Lais­sez les bons temps rouler

2nd An­nual Mardi Gras Cos­tume Ball

The Sentinel-Record - HER - Hot Springs - - Culture - Story by ALI­SON HAR­BOUR

More than 300 cos­tumed par­ty­go­ers are ex­pected to cel­e­brate the 2nd An­nual Mardi Gras Cos­tume Ball.

The Hot Springs Jazz So­ci­ety’s ball and pri­mary fundrais­ing event will be hosted on Feb. 22 in the ball­room at the Austin Con­ven­tion Ho­tel and Spa, 305 Malvern Ave.

“Lais­sez les bons temps rouler, the good times will be rolling,” says Bill Free­man, pres­i­dent of HSJS.

“We are putting to­gether a su­pe­rior silent auc­tion. Th­ese will be ex­cit­ing items. The en­tire board and many mem­bers of the jazz so­ci­ety are help­ing on the fundrais­ing project. A good turnout will al­low us to give our mu­sic schol­ar­ships to lo­cal up-and-com­ing mu­si­cians and put on our free Jaz­zFest on Sept. 6.”

Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. and a Dix­ieland band will kick off the fun at 6 p.m. fol­lowed by the mu­sic of the 9-piece Delta Brass Ex­press.

The Ex­press “plays dance mu­sic like Chicago, Four Tops, then Ca­jun and zy­deco. They are fan­tas­tic,” Free­man said.

About 7 p.m. David and Sharon Tur­ren­tine, of Hot Springs – the Mardi Gras king and queen – will make their grand en­trance to pre­side over the fes­tiv­i­ties.

Par­ty­go­ers can join the line dance of par­tic­i­pants who will be lead­ing the throng and twirling their para­sols to bring in the Tur­ren­tines. “We will be film­ing this in still and video,” Free­man said.

Sharon Tur­ren­tine, a Louisiana na­tive, is pres­i­dent and CEO of Sharon Tur­ren­tine Inc., a phys­i­cal fit­ness com­pany de­sign­ing per­sonal fit­ness-body shap­ing pro­grams for women and she is chair­man of the Louisiana Gov­er­nor’s Coun­cil on Phys­i­cal Fit­ness and Sports. She stud­ied opera through Columbia Univer­sity in New York and has per­formed in varied venues.

She has planned an elab­o­rate gown for the evening and she will keep part of her cos­tume a sur­prise and de­but it at the ball.

Her hus­band David Tur­ren­tine is chair­man of the board and prin­ci­pal owner of Stan­dard En­ter­prises Inc., a real es­tate de­vel­op­ment, con­struc­tion and man­age­ment com­pany based in Mon­roe, La. Stan­dard owns and man­ages more than 5,000 rental units in 80-plus lo­ca­tions in Louisiana, Mis­sis­sippi and Ohio.

For par­ty­go­ers, a cos­tume con­test of­fers them a $500 cash award that will be split be­tween the best man and

woman’s cos­tume.

A pho­tog­ra­pher will be on hand to take and pro­duce pho­tos of the cos­tumed at­ten­dees for an af­ford­able rate.

The Austin will pre­pare spe­cial Ca­jun dishes such as gumbo, red beans and rice, and shrimp and grits for those who want to dine in early.

Rev­el­ers will re­ceive small per­son­al­ized king’s cakes as part of their ad­mis­sion. Some of the cakes will in­clude tra­di­tional baby fig­urines which can be re­deemed for prizes.

Ev­ery­one who at­tends will re­ceive a string of beads. Masks, beads and Mardi Gras shirts will also be avail­able for pur­chase.

Ta­ble seat­ing of 10 seats to a ta­ble and ap­prox­i­mately 30 ta­bles are planned, so space and seats are lim­ited. Some ta­bles will be des­ig­nated for spon­sors.

“We are hop­ing for a larger event than last year. The prizes have not yet been fi­nal­ized. We want more prizes avail­able to more at­ten­dees. As al­ways it de­pends on fac­tors, but we think we will have a sell­out,” Free­man said.

Call Bill Free­man at 321-6161 for more in­for­ma­tion.

Pho­tos by BETH BRIGHT

The Queen and King of Mardi Gras, Sharon and David Tur­ren­tine

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