Mardi Gras in the Northshore
Words by Michelle Ferrand
After a year hiatus, St. Tammany Parish is ready to let the good times roll. The Louisiana Northshore—the destination directly north of Lake Pontchartrain—is bringing back the Mardi Gras season everyone knows and loves. Expect an explosion of purple, green and gold decor everywhere, lively celebrations that are fit for the whole krewe, and community parades across all of St. Tammany Parish beginning January 8 and lasting through Carnival season. All this culminates for a day (and night) of revelry on Fat Tuesday, March 1—except on the Northshore, where the party continues til the Sunday after Mardi Gras, March 6.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without King Cake! There are plenty of places to have some, but Randazzo's Camellia City Bakery’s king cake is iconic. Love king cake and want more ways to savor the sweetness? There are plenty of King Cake-themed beers, cocktails, cupcakes, and treats to be found in St. Tammany Parish.
A lot goes into the Carnival season, but it wouldn’t be Mardi Gras without the parades. With so many going on all over the Northshore, here are five you shouldn’t miss.
Krewe of Poseidon Float Parade
Slidell, February 12 at 6 pm
This big-time, 28-float long parade is the perfect way to get you into the Mardi Gras spirit without having to navigate New Orleans. Expect amazing sights and great throws!
Krewe of Tchefuncte Boat Parade
Madisonville, February 19 at 1 pm
Founded in 1973, this colorful boats-only parade floats down the Tchefuncte River. Don’t be late—King Neptune’s Marching Society precedes the boat parade by marching down Water Street.
Krewe of Push Mow
Abita Springs, February 19 at 12 pm
Looking for a quirky parade filled with floats based on lawn equipment? You’ve come to the right parade. Afterwards, dance your heart out at the after-party disco at the Trailhead plaza. If you have little ones, don’t forget to enter them in the kids’ costume contest!
Carnival in Covington and Tammany Gras
Covington, March 1 at 10 am (Fat Tuesday)
Carnival in Covington is the perfect place to spend Fat Tuesday. It captures all the fun of Mardi Gras in New Orleans minus the difficult parking and overly rambunctious party crowd. The event features Grand Marshals, live music, horses, traditional floats and so much more. This free festival is great for all-ages.
Mystic Krewe of Mardi Paws
Covington, March 6 at 2 pm
Our beloved four-legged friends won’t get to miss out on the Mardi Gras fun. This year’s parade theme is “80’s Pawp Culture”. This ruff krewe will roll and stroll towards Covington Trailhead, celebrating all things 80’s with their favorite movies, shows, and even Fur-doos! All pups must pay a registration fee and need a costume to enter.
While Mardi Gras is the biggest event of the season in St. Tammany Parish, it isn’t the only thing to look forward to. Here are other fun events hosted on the Louisiana Northshore this spring.
Abita Springs Busker Festival
March 20, 2022
Bask in the sounds of Louisiana roots music while enjoying local eats at the Abita Springs Busker Festival. This free music festival will feature various local artists, or buskers, as well as a farmer’s and art market. This event is perfect for the whole family!
Olde Towne Slidell Antique Spring Street Fair
March 26 - 27, 2022
There’s a unique find for just about anyone at the Antique Spring Street Fair. This year, the free two-day festival will feature 200+ booths, ranging from antiques, local artisan works, and collectable items. Plus, the local shops in the Olde Towne area offer an extensive catalog of vintage clothing, home decor, handmade goods, and more. When you’re done shopping, sit back and enjoy the live music.
Slidell’s All-You-Can-Eat Crawfish Cook-Off
April 23, 2022
Second to Mardi Gras, crawfish season is the best springtime event! Celebrate the season right by attending Northshore’s biggest crawfish festival, Slidell’s Crawfish Cook-Off. Over 50 teams will compete for the title of “Best Crawfish in St. Tammany Parish.” An estimated 40,000 pounds of crawfish will be cooked by the festival’s end, and you get to eat as much as you want of it! Live music and other foods will be available, too.