Carnival in Covington Parade announces Spud McConnell as 2023 Grand Marshal
Local entertainer will lead parade through downtown Covington on Mardi Gras Day
Join the fun in celebrating Mardi Gras on the Northshore at Carnival in Covington, rolling through the streets of historic downtown Covington on February 21, 2023, with popular local entertainer John “Spud” McConnell leading the way as Grand Marshal. Spud McConnell has been a professional actor, performer and voice talent for over 45 years. He has been onstage and backstage, on-air and producing on-air, and on camera in movies, documentaries, industrials, sitcoms and dramas. He has regional, national and international acting and voice credits, including New York regional theatre and national and regional commercials, as well as recurring roles in five separate network TV series including “Roseanne”, “Tremé” and “Hap and Leonard”.
McConnell starred as Ignatius J. Reilly in their stage-adapted version of “A Confederacy of Dunces”. His performance and the character have been immortalized in a life-sized bronze statue on permanent display on Canal Street in New Orleans. Semi-retired, his latest movie, to be released in 2023, is “Bad Habit”, written and produced by his friend Scott Innes, the voice of Scooby-Doo. “Spud will be a great grand marshal for our parade and a perfect match with this year’s theme, “This and Dat”, said City of Covington Councilman At-Large Larry Rolling, Carnival in Covington Parade president. “As always, our Grand Marshal is selected in recognition of their community involvement.” McConnell works as the Community Relations Director for TCU Foodbank in Houma and is a founding member of Swine Palace, Baton Rouge’s premier professional repertory theatre company.
The Carnival in Covington parade will roll with a 450-member, 18-float parade on Fat Tuesday, immediately after the Covington Lions and Mystic Krwe of Covington parades, which start at 10 a.m. The “This and Dat” theme will celebrate popular pairs on its traditional floats, like Red Beans and Rice, Barbie and Ken, Crawfish and Beer, Rock and Roll, Kermit and Miss Piggy and more. The parade is highlighted by the “Louisiana Feed Your Soul” float and will include marching groups, bands, horse groups, and crowd favorites, the Saints Superfans.
Performing at “Tammany Gras”, the free, all-ages after-party held at Covington Trailhead, 12-4 p.m., is local party band Tyler Kinchen and the Right Pieces. Tammany Gras includes food trucks, drinks, dancing and fun activities for kids in the Kids’ Zone, sponsored by Gulf Coast Bank. Parade-goers can also participate in costume contests with cash prizes. The kids’ costume contest, sponsored by Acquistapace’s Covington Supermarket and West St. Tammany YMCA, takes place at 10 a.m. at the corner of 15th and Jefferson Ave. Costumed revelers aged 18 and up can strut their stuff at the after-party in the adults’ costume contest sponsored by the Covington Business Association.
The parade begins in front of St. Tammany Parish Justice Center on Columbia Street and follows a route along Hwy 21/Boston St. to Jefferson Ave., to 15th St., Tyler St., W. 23rd, and then back through downtown again. The Carnival in Covington Parade is sponsored by American Bank, Gulf Coast Bank, Cleco, St. Tammany Parish President Mike Cooper, State Sen. Patrick McMath (Dist. 11) and Rep. Mark Wright (Dist. 77), St. Tammany Parish Hospital System/Ochsner, and Coastal Waste. Float sponsors include Winn-Dixie, Southern Hotel, Abita Roasting Company, Abita Brew Pub, St. John Fools of Misrule, T-Mobile, Paradise on Columbia Med Spa, Pinecrest/E.J. Fielding Funeral Home, 30 by Ninety Theatre, Armbruster Artworks, the Original Krewe of Orpheus, realtor Michelle Grubbs, and attorney Josh Allison.
For more information and to set up an interview, contact City of Covington Councilman At-Large Larry Rolling, (985) 502-8586, or Amy Tucker, (985) 867-1206. Visit www.CarnivalinCovington.com and the group’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/CovingtonMardiGras, for updates about the event and sponsors.