Let’s party like it’s Mardi Gras!
This year’s theme for the Mardi Gras masquerade ball and parade in Nevada City this weekend is Moulin Rouge. You know, that Parisian nightclub in the 1890s that featured French cancan dancers immortalized by the famous artist Toulouse-Lautrec, with its naughty dresses, top hats, wild dancing, and imbibing of spirits.
A traditional Cajun seafood dinner from 6 to 8 p.m. starts the festivities on Saturday evening at the Miners Foundry Cultural Center. The ball starts at 8 p.m.
Sunday includes the Mardi Gras Street Faire, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at North Pine and Commercial streets, a good place to buy those ubiquitous beads and boas. The Mine Shaft Saloon, 222 Broad St., promises to give “free masks for the first 50 ladies” on this day.
Starting at 2 p.m.- rain, shine or snow – the Mardi Gras parade of about 25 floats starts moving down Broad Street, interspersed with bands, such as the California Consolidated Drum Band, the official fife and drum corps for the state of California; the outrageous Ophir Prison Band; and the popular Petting Zoo (youth playing on garbage cans). Red Hat ladies and the Merry Widows will strut their stuff, as well.
According to the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, there will be plenty of law enforcement officers out and about making sure things don’t get too lively, as in years past. No alcoholic beverages and glass containers will be permitted along the parade route. The word on the street is “behave yourself.”
To ease traffic congestion, shuttle buses run Sunday, 12:30-5 p.m., from the Rood Center on Highway 49.
“Mardi Gras in Nevada City is a great mid-winter event,” says Bob Buhlis, Mardi Gras chairman. “After the lull from the Christmas holidays, the natives become restless and are ready to party again. What better way than dinner, dancing and a parade?”
TO KNOW & GO
WHAT: Traditional Cajun Dinner
WHEN: Saturday, 6-8 p.m.
WHERE: Miners Foundry, 325 Spring St., Nevada City
ADMISSION: $25. Tickets should be bought in advance; this event has been a sellout in the past
WHAT: Mardi Gras Masquaerade Ball
WHEN: Saturday, 8 p.m. to Midnight
WHERE: Miners Foundry
ADMISSSION: $15 in advance; $20 at the door (if still available, as the Mardi Gras Chairman Bob Buhlis thinks there will be)
WHAT: Mardi Gras Parade
WHEN: Sunday, 2 p.m.
WHERE: Broad Street, Nevada City
INFORMATION: the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, 132 Main St., 265-2692 (800-655-6569); on the Web at http://www.nevadacitychamber.com. Look around town for “The Merry Widow Gazette” tabloid with its cartoon cover for a fun read about Mardi Gras.
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