Decorated boats cruise the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville each year, two weekends prior to Mardi Gras Day. The 48th annual boat parade is Saturday, February 19, 2022 at 1 p.m. This year's theme is "Disney Enchantment."
The parade starts at Salty's Marina, then heads downriver and turns around to dock on both the north and south sides of the Hwy 22 bridge. King Neptune's Marching Society precedes the boat parade by marching down Water Street to the reviewing stand.
Organized in 1973, the Krewe of Tchefuncte's boat parade grew out of a love for the Tchefuncte River and the traditions and history of the Town of Madisonville. The Krewe celebrates maritime life on the historic river, located on LA-Hwy 22 between Mandeville and Ponchatoula. Founded in 1817, Madisonville is one of the oldest communities in Louisiana and is the oldest permanent settlement in St. Tammany Parish.
Mardi Gras in Madisonville has a long history that dates back to 1891 when the first Mardi Gras Ball was held in town at the United Benevolent Hall by the Women's Progressive Club. The tradition has been sporadically celebrated with balls, street parades and the Krewe of Tchefuncte Boat Parade and Ball.