METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - It's a party on the neutral ground - all weekend long as Family Gras kicks off tonight at 5:30 p.m.
But preparations are already underway as vendors roll in to set up, getting ready for the thousands expected to come to the free festival.
Friday night music will include the Creole String Beans, the Cowsills and the Association.
Then, the parades will roll. The Krewe of Excalibur and Krewe of Athena roll tonight starting at 7 p.m.
There is a new text service available this year that will allow Family Gras fans to know what's going on with events and parades.
The service is an opt-in program that will send push alerts to a cell phone or mobile device.
Updates will include happenings during Family Gras, such as performances, gate times and any urgent information.
To register, text "FamilyGras17" to 888-777.