Mardi Gras celebration comes to Fort Worth


Lance Sanders

Drummers march in the Race Street Mardi Gras parade. (Lance Sanders/TCU 360)

By Lance Sanders, Staff Writer

A sea of beads covered a section of Race Street of Fort Worth this weekend as people from all over the state came to celebrate Mardi Gras.

The revelers were celebrating the final weekend before Fat Tuesday, Feb. 21., which is the last day before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.

Bars, restaurants and other local businesses across Fort Worth have had events in recent days in the walk up to Fat Tuesday, which is also known as Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day.

A mannequin dressed in TCU apparel overlooks the Race Street parade. (Lance Sanders/TCU 360)

“For me, Mardi Gras is all about reconnecting with family and old friends,” said Sean Doublet, co-owner of Neutral Ground Brewing Company. “It’s a time to get together and celebrate.”

Doublet grew up in New Orleans before moving to Texas and has plenty of memories celebrating Mardi Gras.

“Growing up Catholic it was the last party to get it all out of your system before you gave it all up for lent on Ash Wednesday,” he said  “That’s what we’re trying to do here today. It’s a time for people to kind of take a step back and relax, maybe let loose a little. Especially with everything that’s going on in the world today.”

Each Mardi Gras float is unique to the builder. (Lance Sanders/TCU 360)

For others the celebration is about connecting with their community.

Cindy Crowder-Wheeler is the owner of Tributary Café, a Cajun-style restaurant in the area. She played a key role in organizing the parade on Race Street.

“I had a good friend that took me to Mardi Gras one year; it was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve ever had,” said Crowder-Wheeler. “Everyone thinks it’s all about flashing and getting beads, but it’s not. It’s a family tradition and I learned that from being there. Which is why we wanted this parade to be a family friendly festival.”

Crowder-Wheeler remembered waking up early to cook before attending the parade.

“Then we come back to grab the food and take it to the square to share with everyone,” she said. “We would go from house to house and eat king cake with everyone.”

The final day of festivities in Fort Worth ends with a Krewe of Kowtown Mardi Gras Costume Ball on Tuesday, Feb. 21. Tickets can be purchased here.

Freshly baked king cake sits on the counter, ready for a bite. (Lance Sanders/TCU 360)


Click to hear the sounds of Race Street Mardi Gras.