Mardi Gras hits Main Street.

Kelsey Lunsford twirls her hula hoops in the Mardi Gras Parade on Main Street Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015.(Kyle Phillips / The Transcript)

The True Blue Crew entertained with music while the OKC Football Cheerleader squad danced down the street. With balmy breezes and warm temperatures, the 2015 Mardi Gras Parade was a huge success. 

“While we would love to have so much music, even musicians on the street corners it went spectacular,” said Aimee Rook, NMGP Director. “Everything went really well. There were a lot of positive, helpful people.”

The Norman Mardi Gras parade is in its 21st year. This year’s parade theme was “Pop’s Wonderful World” in honor of Louis Armstrong and the weather was unseasonably wonderful to match the theme. The annual parade has marched on rain or shine since 1994.

The 2015 King and Queen are Don and Kay Holladay. Floats, bands and an assortment of revelers brought the colorful spectacle to Main Street, keeping up Norman’s tradition as a city that loves parades.

In 1994 Jeannie Flanigan, owner and proprietor of Flanigan’s Costumes, kicked off the first NMGP with her son, Jay Hollenbeck, and Amy Kercher, Jennifer Robertson and a handful of local enthusiastic artists.

Around 20 groups participated. New this year to the parade is an award for best business.

Rook said some of this year’s winners were particularly impressive. For Best Business, Rivermont Retirement Community made masks and elected their own king and queen. 

Best Overall, also known as the Flanigan Award, went to the Sunny Day Crew out of Yukon. Rook said the group dressed for the 1920s period featured this year and had excellent arts, light and music.

Noble Marching Band once again took the Best Music award. Calling themselvs the True Blue Crew, the Noble band entertained the crowd for 30 minutes before the parade started. Band participants has grown from 10 band members last year to 45 this year.

Rook said a big desire it to get more bands and musicians involved in the parade.

Best Marchers were the Medieval Fair. This group interacted with the crowd playfully, Rook said. Best Dancers — the Movers and Shakers Award — went to the OKC Football Cheerleader squad.

Rook said the squad was very organized and well-prepared to march and dance in a parade.

Best Lights went to the Crew of Bogus and the Unidentified Rolling Object award went to the Hall of Tattoos.

Best Theme went to the USS Oklahoma Submarine replica. Rook said it was great to have this recplica, which honors World War II veterans.

For Best Family, the Queen of Hearts Costume Shop, a family business, captured the prize easily with their fantastic costumes. The Doggie Gras award went to the Crazy Animal People Crew which was truly befitting their name and fun for the crowd.

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My passions include yoga, running, swimming, cycling, hiking, nature photography and a love of animals and the natural environment.