The History of
Lake Wales Mardi Gras
In 1984 the Lake
Wales Mardi Gras was created in memory of Vinton Davis, owner and
operator of Vintonís New Orleans Restaurant along with his wife.
Vinton was quite a character and loved carnivals and particularly
Mardi Gras in New Orleans. In fact, at one time he did join a carnival
leaving his wife to run the business.
When Vinton died,
his daughter Nancy Estes and his wife Nettie wanted a traditional New
Orleans funeral with the parading of the casket with jazz bands and
mourners. Unfortunately they could not do that so they decided to have
a parade in his memory and call it the Lake Wales Mardi Gras. With the
help of his step-son Jim Bernhardt, Netties brother Ed, friend Robert
Connors and a handful of others, the Lake Wales Mardi Gras was
The first Mardi Gras
parade consisted of one band (Alís Place Band), four Krewes (The
Mystick Krewe of Rex, the Mystick and fair Krewe of Aphrodite, Royal
Order of the Red Swans and the Loyal order of Wild Shiners) and
several marching revelers. They formed before a crowd of a couple of
hundred spectators. Today we parade with over a dozen floats and
krewes and march for about 50,000 spectators.
Come and join us
in the tradition of fun and laughter.
All these people,
who if they were here, would insist that we continue on in the Mardi
Gras tradition which is "Let the good times roll" and not wait to
follow your dreams.
- owner of world famous Vinton's Restaurant in the French Quarter
of Lake Wales - beautiful lady who exuded hospitality to all who
came in contact with her - she co-founded Lake Wales Mardi Gras in
honor of her husband Vinton Davis who passed away and requested a
celebration of music and dance -- passed away December 1, 2001.
- promoter and president of Mardi Gras for many years -- co-hosted
"Your Show" with Pat Turner on WIPC radio 1280 AM -- many Mardi
Gras people and musicians were on the show over the one year he
was part of the show -- wonderful friend to us - sorely missed -
he passed July 10, 2001
Scott and Liz
- owned Mechanical Consultants on Orange Avenue - great friends of
Mardi Gras - gracious host and hostess - Liz was Queen of Carnival
-- they belonged to the Legion of Zombies -- sadly missed by all
who knew and loved them - passed together on May 30, 2001.
- Musician & former Prince
Delores Baldauf - Past President
Crys Anderson - Former Secretary
Panama Francis - Musican, Advisory Board Member & Grand
Nat Adderley - Musician, Advisory Board Member & Grand Marshall
Herman Macy - Former Prince
Charles Tillmanl - First Prince
Nick Arpino - Former Prince
John Marsh - Benefactor
Emil Jahna - Benefactor