Mardi Gras merriment
A street party on Station Street and five fundraisers on tap
Laissez les bon temps rouler!
Mardi Gras isn’t until Tuesday, Feb. 1 3, but locally the good times start to roll on Saturday, Feb. 3. And t he New Orleans- themed party circuit continues through Sunday, Feb. 11.
Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, is the last day of carnival season, since it always falls the day before Ash Wednesday, the f irst day of Lent. Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, reflecting the practice that revelers indulge in rich food and drink before fasting for Lent.
Carnival season varies from city to city. In New Orleans, Mardi Gras stretches from Twelfth Night ( the last night of Chri s t mas that begins Epiphany) to Ash
Wednes- day. More traditionally, it is observed during the final three- day period before Ash Wednesday.
Chattanooga may not have a French Quarter and Bourbon Street for revelers to strut their stuff, but we have the Southside’s Station Street. Add some beads, masks, music, fire jugglers, stilt walkers and huge puppets and you’ve got a party.
Mardi Gras on Station Street kicks off at 6 p.m on Saturday, Feb. 10, with a bar crawl leading up to a 9 p.m. show at Revelry Room, 41 Station St.
A $10 wristband (sold at each venue) gets the wearer into all the barcrawl stops on Station Street and the show at Revelry Room by Diamond Dogs, a David Bowie tribute band. Each pub on the crawl will have its own activity as well; for example, a retro dance party in Regan’s Place and a country dance party in Westbound Bar.
The first 50 guests at
each venue will receive free beads and/or masks. Everyone on the bar crawl must be age 21 or older, but the Revelry Room show is open to ages 18 and up with valid ID.
For more information: 423-805-3247.
MARDI GRAS FUNDRAISERS
› Saturday, Feb. 3: Mystikal Krewe of Indulgences, Chattanooga Marriott, 2 Carter Plaza, 7 p.m., $50-$90. 910-3305203.
Enjoy Cajun food, hors d’oeuvres, cash bar, party favors, dancing and crowning of a king and queen in this benefit for the Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center. › Friday, Feb. 9: Mardi
Gras Gala, Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd., 7-11 p. m., $ 60 individuals, $ 100 couples, price increases after Friday, Feb. 2. chamblisscenter. networkforgood.com.
This benefit for Chambliss Center for Children includes a Dixieland jazz band and crowning of a king and queen before dancing the night away. ›
Saturday, Feb. 10: Bach to Broadway, Chattanooga Golf and Country Club, 6 p.m. cash bar, 7 p. m. dinner, $ 100 per person. 423-902-9191.
Chattanooga Bach Choir’s annual Mardi Gras masquerade is perhaps one of the most well-known Mardi Gras parties in town. New this year: the venue, after years at The Walden Club.
Guests arrive at this dinner wearing elaborate feathered, beaded and sequined masks. There is a parade of all the masked revelers before the crowning of King Warren Barnett and Queen Barbara Kelley. The event also includes an auction and dancing to music of Nancy Westmoreland Group. ›
Saturday, Feb. 10: Mardi Gras Ball, Chattanooga Convention Center, 1150 Carter St., 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m., $55. 423698-0029.
This is an elegant evening of dinner, music and dancing to benefit the Chattanooga chapter of National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Beverly McKeldin, event chairwoman, says this and other chapter fundraisers help members award $10,000 in scholarships to high school students.
Sunday, Feb. 11: Mardi Gras Brunch, Walden Club, 633 Chestnut St., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., $50.
Purple Lady Sonia Young is hosting this benefit for t he McKamey Animal Center. A mouthwatering brunch of New Orleans-inspired dishes will include Chicken and Andouille Gumbo, Pecan- Crusted Gulf Fish over Red Beans and Rice, crab cakes with Creole remoulade, Ponchatoula Strawberry Shortcake a nd Bananas Foster Flambe, to name just a few of the 15 choices.
There will be l ive music, door prizes and cash bar.
Reservations are required by Tuesday, Feb. 6: 423-305-6507.