A kick off party for Mid City Gras, a new nonprofit organization that will hold its first Mid City Mardi Gras parade in 2018, will be held at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 4, at The Motor Exchange, 655 Scenic Highway, Baton Rouge.
This will be the first of several public events that will be held in advance of the February parade, which will go down North Boulevard and end at Baton Rouge Community College. The exact date for the parade will be announced Aug. 11, at the Demi Gras Ball, the main fundraising event for Mid City Mardi Gras.
“The time is right for a Mardi Gras parade in Mid City and this is an event for everyone who lives, works and plays in the neighborhood,” said Leanne Myers-Boone, president of Mid City Gras Inc. “More Mardi Gras is always a good thing.”
Mid City Gras is committed to showcasing the vibrant and diverse community in Mid City Baton Rouge. As a 501 c 3 nonprofit, its aim is to enrich the heart of Baton Rouge by hosting events to benefit neighborhood charities and bring the community closer together, culminating each year in an inclusive celebration of Mardi Gras season.
“For years there has been a lot of talk about holding a Mardi Gras parade in Mid City,” said Samuel Sanders, executive director of the Mid City Redevelopment Alliance and a member of the Mid City Gras board of directors. “Now, we are making this happen.”
At the party, details of the parade will be discussed and the public will have a chance to sign up as volunteers or make tax-deductible contributions to Mid City Gras.
“We want this parade to be a celebration for everyone as it highlights the essence of Mid City and strives to showcase the diversity of the community with a spirit of inclusiveness that positively contributes to the progress of our city,” said Twanda Lewis, vice president of Mid City Gras.
Organizers are working on ways to capture the anarchic spirit of Mardi Gras. A mascot for the parade, which ties into the signature oaks of Mid City, will be unveiled at the party. The mascot was designed by the local advertising agency, Red Six Media.
“Mardi Gras is about fun, it's about celebration, it's about satire,” said the Rev. Nathan Ryan, associate minister of the Unitarian Church of Baton Rouge, and head of the Mid City Gras’ Irreverence Committee. "This parade will feature all of these things. Plus, it will have ghosts."