LIKE THE REST of the Northshore, Covington’s Lions Club Parade is growing by leaps and bounds. Now in its 62nd year, the annual Mardi Gras parade has evolved from a hodgepodge of pickup trucks and tractors to a full-blown New Orleans style procession of traditional floats and marching bands — all while maintaining its small town, community feel.
Three years ago, Covington Mayor Mike Cooper approached District D Councilman Larry Rolling about freshening up and revitalizing the longtime iconic parade. The goal was to obtain community and local business involvement by offering sponsorships for larger, more traditional floats, extend the Mardi Gras Day celebration and make Covington an alternative destination for the holiday. “People don’t always want to go into the city for Mardi Gras,” Rolling explained. “It can be a hassle with the traffic, parking and crowds. We want Covington to be an attractive option for those who’d rather celebrate on the Northshore.” Families enjoy Covington’s festive and safe party atmosphere where they can spread out and join in the merrymaking
Rollings and his committee of volunteers have accomplished those goals and then some. Five new floats were added to the mix with well-known sponsors such as St. Tammany Parish Hospital, Ochsner, Cleco, Fielding Funeral Home and Gulf Coast Bank. “Last year was the best ever,” Rolling said. “And it’s going to be even greater this year. The word is getting out about Mardi Gras in Covington.” Former Saints wide receiver Michael Lewis has been appointed 2019’s Grand Marshall and he’ll be accompanied by a float of Saints Super Fans.
The celebration continues after the parade at the Covington Trailhead, where partygoers can enjoy food, live music and more Saints Super Fans. This year welcomes the addition of food trucks, as well as a kids corner complete with crafts, face painting and other attractions to amuse the little ones. “The Trailhead event complements the parade and is a great way to top off Mardi Gras,” Rolling said.
Businesses can sponsor a full traditional float with up to 28 riders for $2,800 or half a float with 14 riders for $1,500. Rolling said one of the unique selling points for businesses is the ability to distribute logo branded throws from floats during the parade.
While the floats and crowds might be bigger, Mardi Gras in Covington still remains a family friendly destination that all ages can enjoy. “We want to keep our family atmosphere even as we grow,” Rolling said.
To learn more about float sponsorship opportunities for Carnival in Covington, please contact Larry Rolling at 985-502-8586 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.