Fayetteville Mardi Gras Festivities Begin on Saturday

It’s that time of year again. The time when people let go of their inhibitions, celebrate debaucherous (that’s not a word) behavior, and show their mammaries to anyone who wants to see them in exchange for cheap strings of plastic beads. That’s right, I’m taking about Mardi Gras.

Festivities in Fayetteville begin on Saturday with the “Parade of Fools.” The parade starts on Dickson Street, and ends on the Fayetteville square beginning at 3:00 on Saturday. The Parade this year will feature somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 floats, as well as art cars, Irish dancers, and crazy people dressed in some crazy costumes. The parade is a family friendly event, and the parade route can be found here.

Dixie Rhyne, part of the Demented Krewe and one of the organizers of Fayetteville Mardi Gras has been involved since it started back in 1992. The following year, she became queen, and by the third or forth year she took the rains and became the volunteer organizer for the event. The festival has grown from about 40 people in the beginning to an event that closes down Dickson St. for the parade on Saturday and on Fat Tuesday as hundreds of Fayettevillians line the streets and fill the bars on Dickson.

A krewe, according to Dixie, is a group of people who get together for the carnival, create floats, and generally just get together to have a good time. There are several krewes in the area, and most are informal, and are made up of groups of anywhere from 3 to hundreds of people.

Fayetteville Mardi Gras traditions include Rick’s Bakery and Cumulus Broadcasting teaming up to make the worlds largest King Cake, the proceeds of which go to benefit the Seven Hills Homeless Shelter here in Fayetteville.

A King and Queen of Mardi Gras are voted for and crowned at Jose’s on Tuesday, followed by a Dickson St. pub crawl. This year, the pub crawl will start at Jose’s, and then move on to the 21st Amendment, Rogers Rec, Common Grounds, Brewski’s, Hawg Haus, and end at Zooloo’s.

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never been to Mardi Gras in Fayetteville. Anyone ever been? Is it hilarious? Crazy? Weird? Awesome?