Mardi Gras mer­ri­ment

A street party on Sta­tion Street and five fundrais­ers on tap

Chattanooga Times Free Press - ChattanoogaNow - - OUT & ABOUT - STAFF RE­PORT

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.

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