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Lake Area residents celebrated the Twelfth Night Parade Extravaganza inside the Lake Charles Civic Center on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019. The event included a mini-parade featuring members of Krewe of Krewes under the direction of Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana.

The 2020 Mardi Gras season will kick off with a two-day celebration Friday-Saturday, Jan. 3-4. Friday's festivities are set for 5-8 p.m. and will open with a poster reveal party at Alexander Art Studio, 900 Ryan St., Suite 102.

A first-time event for the area, Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana will be revealing "one of the most significant Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras posters to date," according to the Southwest Louisiana Convention & Tourism Bureau.

The poster, created by Candice Alexander, combines history, tradition and culture into a timeless piece of art.

In addition to the poster's unveiling, guests can enjoy food trucks, complimentary beer and wine, Mardi Gras floats on display, the Twelfth Night Revelers and live music by Bluesiana Red.

"Everyone thought that the community would love to come together for a true kickoff to the season complete with music and dancing," Alexander said. "We love to celebrate in Southwest Louisiana, and this event gives everyone a chance to understand all the events that people can experience in 2020 since we'll have brochures and information available about Mardi Gras."

At 6 p.m., a community second-line will commence with the start of the band, Angie Manning, the bureau's communications director, said.

The event is free.

Festivities will continue Saturday morning with the Twelfth Night Car Show 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Civic Center.

Later that night, the Twelfth Night Parade Extravaganza is planned inside the Coliseum. There will be a lively, mini-parade featuring members of Krewe of Krewes under the direction of Mardi Gras of Southwest Louisiana. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the event begins at 7 p.m.

Attendees will have the chance to win prizes, dance and hail the kings and queens of more than 60 krewes. Tickets are $7 in advance or $8 at the door. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

"Mardi Gras is culturally significant and a world-wide brand," Manning said. "We are eager to get the word out about our incredible events in Southwest Louisiana. This kickoff event creates energy, photo and video opportunities for local media and social media, and it will help with awareness of the Mardi Gras season and events in Southwest Louisiana."

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For more information on this event and Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana, visit www.swlamardigras.com.

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