Norman Mardi Gras Parade: Online

Grant Lucas

Story 2: Online

23rd Annual Mardi Gras Parade Lights Up Norman

Grant Lucas

On Friday, February 27, residents of Norman gathered in the downtown arts district for the 23rd annual Norman Mardi Gras Parade.

The parade lasted from 7-9 p.m. and was marked by live music, Cajun-style food trucks, moving parade floats created by participants, and plenty of bead throwing. The theme of this year’s parade was “Light it up”.

The floats circled around the downtown arts district two times, and the best floats were recognized at an award party after the parade at Puebla Tacos y Tequileria.

Holding the position as director of the last six parades, Aimee Rook said the parade was nearly cancelled six years ago after former director Ed Kern stepped down for personal reasons.

“The year that I came on, he had cancelled the parade just a month before the parade,” she said. “I knew that there were many people and families that had organized and created floats, invested money, costumes, beads and lights that I knew it would be a big disappointment, including to my own family. I just had to step up to keep it going”

University of Oklahoma junior Hunter Glasscock attended the parade for the first time this year, and he may not have been in attendance if it weren’t for the Norman Mardi Gras Parade Facebook page.

“I was scrolling through Facebook last week and I came across a Mardi Gras Parade. I clicked on the page and saw that the event was taking place right near my house on Main Street and decided to roll out,” Glasscock said. “I think this is a unique event that gets the Norman community together and any promoter of Mardi Gras should give it a shot.”

Rook brought a social media element with her when she took the position as the director of the parade.

“We have just tried to promote, promote, promote,” she said. “When I came on I added social media, we have a Facebook page and a Twitter and we also started raising enough money to where we can advertise. Just trying to tell people about it, we want more people to know about it, its such a gem in Norman.”