LUCEDALE, Miss. (WKRG) — Mardi Gras is six months away, but planning is well underway for the celebration in Lucedale with expanded year-round events.

The Lucedale Carnival Association is back for its seventh year hosting a ball, parade, and family fun day during Mardi Gras season.

“We just want to rejuvenate Mardi Gras in Lucedale. We brought it here as a family event that you didn’t have to travel to the coast or Mobile and fight the crowds,” said LCA president Tim Grave.

The organization will also host its annual Halloween Boo Dash outside of the winter celebration but is also planning more events through the fall and early next year to give the community activities to be a part of while raising money.

“I see a time in Lucedale that it’s needed. With lots of new people coming into the county, we want to show them what it’s all about and give folks fun things to be a part of,” said Grave.

Lucedale’s parade will once again kick-off Mardi Gras as the first event of the season in Mississippi. Here’s a list of events:

  • Jr. Royalty Pageant (Sept. 24 ): George Co. Fairgrounds, 4 p.m. – Children from newborns to 12th grade will be split into age divisions to crown little princes and princesses and junior kings and queens. Entry deadline is Sept. 10th with a $30 fee per child. Admission for the pageant will be $5, contestants and children under five years old are free.
  • Haunted House (Oct. 27, 28, 29): George Co. Fairgrounds, 6 p.m. to10 p.m. on Thursday, 6 p.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday.
  • Boo Dash (Oct. 29): A 5K walk and run, costumes encouraged. Registration begins at 7 a.m. in downtown Lucedale. Race begins at 8 a.m.
  • Family Fall Festival (Oct. 29): George Co. Fairgrounds, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food trucks, vendors and children’s activities will be set-up in downtown Lucedale.
  • Parade, Family Fun Day, Celebration (Jan. 21): Parade begins at 11 a.m. from Main and Virginia Streets, turning left onto Winter Street. Family Fun Day follows at the Coffee Pot Cafe parking lot. A celebration including a DJ and food will be held at the fairgrounds beginning at 6 p.m.
  • Ball (Feb. 4): George Co. Fairgrounds, 6 p.m. Tickets go on sale Sept. 1 for $35 per person or $50 per couple.

Anyone is welcome to join the association to help plan the events year-round.

“We will never turn anyone away, you just have to have a heart in it. You don’t have to be from George County to participate, we welcome anyone, it doesn’t matter who you are,” said Grave.

More information is available on the organization’s Facebook page. Members will also have a space at the Second Saturday event in downtown Lucedale on Aug. 13 with free giveaways.