Visit Lake Charles (VLC) is inviting everyone in the community to jump into the Mardi Gras spirit with the 13th Annual Mardi Gras Shoebox Float Contest. As the VLC Welcome Center at 1205 N. Lakeshore Drive is currently under construction, the shoebox float contest will be virtual and promoted on the VLC Facebook page. Contest entries must be submitted no later than noon on Wednesday, Feb. 3.  

The only rule is that shoebox floats must be constructed using a single, traditional cardboard shoebox. Themes for shoeboxentries can run the gamut from culinary creations to Louisiana’s wildlife, athletics, folklore and more. Shoebox creators are only limited by their imagination!  

“Each year, visitors to the welcome center are delighted to see the creative inspiration from the community showcased in the Mardi Gras Shoebox Contest. Even though we will not have an in-person display, we are proud to highlight the shoeboxcreations virtually and invite everyone to participate and vote,” said Angie Manning, Communications Director of Visit Lake Charles.  

Contest entries will be on display with online voting taking place at from Thursday, February 4, ending at noon on Monday, Feb. 15. Winners will be announced on Mardi Gras Day, Tuesday, Feb. 16. 

Prizes include certificates and king cakes for first, second and third place winners with cash prizes for first place at $50 and $25 for second place.  

To enter your shoebox float, log on to