Oak Cliff Annual Mardi Gras Parade, Dallas

A warning before you take your kids to a Mardi Gras parade; it will ruin all other parades for your child.  Once you’ve stocked up on hundreds of colorful beads from outlandish people, just watching a parade go by is never the same!  There is something so energetic and fun and lively about Mardi Gras Parades, that all others seem lame in comparison.

It’s because Mardi Gras Parades have a very defining reason why they’re celebrating.

Mardi Gras is a celebration of gluttony before the cleansing of the Lent Season, which ushers in Easter.  While it’s roots may be in religion, anyone and everyone can celebrate this festivious time of year!  Yes, festivious, because at Mardi Gras, anything goes!

Oak Cliff exemplifies that belief!  The annual parade, held in the newly rejuvenated Bishop Arts District, is a fun, family-friendly explosion of sounds and colors and good times!  The 2018 Parade is Sunday, February 11th at 4pm!  


While New Orleans and even Galveston celebrate Mardi Gras for over a week with numerous unique Krewe Parades, the Oak Cliff parade blends together different themes into just one big parade.

A Krewe is simply the organizers of the parade.  For example, in Galveston there is a zany Golf Cart parade, Umbrella Parade, Pet Parade and Children’s Parade, along with night parades and much more.  Each different parade is put on by a different Krewe, with a couple of parades each day.


Like more traditional parades, local companies and organizations are represented in the Oak Cliff Parade by floats, but they all pass out beads!


And there is plenty of music!


You’ll see lots of antique and unique cars, too!


The Dallas Zoo’s float was decorated to spread the word about the new Hippo Exhibit opening in 2017!  Click HERE to read more about it!


The trick at any Mardi Gras Parade is to dress up to get the attention of people on the float, so that they will see you and throw you beads!  My son’s crazy hat won him tons of beads!  At Mardi Gras, he/she with the most beads… WINS!


Oak Cliff was represented on several floats!  Did you known that Yvonne Craig, who played Bat Girl in the 1960’s Batman series, was from Oak Cliff?


but my son loved catching Batman’s eye and catching beads from him!


Of course, there are several local schools represented here, too!


More crazy cars and floats!


Ever wonder about the colors of Mardi Gras?

“We hear the music, we taste the king cake, but for many of us it’s the sight of the green, gold and purple that brings the reality of the Carnival season home. Mardi Gras wasn’t always so consistently colored, though.
The Krewe of Rex first introduced this particular scheme in 1872, but it wasn’t until twenty years later that the meaning of each color was revealed. The theme of Rex’s 1892 parade was “Symbolism of Colors,” which helped to establish the tradition of decorating for the season with green, gold and purple. According to Rex’s interpretation, purple represented justice, green was symbolic of faith and gold represented power.
Today the Mardi Gras colors are so much a symbol of the season that they adorn banners, clothing, costumes, masks, beads, and even constitute the many colors of sugar sprinkled on every king cake.”  Click HERE to read more at the website, Mardi Gras Day.


The parade began in 2009, and now has over 70 entries and is attended by over 10,000 people!


The Wheelie-ing Elvi are a group of Elvis impersonators, and they are so fun to watch!  They’re already scheduled to be at the 2018 parade!  Click HERE to read more about them on their facebook page!


There are cute car clubs, too!


The parade runs through Bishop Arts.  We’ve never had a problem finding parking for the parade, but it’s a good idea to arrive a little early!


Bishop Arts District is a great little neighborhood, with cute shops and restaurants, as well as great murals for pictures!  Plan to make a day of it, and arrive early to do some shopping or grab something to eat!  We love Hunky’s Burgers and Soda Fountain!  A retro diner, it’s one of my kids favorites!

Know Before You Go

Is it stroller friendly? yes
Do they accept credit cards? n/a
Can you bring food/drinks? yes
Are there changing tables available?  no, although some restaurants may
Are pets welcome? yes

Oak Cliff Annual Mardi Gras Parade
Bishop Arts, Dallas
Click HERE to visit their website.

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