Laissez les bons temps rouler
2nd Annual Mardi Gras Costume Ball
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
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.
The Queen and King of Mardi Gras, Sharon and David Turrentine