Krewe of Southdowns kicks off the final Carnival Weekend in Baton Rouge

Krewe of Southdowns kicks off the final Carnival Weekend in Baton Rouge - 6 p.m.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Krewe of Southdowns kicked off the final Carnival weekend in the Capital City, with a dozen home-made floats rolling through the Baton Rouge neighborhood.

The parade's bright lights, flambeaus, hoola-hoopers, and clowns delighted crowds both young and old.

"I like the floats, all the colors and stuff," said Ella Wall, who attended the parade with some of her friends.

The Mardi Gras celebration is of course all about tradition.

"I eat the king cake and see my family from other states," said 8-year-old Ray Butler, who has attended the parade for many years. Well over a dozen beads hung around his neck.

The parade's theme this year was "Under the Big Top." Each of the floats were decorated as a different circus act.

"There's a freak show, there's animal crackers, there's the clown college," said Holly Parker, who started riding in carnival parades four years ago.

"It is a rush to turn onto that street and hear the crowd cheer. I would recommend it to everyone, do it once," said Parker, who was dressed up like a tiger on a "big cats" float.

And although she has since took part in parades down in the Big Easy, she said there is something special about Southdowns.

"I really enjoy that it's a neighborhood parade and you can get close to the people and hand them things. I have ridden in New Orleans and Iris and it's so much harder to chuck things at people," she said.

There are more parades scheduled throughout the weekend across South Louisiana. Click here for a complete list of parades in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas.

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