High spirits, rain mix it up at Mardi Gras parade in Nevada City | TheUnion.com

High spirits, rain mix it up at Mardi Gras parade in Nevada City

Keri Brenner
Staff Writer

A spirited but soggy Mardi Gras parade took over Nevada City Sunday, entertaining crowds who jammed porches, overhangs and awnings in a quest for dry viewpoints.

Light but steady showers did not cancel the event, but a number of entries, including three scheduled marching bands, had to back out due to the weather.

"It's hard to complain about the rain, this year, of all years," said Mardi Gras King Paul Matson, a former four-term Nevada City mayor, referring to the worst drought in state history.

"This time of year, weather can be a problem," added Mardi Gras Queen Sally Harris, Nevada City mayor. "But people do show up because they really enjoy this."

It was hard to tell who was having more fun — the kids who scrambled for shiny necklaces in Mardi Gras colors of green, purple and gold, or the adults who cheered and screamed for floats, such as the massive, fire-eating metal dragon from AMAH Homecare. Or both.

"I save what I can from the year before," said Lisa Curry of Nevada City, referring to the colored necklaces she sported around her neck. "I always give back some to people who look naked without them."

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Parade themes ranged from pirates, to "Gone With the Wind," to Victorian and Goth. But some of the loudest cheers were for the Chapter #2655 Vietnam Veterans of America color guard, which led the parade in a stoic march without rain gear.

"I would say it's a good crowd, considering the weather," said Nevada City Police Community Services Officer Ginger Gemignani. "It's good for the town."

There was also a healthy turnout at Saturday's Masquerade Ball at Miners Foundry. Cathy Whittlesey, executive director of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, said several hundred revelers filled the hall and danced to the tunes of The Holcomb Brothers Band.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email kbrenner@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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