Parades would brighten festival seasons


Lexington could benefit from parades during festival seasons, similar to parades in New Orleans during Mardis Gras.

Lexington Souers

With the season of Carnival coming to an end on Wednesday, Lexington is left with a gaping hole in its social scene. Where are all the parades? 

Southern communities celebrate events like Mardi Gras with parades, debauchery and all around good fun. Mardi Gras is more than public intoxication and free beads; it’s a time for families to come together and celebrate their communities. 

Families plan special meals, and children can celebrate in their own way. Communities work to create successful events. The influx of people, either locals there to celebrate or those visiting from other locations, means more money in the Lexington economy. Local restaurants, or more poignantly Lexington’s vibrant food truck scene, can gain recognition and get new clients. Local artists also could create floats or perform throughout the parade, drawing  people to the wonderful, creative thinkers for which Lexington is gaining notoriety. 

In New Orleans, high school bands and dance teams practice all year for their chance to march down Canal Street. This allows schools to become more involved in the community and to garner attention for special programs and talents. 

Being part of the parade itself is a unique and unifying factor. Families participate together; fathers and sons, mothers and daughters ride on floats as a way to bond and share memories. 

There is a question of what Lexington would celebrate. Keeneland sales don’t really kindle a lot of huzzah to the average Lexingtonian. There is a St. Patrick’s Day parade, but why not a May Day parade or a parade on Memorial Day? 

Mardi Gras isn’t really about public intoxication or wild parties. That’s the way some people celebrate, but for the most part, New Orleans is filled with parades that are family staples. Families have been standing ground side for generations, catching the same cheap throws with their kids the same way their parents and grandparents did with them. 

Lexington would benefit from having more parades both from a social and economic perspective. Dancing in the street is something that brings the community together in ways that a council meeting can’t. 

So grab some throws, party up that pick-up truck and “laissez les bon temp rouler,” or “let the good times roll.” 

Lexington Souers is the features editor of the Kentucky Kernel.

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