Krewe of Vidal: Don’t just watch the parade, join it

Published 11:01 am Friday, January 19, 2024

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VIDALIA, La. — Have a float, a horse, a marching band or anything that moves at parade speeds?

Your participation is encouraged in the annual Krewe of Vidal Mardi Gras Parade, scheduled for Feb. 10.

Krewe of Vidal founder Cassandra Lynch has a dream to make Vidalia’s Mardi Gras celebration bigger and better than ever before.

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But to do that, she needs community participation.

Lynch and her late mother Ellen Anderson, both from New Orleans, envisioned Vidalia’s Mardi Gras Parade in 2011 after moving to town.

“It was my mom who asked, ‘I wonder why Vidalia doesn’t have a Mardi Gras parade?’” Lynch said. “It was one of the best parades we’ve ever had. … Tance Hughes (CEO of former Southern Designs) was instrumental in helping me because he created the first Mardi Gras T-shirt. Each Mardi Gras shirt will have a little alligator on it and that’s how you know you’ve got a true Vidalia Mardi Gras shirt.”

Mardi Gras was a celebration they both cherished.

In 2019, Anderson died at age 83 just before the annual celebration, but Lynch didn’t let the celebration stop with her passing.

Since Anderson had smiled up at Lynch’s float from the sidelines of nearly every Vidalia parade during her lifetime, into her old age, Lynch continues hosting a Vidalia Mardi Gras so that she could still be smiling from heaven when as the tradition goes on.

Lynch wants to give her more to smile about this year.

She is now recruiting parade participants, and so far Ferriday, Vidalia and Natchez High School bands have already agreed to participate.

“Everyone is welcome. ATVs horses, four-wheelers, floats and cars. There’s no entry fee,” Lynch said.

There is only one requirement, she said.

“We insist that it be family-friendly and respectful. No offensive music. If we hear it, you’ll be asked to leave the parade. We have children out there and we have to watch out for those children.”

The parade will line up at the Vidalia High School at 2:30 p.m. and then make its way along Carter Street to the Vidalia Riverfront.

“Once you get there, we have food trucks and music to continue the celebration,” she said. “We had great participation last year and we hope that everyone, all the floats, motorcycles and horses that participated last year return again this year and we’d like to see some new ones. “

For information on joining the parade or becoming a vendor for the riverfront celebration contact Lynch at 318-518-7656 to register.