Well, this year you can join in the fun and you only have to drive to Marcus. Marcus will be celebrating Mardi Gras on Sat.Feb. 13 with a parade, gumbo, king cakes, hurricanes, prizes for the best costumes and "Karaoke with Maryoke."
Mardi Gras, French for Shrove (Fat) Tuesday, is the last day before Lent. It's also the last day of the Carnival Season, which begins on the Twelfth Night after Christmas. The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are purple (symbolic of justice), green (symbolic of faith) and gold (symbolic of power). Most of the parades are held during the two and a half weeks before Mardi Gras.
Traditionally, Mardi Gras parades are put on by krewes (groups) such as Krewe du Charlie Sue from Lake Charles, La., who come to Sioux City in July. New Orleans krewes such as Zulu, Rex, Orpheus, Phunny Phorty Phellows, etc. have their own parades. In Marcus, each krewe will have a float. Float participants traditionally wear costumes and throw things to the crowd. The most popular "throw" being beads, doubloons, plastic cups, stuffed animals, and in Mobile, AL, they throw Moon Pies. Each parade also has a theme.
This parade theme will be, "Let the Games Begin" and will be held inside the Marcus Community Center, so parade floats will need to be "downsized" with no gas powered vehicles allowed.
Most people think of New Orleans and the debauchery of Bourbon Street when they think Mardi Gras, but it's celebrated many places in the South as a family oriented celebration.
Parades in New Orleans are made up of elaborate floats and marching bands. In other areas in the South, the parades are made up of simple floats on wagons and business advertising,
So circle Sat. Feb. 13th on your calendar, get your krewe together and start planning your float or parade entry. Or just come to watch the parade, try some gumbo and king cake, drink hurricanes, and enjoy the karaoke. Whether you come in costume, or not, the fun begins at 8 p.m. and a $5 cover charge will be taken at the door to help cover expenses. For more information call Mary Erdman at 376-2156.