orangeleader.com (Orange, Texas)

Entertainment

February 20, 2014

Mardi Gras parade will feature new route, big additions

ORANGE — Changes are on the way for this Saturday’s Mardi Gras festivities.

The Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce will hold its annual Mardi Gras parade beginning at 5 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 22. This year’s event will feature a new route, a special guest and a free concert following the parade as a result of a partnership arrangement between the chamber and the Orange Convention and Visitor’s Bureau.

The local Mardi Gras parade is known as arguably the most family-oriented event of its type in Southeast Texas and this year’s parade should be the best yet, according to Ida Schossow of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce.

“This year’s parade is really a big deal,” Schossow said. “There is so much excitement surrounding the parade. We have been taking calls from all over the area from people wanting to know when it starts and who is going to be there.”

The special guest appearance, according to Schossow, will feature none other than Orange-native, member of the Seattle Seahawks and Super Bowl XLVIII champion, Earl Thomas III.

“Earl is just such a really good person,” Schossow explained. “He’s a good ambassador for Orange and he gives back to his community in so many ways, and this is one way.”

The parade will feature a new route, which coincides with the concert arranged in partnership with the Orange Convention and Visitor’s Bureau after the parade.

According to Schossow, the parade will start on West Division Street in front of the Orange County Courthouse. It will travel to 10th Street and turn right and continue heading to Green Avenue. Upon reaching Green Avenue, the parade will again turn right and head all the way down to Simmons Drive, where the parade will turn right at the Simmons Drive intersection and proceed in front of Signal International. The parade will turn right onto Front Street and conclude near the Orange Riverfront Pavilion in proximity to where it began.

The concert, featuring the talented and popular Wayne Toups and ZydeCajun is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday. It is a free event and the public is encouraged to attend.

This year’s Mardi Gras parade Grand Marshals are Edwin and Juanita Smith. However, Edwin Smith passed away approximately one month ago. Juanita Smith will still be in attendance and serve as Grand Marshal, according to Schossow.

Schossow, who said there are approximately 20 entries in this year’s parade, believes this year’s parade has the potential to be the best Mardi Gras parade ever in Orange.

“There are just so many facets involved in this year’s parade which makes it so exciting,” she said. “People want to come see the parade and get the beads, but others want to come and see Earl Thomas, and there are others who are really excited about the concert. There is so much with this year’s parade that it’s hard not to be excited.”

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