Party on! Mardi Gras event lives |

Party on! Mardi Gras event lives

Dan BurkhartRevelers celebrate at the Joe Cain festivities on Feb. 2 in Nevada City.
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Nevada City will celebrate Mardi Gras with a ball and parade next year, as it has for 10 years.

But it won’t be Joe Cain Day.

The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce on Monday decided to put on the festivities in March, stepping in for the Joe Cain Society. The society canceled the events last month after its members were unable to convince the city to ban the consumption of alcohol on the streets during the festivities.

The ball is scheduled for March 1 at Miners Foundry Cultural Center and the parade for March 2.

“This is just for 2003,” Cathy Whittlesey, executive manager for the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday. “I’m hoping (the Joe Cain Society) will come back in 2004.”

Chamber president David Vertin said the organization decided to step in because a lot of people support the event. “It’s always been the community’s parade,” he said.

Businesses like to have the influx of people that time of the year, he added.

Joe Cain Society members asked for an alcohol-free event after 14 people were arrested for drunkenness during February’s festivities.

“Let them do it,” Ruth Poulter, secretary for the society, said Tuesday. “But (the chamber) can’t use our name.”

Poulter said her group hoped to organize an alcohol-free event in 2004, but if the chamber takes over, that might be a moot point.

She also called the chamber’s decision “inappropriate.”

“We created it,” Poulter said of the event. “We run it with little help from anyone. It’s our event … it’s ours.”

Vertin said the chamber will have an organizational meeting Tuesday.

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