History of AMGA

History of Alexandria Mardi Gras Association
The Mardi Gras du Couer de la Louisianne (Mardi Gras in the Heart of Louisiana) spirit has really taken hold of Central Louisiana since the first parade was held on Sunday, February 13, 1994. Alexandria’s Mardi Gras has grown from having a total of ten floats with participation of four Mardi Gras Krewes that first year, to presently having twenty-three floats and Krewes. The Krewe Parade attendance is estimated at 150,000 and the Children’s Parade attendance is estimated at 45,000.

The Alexandria Mardi Gras Association was begun in 1994 by a consortium of local business leaders, the Alexandria-Pineville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mardi Gras enthusiasts and the Krewes existing at that time.

In the summer of 1993, the Conventions and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors, consisting of Anne Fitzgerald, Michael Tudor, Fred Rosenfeld, Tom Hardin, Mike Hadnot, Bart Schmolke, Ann Johnson and Executive Director Emory Oney, voted to provide seed money to kick off a parade in 1994. The Conventions and Visitors Bureau contracted with Frances Methvin as coordinator and Mike Tudor as committee chairman to put the inaugural parade together.

Through the leadership of President Pat Elliott, a Children’s Parade was organized for downtown Alexandria in 1997. Like the Sunday Krewe Parade, it has a Grand Marshal and an International feature with a special guest of honor serving as float captain.

Through the leadership of President Greg Gormanous, a College Cheerleader/Classic Car Parade was organized for downtown Alexandria in 2008. College cheerleaders from Louisiana colleges and universities, and from adjoining states, are invited to participate along with classic car owners. Special guests at the 2008 parade included Louisiana State University football players and Mike the Tiger, mascot.
Through the AMGA’s strategic management, Mardi Gras in the Heart of Louisiana has continued to expand and offer families the pomp and splendor of this Louisiana tradition in the safety of small-time city parades.

Alexandria Mardi Gras Association’s parades are truly unique with as many ingredients as a good gumbo. The good times roll downtown and midtown Alexandria as people from all over Central Louisiana take part in the revelry. The Mardi Gras parades come alive with the music of middle school, high school and college bands and masked Royalty and riders from AMGA Krewes. Krewes that are members of the Association have an opportunity to take part each year in the Krewe parade.