Front Street Festival Plaza in historical downtown Texarkana, Arkansas is making history with its First Annual Front Street Texarkana Mardi Gras Festival, Parade, and Street Dance. Mark your calendars for Saturday, Feb. 9, because Mardi Gras will provide some great fun for families as well as those that like to party it up. Over the course of the afternoon there are two parades. The festivities start that afternoon at 2 p.m. with the “Krewe of Paws & Little Rascals” which is a mini pet parade and children’s battery operated vehicle parade. There will be lots of activities for the children, live music, commercial/ local food vendors and retail booths. Bring your appetite because at 2 p.m. food vendors will have prepared for you; crawfish, boudan, seafood po’boys, gumbo, jambalaya, hot wings, BBQ, fish, chicken, hot dogs, gourmet coffees, specialty cakes, homemade candy, to Mardi Gras trinkets, children’s clothes and accessories, handmade jewelry, soaps, bath & body products, zumba dance, and fitness demonstrations just to name a few. The Grand Parade “Krewe of Koinonia” will showcase meticulously crafted floats that reflect the beauty and pageantry of its theme “Music Icons”. The Grand parade starts at 4 p.m. and adds to the festivities; contests, adult beverage booths, live music, and a street dance immediately following the grand parade. Front Street is honored to introduce Texarkana to our Mardi Gras street dance band ‘Captain Joe’ from Atlanta, TX. Captain Joe band plays at the Krewe of Centaur Parade, in Shreveport, Louisiana which is the second largest Mardi Gras parade in the nation, second to New Orleans Mardi Gras and it will be a pleasure to have them play for us in Texarkana. They play a mix of classic country to Southern Rock, from artists like, Marshall Tucker Band, The Eagles, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, to artists such as, Charlie Daniels, Hank Williams, Jr., George Jones, Merle Haggard, along with some original music. ‘Captain Joe’ is sponsored by Domino FCU.

Charlotte Hartwell, Marketing Director for the city of Texarkana, Arkansas and Front Street Festival Plaza states,

When trying to come up with a name for our (Texarkana) Krewe, the topic that's near and dear to my heart is the unification of our twin cities. The Greek word for 'unity' is 'Koinonia'. When we work together, we truly are "twice as nice." So Texarkana we’re the "Krewe of Koinonia."

Free admission and no vendor or parade entry fees!!! There’s ample room for everyone to bring their lawn chairs, sit and listen to the great music, dance, shop, and watch the parade on Front Street. Thousands of throws and trinkets will be thrown on Front Street only, so bring your lawn chairs and a bag to hold all the throws you’ll catch and don’t forget to yell “throw me some beads mister”!

If you would like information or parade/vendor applications contact Charlotte Hartwell 903-490-7859 or email

(Source:City of Texarkana, Arkansas)