NEW BERN, NC (WNCT) — The New Bern Mardis Gras festival and parade will be held in the Ghent Neighborhood on Feb. 18 from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

This is the seventh year of the event. This time, festival-goers of all ages can run the Mardis Gras Mile at 1:45, which benefits the We Can Be Association. The association is a local non-profit that offers funding for equipment and therapy to exceptional children in Eastern North Carolina.

A percentage of sponsorships will be donated to The Promise Place, which serves the community as a resource center for sexual assault victims.

Puppet shows, food vendors, artists and live music will be featured throughout the day and Mardis Gras king and queen will also be crowned.

Costumes are encouraged but not required for attendees.

Festivities will be held on Spencer Avenue between 5th and 8th streets with parking available at Temple Baptist Church at 1500 Kingdom Way in New Bern.