Decatur's Carnegie preps for Carnival '14 - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Decatur's Carnegie preps for Carnival '14

Leading up to Carnegie Carnival is a photography exhibit at the museum. Leading up to Carnegie Carnival is a photography exhibit at the museum.

The sights and sounds of Mardi Gras are something to behold. And there is one in North Alabama to be enjoyed as well as New Orleans and Mobile.

Decatur's Carnegie Visual Arts Center is being made ready for this year's celebration, according to Executive Director Kim Mitchell.

"We have a great many crews, over 20 crews that are in the parade that day and we'll have music and throw beads and cups and fun things and just encourage everybody to come out and bring a bag and just get ready to collect some beads," Mitchell said.

She said there will be three different parades: one for animals, one for youngsters and the big parade at night.

This will be the third Mardis Gras for the Carnegie, and it's turned into a big fundraiser, according to Mitchell. "One thing that's unique about this, it's an economically-driven fundraiser. And by that i mean that we get all the merchants downtown involved in it."

What effect has it made on their finances? 

"It's made a huge difference for us. The Carnegie is free of charge and open to anyone. And so we have to get all our money from the community. And the city helps us and the county helps us, some, but it's not anywhere near our budget so we do need to go out and raise money," said Mitchell.

Leading up to Carnegie Carnival is a photography exhibit at the museum. It features many pictures from last years event. The images highlight the food, merriment and family fun.

As part of the fundraising efforts, there will be a prince and princess crowned along with the king and queen. "They're having private events to raise money and all the money goes to the Carnegie Visual Arts Center, so we love it. But the king and queen will be crowned the night after the parade at Ingalls Harbor at our crew party."

For more information, visit the Carnegie Visual Arts Center website.

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