It's time for Rubonia's annual Mardi Gras Parade

HERALD STAFF REPORTFebruary 23, 2012 

One of Manatee County’s most famous parades will roll through Rubonia, a small community north of Palmetto, again Sunday during the 33rd annual Mardi Gras festival.

It has been a tradition ever since friends of Rubonia resident LuAnna Topp first marched down Bayshore Road in 1979 to celebrate her birthday.

Just as they did back then, most people participating in the parade, which kicks off at 2 p.m., dress in crazy costumes, ride outrageous floats, hurl beads and generally have a rowdy, good time as they walk past the more than 20,000 attendees expected to line the main street through this community.

What started as a small group with a few home-made floats has grown to a day-long festival with entertainment, food and souvenir vendors and close to 50 parade entries.

Bradenton-based, popular covers duo the Muphin Men are scheduled to perform from noon to 2 p.m. Another unnamed act will play reggae music from 5 to 7 p.m.

Terri “Mrs. Wiggles” Costello has been named grand marshal.

“She has been working“with us all 33 years,” said Chuck Miller, life-longRubonia resident and coordinator of the parade. “The theme this is year is ‘community united for a purpose.’”

Details: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.,Feb. 26, around the Rubonia Community Center, 130972nd St. E., Palmetto. Information: 941-722-2315 or

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