Carnegie Visual Arts Center - Decatur, Alabama

Carnegie Carnival is a fund-raising project benefiting the

Carnegie Visual Arts Center

“Art is for Everyone” isn’t just a slogan here in Decatur. The Carnegie Visual Arts Center makes it a reality through programs that ensure art is accessible to all. We host free workshops, events, and exhibitions for our city and the greater community, all while promoting creativity, family fun, and downtown revitalization. The Carnegie also gives back to our community in big ways, including sharing the proceeds with other community philanthropic partners such as CASA of North Alabama, the Aim Program of Decatur City Schools and many more.

Carnegie Carnival History

In 2012, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center presented the area’s first Mardi Gras-style celebration with the “Carnegie Carnival.” Charter members created a season that spans from Carnival Petition in October to Twelfth Night in January to Gospel Brunch in February and culminates with the Carnegie Carnival parades always held on the Saturday before Fat Tuesday. This day of celebration has grown and expanded each year and now starts with Decatur’s only half marathon, the Carnival Frolic, and ends with a nighttime parade that can proudly hold its own with Mardi Gras parades that have been held elsewhere for centuries.

Charter Members:

  • Jimmy Dawes
  • Juanita Healy
  • Joe Hollenbeck
  • Noel King
  • Anne Marshall
  • Stephanie McGrew
  • Kathleen Megehee
  • Kim Mitchell
  • Amy Rakestraw
  • Tony Shubert
  • Karen Smith
  • Andy Thomas
  • Connie Torbert
  • Brittny Watson
  • Danielle Westfall-Clark

Charter Crewes:

  • AL Chicken & Egg Festival
  • ASU Artheads
  • Café au Lait Couch Crewe
  • Crewe de Kiwanis
  • Crewe de Nouveaux Arrivants
  • Crewe du Mystic Twilight
  • Crewe of Chaos
  • Dahlings Crewe of Tallulah’s
  • deLoain New York
  • Dragon Boat Crewe
  • Hargrove Engineers & Constructors
  • Junior League of Morgan County
  • E.O Chapter U Crewe
  • Pirate Crewe O’Ye Crooked Goat
  • Second Banque Crewe
  • Sirens of Achelous
  • John’s Saints
  • Southwest of the Border
  • We Love Janet Morgan Crewe
Carnegie Carnival Petition photo

Carnegie Carnival Petition

To open the season, the Crewes of Carnival “petition” the reigning King and Queen of Carnegie Carnival by showing them a preview of their Crewe. Crewes will come to the party dressed to impress and prepared with skits, songs, and dances to persuade their King and Queen to start the season! The Crewe with the best performance will have the honor of picking their spot for next year’s parade.

Carnegie Carnival Twelfth Night

Just like Mardi Gras, Carnegie Carnival begins on Twelfth Night. The Twelfth Night is the official end of the holiday season, as it is the last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas. As the beginning of Carnegie Carnival, the Twelfth Night is the first time of the season to eat King Cake and announce the candidates for King, Queen, Prince, and Princess of Carnival.

Oh, by the way… Local lore states that if you eat King Cake before Twelfth Night, it will rain on the day of Carnegie Carnival! So don’t you go eatin’ King Cake early now!

Carnegie Carnival Twelfth Night photo

Carnegie Carnival Parade - Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler!

A full day of Mardi Gras themed events culminates with North Alabama’s premier Mardi Gras celebration, the drive-thru Carnegie Carnival Parade. A half marathon, crewes, floats, bag of throws, music and more! Get all of the details and make plans to Carnival with us in downtown Decatur, Alabama!

Carnegie Carnival Parade photo
Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler! - Carnegie Carnival in Decatur, Alabama