Let’s face it – you’re not going to make it to New Orleans this year. That doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate Mardi Gras in your own backyard. For the 14th year, Covington’s MainStrasse Village is bringing the party, with two parades, music and Cajun food and a really big boat (more on that later).
“We’re planning on having a great time,” said Donna Kremer, administrative coordinator for the MainStrasse Village Association. “If you’ve never been to New Orleans, this may be the closest you ever get.”
There’ll be a few new things at this year’s celebration. For one, the entertainment tent – which some people never knew existed before – moves closer to the action, to the John R Green parking lot on Sixth Street. Number two, you’ll get a chance to dunk a cop – the tank raises money for the Police Unity Tour, a group that raises awareness of officers who’ve died in the line of duty.
And then there’s that boat. Fifty-two feet long and pink, it belongs to the Three Rivers District Health Department and is rowed by a team of women who do it to raise breast cancer awareness.
It’ll show up in both parades, along with 50 big head characters (in the Big Head Parade Friday) and a 10-piece brass band that’ll lead everyone to the entertainment tent.
Kim Blank, the association’s executive director, hopes the weather is nice enough to draw the maximum number of people allowed – 6,000 each night. But even if it’s cold – or snowy or rainy, you just never know – she imagines the event will draw a crowd of people tired of staring at the wall and ready to do some dancing.
“You know, it’s just the middle of winter,” she said. “Everyone kind of gets cabin fever.”