Despite what you may have heard, Mardi Gras is for families. Who doesn't love parades, free stuffed animals and a chance to pass down beloved traditions to the little ones? Each Carnival season, you'll see ladder after decorated ladder along the parade routes just so kids get the best view.
Every year, along with parades Uptown, on the North Shore and on Jefferson Parish, families flock to Family Gras in Metairie, just ten minutes from the French Quarter. Young and old alike enjoy the grand spectacle of evening Mardi Gras parades, including the Krewe of Excalibur, the Magical Krewe of MadHatters, the Krewe of Centurions, the Krewe of Atlas, and the Krewe of Kings. Family Gras has moved from the neutral ground across from Lakeside Shopping Center to Clearview Shopping Center at 4436 Veterans Memorial Boulevard.
In addition to the parades, there's the Flambeau Food Court, serving up Carnival favorites, including jambalaya, muffulettas, pizza, gator-on-a-stick and bread pudding and king cake for dessert! The Art Market features great local art. Plus, there's a Kids' Court with face painting, unique hand-wax art and games for kids 12 and under.
One of the big draws of Family Gras are the free outdoor concerts. Past lineups have included national and local stars like John Oates, Michael McDonald, Brett Eldredge, B.J. Thomas, The Righteous Brothers, The Gatlin Brothers, Taylor Swift, Cyndi Lauper, The Beach Boys, Cowboy Mouth, Blood Sweat & Tears, Wilson Phillips, Montgomery Gentry and Amanda Shaw.