Story By: Megan Anderson, Staff Writer
A bit of New Orleans is coming to Ohio with Middletown’s annual Mardi Gras celebration.
The Art Central Foundation is bringing back the popular event for a tenth year on February 25th. Last year’s Mardi Gras drew over 200 people, and the Foundation is expecting an increase this year.
“This is our 10th anniversary, so we have a lot of extras happening,” said Sue Wittman, director of the Art Central Foundation. “This year we will have a New Orleans style brass band that, weather permitting, will do a parade outside. [And] we are having a voodoo doll making station where you can make your own voodoo dolls.”
Tickets for the event are $30. As in past years, there will be blackjack tables, tarot card readings, and raffle prizes. Snacks and drinks, including a cash bar, will also be available, as well as New Orleans style red beans and rice and king cake.
Cajun band Robin Lacy and DeZydeco are also returning for the seventh year in a row. Lacy and his wife read about a Zydeco band that was growing in popularity and decided to check out the unique, southwestern Louisiana style music.
“My wife and I took a trip to New Orleans and we loved the food and the music and came back to Cincinnati to try it here,” said Lacy. They are now one of the only Zydeco bands in the area.
“I think [Mardi Gras] is something kind of different for this area. It’s kind of like Halloween in the middle of winter,” said Lacy.
As with Halloween, attendees are encouraged, though not required, to come in costume.
“Probably 45-50 percent of the people do something, even if it’s just a sparkly dress or sparkly shirt. Some people spend an entire year designing their costumes for the next year,” said Wittman.
The Art Central Foundation’s Mardi Gras will take place on Feb. 25, 2017 at 8 p.m. at the Pendleton Art Center. For more information about the Art Central Foundation’s Mardi Gras 2017, visit their Facebook page. Tickets for the event can be purchased through Eventbrite.
Story Edited By: General Assignment Editor Julian Anguiano
Pendleton Art Center
1105 Central Ave.
Middletown, OH 45044
How will you be celebrating Mardi Gras?
Interview about the 2015 Mardi Gras celebration - https://vimeo.com/118702113