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February 11, 2013
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Hundreds enjoy Mardi Gras street fair and parade in Nevada City

A warm, sunny day brought hordes of happy revelers to the streets of Nevada City to enjoy the Mardi Gras festivities Sunday.

Broad Street was packed with young and old, many masked, feathered and bedecked with the bead necklaces being thrown by parade participants on floats.

Hundreds were on hand to enjoy a street fair that started at 11 a.m.; the parade began at 2 p.m. and was headed by the Merry Widow Society and Grand Marshal Jerry Cirino.

The Mardi Gras event “brings a lot of energy to town,” Cathy Whittlesey, executive director of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, told The Union.

As the parade wound down, a small boy on the last entry held a sign that read, “Follow me to the Carnevale,” a child-centric party at the Miners Foundry that debuted this year.

And judging by the line that quickly formed outside the building on Spring Street, many took his advice.

The Carnevale featured an array of New Orleans-style food with gumbo and foodstuffs that might appeal more to small children, like popcorn and cotton candy.

Children waited patiently for balloon animals and face-painting sessions and entertainment that included belly dancers and juggler-extraordinaire Izzi Tooinsky.

“We had a great time,” said Judy Griffin at the Carnevale with children Milo, 6, and Maura, 5, in tow.

“I’m from Louisiana, and I’ve been to the New Orleans parade — and this was as fun for me.”

And it was just as fun for the small fry, who didn’t seem to mind the noise, the crowds or being loaded down with innumerable strands of brightly colored beads.

Milo did say “he was tired of screaming” for the float entries, Griffin admitted with a laugh.

To contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

“I’m from Louisiana, and I’ve been to the New Orleans parade — and this was as fun for me.”

— Judy Griffin,
festival attendee


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The Union Updated Feb 11, 2013 01:10PM Published Feb 11, 2013 04:54PM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.