New Roads, Louisiana - located just 35 minutes northwest of Baton Rouge on La. Hwy. 1 and beautiful False River - hosts the state's oldest Mardi Gras celebration outside New Orleans. Long known as “The Little Carnival Capital” of Louisiana, New Roads is known as the site of family-friendly parades and Creole hospitality for lagniappe.

Two parades roll in New Roads on Fat Tuesday, February 28, 2006: the 84th annual Community Center Carnival Club parade at 11 a.m. and the 63rd annual New Roads Lions Carnival parade at 1:30 p.m. Each includes approximately 30 freshly-built floats, 10 bands and drill units and tons of great throws. “A Salute to New Orleans” is the theme of the Carnival Club parade, while the Lions parade rolls with the theme “Holidays on Parade.”

Hilarious street maskers, terrific local cuisine, thrilling midway rides, a $1,000 cash drawing, lots of parking adjacent to the three mile-long parade route and fun for the entire family are all part of New Roads' 84 year-old Mardi Gras charm. Proceeds of the festivities benefit the New Roads Lions Club educational fund, which aids local public, private and parochial schools. This year’s fundraiser is especially critical as New Roads’ schools are experiencing increased enrollment due to relocation of families in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Unlike the krewe parades of New Orleans and other cities, participation in both of New Roads’ parades is open to the general public. To participate in the Lions parade, contact Stephen Jewell at 225-638-3311; to participate in the Carnival Club parade, contact Robert Smith at 225-638-4035.

For more information, get a copy of Rolling For Charity, A History of the New Roads Lions Carnival Parade, available from local merchants and at regional libraries, and see www.newroadsmardigras.com