music, Joel Sonnier.  
    
Admission to the event is free.
    
Entry applications must be mailed or delivered to Texarkana, Arkansas City Hall Marketing Office no later than January 31st.
    
Parade day is March 1st.

For more information, call Charlotte Hartwell, Texarkana, Ark., city Marketing Director, at 903-490-7859.

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