Welcome to the Rotary Club of Maffra Mardi Gras page!
2024 Street Carnival and Parade - Saturday, March 16th.
Johnson St, Maffra 4pm - 8pm
The Rotary Club of Maffra Mardi Gras is a family fun day with a carnival like atmosphere. There is face painting, an animal petting zoo, rides, music, street parade with colourful floats, and food and craft stalls. 
Entrants from local organisations such as community groups and schools take on a 6 week program of fundraising, culminating in the presentation on the evening of the Mardi Gras. Prizes are also awarded for the best floats in the parade.
The Maffra Mardi Gras was commenced in 1957 by a group of local businessmen who had gathered together to raise money for the Maffra and District hospital. Each entrant was voted for with a penny. The winner was announced who then collected a trip interstate with a chaperon.
Over sixty years later, little has changed, with a six week fund raising period where entrants and their committees raise as much money as they can from a variety of activities. In 2018 the event celebrated it's Diamond Jubilee, making it the oldest running community event in the Wellington Shire!
In 2009 the Rotary Club of Maffra became the lead organisation because of their commitment to their community and because of insurance requirements. The following year, 2010 was their first Mardi Gras. The name was altered to the Rotary Club of Maffra Mardi Gras, reflecting that responsibility.
The concept of raising funds for community organisations has not altered over all this time with a variety of sporting clubs, kindergartens, primary schools and secondary colleges,  aged care facilities and wildlife shelters having previously participated. The organisations keep all but a small percentage of funds raised, while the Rotary Club of Maffra return their share to community organisations annually when the Club makes their disbursements. In 2018 Stretton Park received a donation of $13,000, and in 2023 part of the funds went towards buying a new freezer for the Maffra Neighbourhood House.
In 2023 the theme was 'The Circus', which was enthusiastically received by the community, with people, including adults, dressing up just to be in the crowd, let alone the wonderfully decorated floats. Thanks to sponsorship from Community Bank, Maffra and District there was a record number of floats, and it was lovely to see so many happy, smiling faces on floats and in walking groups, as well as cheering them from the sidelines. 
Three entrants, from the Maffra Municipal Band, Maffra Golf Club and Maffra Football/Netball Club, raised over $63,000 between them in the 6 week fundraising period leading up to the event. 
The Rotary Club of Maffra welcomes community organisations and clubs from within the Wellington Shire to have an entrant in next year’s event. Guidelines and Nomination forms are in the links beside this article. They are seeking expressions of interest from entrants, market, craft and food stalls along with Parade Entries, such as floats, walking groups, trucks, vintage vehicles, etc.  Please email maffrasecretary@rotary9820.org.au or phone 0408 036 627.
Members of the public who would like to contribute to the organising of this iconic event are welcome to contact the club via the contact details above.