“Laissez les bon temps rouler!”
Mardi Gras season is here, and it is parade time! Thousands are set to overtake Navarre Beach for the 33rd Annual Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade Feb. 23.
Mardi Gras season kicked off Jan. 15, and groups such as the Navarre Krewe of Jesters have been ringing in the celebration ever since. I may or may not have already eaten King Cake…twice…
Anyway, the Navarre Beach festivities are set to culminate with the Mardi Gras parade on the beach in advance of Fat Tuesday, which this year occurs March 5.
The theme of this year’s parade is “Voodoo on the Beach.” Neat right? I am totally busting out my voodoo inspired garb for this year’s festivities.
Navarre Krewe of Jesters has announced the parade will happen rain or shine on Gulf Boulevard. That is the main road of the beach where the multiuse path is located.
Step-off is set for 1 p.m. sharp.
Navarre Beach Mardi Gras Parade
Themed “Voodoo on the Beach”
Feb. 23 from 1-5 p.m.
Gulf Boulevard on Navarre Beach
With music blaring, dozens of colorful floats carrying revelers dispensing free “throws” such as beads, toys, moon pies and other treats will parade down the roadway.
Previous years have drawn crowds in excess of 35,000 people, making this a festive, but family-friendly, party to remember. Bring the whole family, along with chairs or strollers, and make a day of it.
This year’s court includes even includes our local County Commissioner Dave Piech as Grand Marshal.
But with all that fun and crowds, planning ahead is important. Those wanting to celebrate need to plan to be on the beach early. Aside from the limited space available along the parade route, access to the beach is likely to stop early in the day with the closing of the beach bridge.
Santa Rosa sheriff’s deputies close the bridge onto the beach midday each year, though they can opt to close it earlier for safety and traffic control. The Krewe has no control over that timing or their decision, so being prepared is important.
If you plan your stay at one of our beach front condominiums or house rentals, you don’t have to worry about the bridge. You can just walk to the parade route, but if you do need to head to the mainland to pick up some festive wear, be sure to be back on the beach by 10 a.m. to avoid the traffic and closure.
As the Krewe says “it’s rain or shine – and since 1986 it has never rained on our parade.”
Restaurants will be open, as will the Navarre Beach Sea Turtle Conservation Center if you want a little pre-parade fun.
It’s not too late to join in the fun at NavarreListings.com