Ten years ago, the first Mardi Gras festival and parade was held in Kingwood's Town Center park. The 11th Annual festival for 2015 will be held on Saturday, February 15th, from noon to 6 pm with the parade commencing at 2 pm.
For those new to Kingwood Mardi Gras, the family friendly event is held at the Town Center park with music at the pavilion held throughout the days and food and craft vendors will be in the square. The following is a short check list to make the most out of the day:
- Bring a blanket or chairs to enjoy the music
- If coming for the parade, bring a bag for your children to collect beads and candy
- The parade loops around Town Center park, please keep children alongside the curb of the street. Safety first! Don't crowd the parade participants.
Entertainment will be provided by DJ K-Dub from noon to 2:30 pm with music by Leroy Thomas and his Zydeco Roadrunners.
For those new to Mardi Gras as a whole, below is an explanation of the festival and traditions from the announcement of the inaugural Mardi Gras festival.
For those who are not familiar with the history of the festival, Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last hurrah before the Catholic season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. It also has links to the Christmas season through the period known as Carnival.
The traditional Mardi Gras or Carnival season begins on January 6, the twelfth day after Christmas, also known as "Epiphany", "Twelfth Night", or "Kings Day." It is the day the gift-bearing Magi visited the baby Jesus, and is celebrated with its own unique rituals.
The Mardi Gras season continues until Fat Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Mardi Gras is always 47 days before Easter Sunday. While the practice of Lent is not mentioned in the Bible, it has been a tradition in the Christian world since the mid 4th century. It seems to parallel the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness that Jesus experienced following his baptism. It is during the Mardi Gras season, that revelers indulge themselves prior to the beginning of Lent. Mardi Gras has evolved over the years to include the flamboyant costumes and fantastic masks that are a common part of the Mardi Gras experience; in New Orleans float riders are even required by law to wear masks. The masking tradition descends from ancient Roman times when carnival-goers assumed different identities. Modern masks can run the gamut from fun and funky to elaborate and intricate.
King cakes, another Mardi Gras tradition, have become a near universal - and delicious - symbol of Mardi Gras. Tradition dictates that whoever finds the tiny plastic baby hidden inside brings another cake, with another trinket hidden inside, the next day.
The official colors for Mardi Gras are purple, green, and gold. These colors were chosen in 1872 by the King of Carnival, Rex. He chose these colors to stand for the following:
• Purple represents justice
• green stands for faith
• gold stands for power