Hometown Pride Tour: Nocona’s Mardi Gras history

Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 6:51 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The City of Nocona has been hosting their 13th annual Mardi Gras Nocona Style this week.

Residents said there is a strong tie to Nocona and Mardi Gras. Nocona is less then twenty miles away from the Red River where bead trading took place between Native Americans and the French in the area.

“Nocona is probably the perfect town to have a Mardi Gras event. The French in 1750′s came up to a Spanish fort 15 miles north here, there was a huge native village up there and they brought beads, to trade with the natives at a Spanish fort,” Owner of the Red River Station Inn, Bob Ferguson said.

The beads traded were eventually thrown in New Orleans, before Nocona adopted Mardi Gras.

“Clay street was dead. It was tumbleweeds and nothing going on. There was no business here, it was drying up,” Owner of 217 Coffee, Mandy Kirkpatrick said.

Ferguson said the town was at a point where the town needed to grow and improve and that nothing was really sticking.

“Because of the beginning of Mardi Gras here we have kinda taken on a French flare. The architecture is starting kinda hitting in that direction and that is fairly new to this area,” Ferguson said.

Downtown Nocona now celebrates its sense of community when celebrating Mardi Gras.

“It is such a happy thing to see so many people get to come out and socialize and get to know your neighbor. I think we forget to know our neighbors anymore,” Kirkpatrick said.

Kirkpatrick said Mardi Gras in Nocona is the most unique thing to experience and it sparks a lot of interest from those who live out of town.