Decatur’s Carnegie Carnival is set for February 14, 2015.
On Valentine’s Day this year, Decatur’s Mardi Gras-style celebration hits the streets when the Carnegie Visual Arts Center holds its annual Carnegie Carnival. Set for February 14, 2015, Carnegie Carnival fills Decatur’s historic downtown area with parades, music, a Cajun cook-off, and other free activities, all while promoting art, creativity and family-friendly fun and raising money for the arts and other non-profits located in Decatur and Morgan County.
The fourth annual Carnegie Carnival gets underway at 8 a.m. with the Mardi Gras 5K sponsored by the Junior League of Morgan County. The Cajun Cook-off follows at 10 a.m. at the corner of Bank Street and Cherry Street with the award presentation set for 3 p.m. The tasty event is open to professional and amateur Cookin’ Crewes. There will be first, second, and third place winners and the team with the most “tips” in the Tip Jar will be presented the People’s Choice award.
The first parade of the day, sponsored by Animal Friends Humane Society, is the Carnival Canines on Parade. Starting at 11 a.m., dogs of all shapes and sizes will trot through downtown Decatur beginning on 2nd Avenue at Casa Grande Park and ending at Founder’s Park, which is located in front of the Old State Bank.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. the Kiwanis of Decatur Creation Station art area will be open with free hands-on art activities for children, and a children’s play area sponsored by Morgan County CAC will provide kid-friendly entertainment. Both of these events will be held at Founder’s Park.
At 2 p.m., the Prince and Princess Parade for children takes to the streets of downtown Decatur beginning at Founders Park and ending in front of the Princess Theatre. The parade, for tots through teens, is sponsored by the Princess Theatre.
New for this year’s event is a bluegrass music showcase that will have festivalgoers on their feet. Carnival Mardi-Grass, sponsored by Valley Budweiser, will be presented at Founder’s Park from 2 to 5 p.m., and, in between parades and activities, stop by the Carnegie Visual Arts Center between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., for an incredible photography exhibit titled “Alabama Revisited: Recent Photographs of Alabama’s Past.”
The grand finale of the daylong event is the Carnegie Carnival Parade where crewes proceed in traditional Mardi Gras-style complete with themed floats, costumes, “throws”, and music. Set to hit the streets at 6 p.m., the parade route begins on 2nd Avenue at Gordon Drive, continuing onto Lee Street/Bank Street, and ending at Founder’s Park near the Old State Bank. The parade will be led by 2015 Carnegie Carnival King Jake Reed and Queen Kate Cole. Immediately following the parade, the evening concludes with a headlining band (TBA) at Founder’s Park. The outdoor performance (weather contingent) is free to the public and is sponsored by Valley Budweiser. Anyone participating with a Crewe may attend the Carnegie Carnival Crewe Party at Ingalls Harbor where the 2016 Carnegie Carnival King and Queen will be crowned.
During Carnegie Carnival, downtown merchants will be open and shoppers can browse for locally made and one-of-a-kind items and participate in the Carnival Crawl shopping game. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., shoppers can visit merchants and collect stamps on the Carnival Crawl game sheet for a chance to win a prize basket.
Festival organizers are also pleased to announce a new bead-recycling program for this year’s event. The Carnegie Visual Arts Center, in conjunction with the Decatur High School Developmental Program, will collect and recycle thrown beads from previous Carnegie Carnival parades. Beads may be dropped off at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, Albany Bistro and Pool Doctors during their regular operating hours until January 16, 2015. DHS Developmental Program students and volunteers will wash, sort and repackage the beads to make the beads available for resale at an economical price. Beads will be available for purchase beginning February 3rd at the Carnegie Visual Arts Center. All proceeds from the sale of the beads will benefit the DHS Development Program.
Parade registration forms and activity information are available at www.carnegiecarnival.org. Proceeds benefit the Carnegie Visual Arts Center and other non-profit organizations in the Decatur area. For additional information, call the Carnegie Visual Arts Center at 256.341.0562.