Laissez les bons temps rouler!
Yes, the good times will roll next weekend when three New Orleans-themed parties celebrate Mardi Gras, Chattanooga-style.
Mardi Gras actually falls on Tuesday, March 5, although the local parties are being held the weekend prior, March 1-3. Reservations are needed now if you want to strut your stuff to Dixieland music with your favorite bead-wearing krewe.
Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday" and is always the day before Ash Wednesday, the official start of Lent. It's called "Fat Tuesday" because it's the last day of indulgence, the last chance to enjoy a night of eating rich, fatty foods before fasting.
Here's a roundup of three local benefits celebrating Mardi Gras.
Mardi Gras Gala 2019
» When: 7-11 p.m. Friday, March 1
» Where: Bessie Smith Cultural Center, 200 E. M.L. King Blvd.
» Admission: $70 individual, $125 couples; price good until Feb. 22
» For more information: https://chamblisscenter.networkforgood.com/events/9965-mardi-gras-gala-2019
The Bessie will be themed to favorite New Orleans landmarks at this Mardi Gras party to benefit the Chambliss Center for Children.
The evening begins in Preservation Hall (Bessie Smith atrium) with live music, drinks and New Orleans-style fare from Events With Taste Catering.
Walk down Bourbon Street and enter the French Quarter, where live Dixieland jazz music will be playing. After the crowning of Mitch and Parul Patel as the krewe's king and queen, a DJ will get dancing started.
Two ticket levels have already sold out. Ticket prices will increase to $80 for individuals, $150 couples after Feb. 22, if any remain. So don't wait to buy yours if you plan to attend.
Mardi Gras Ball 2019: Saints & Sinners
» When: 7 p.m. Saturday, March 2
» Where: The Westin, 801 Pine St.
» Admission: $50 krewe members, $85 nonmembers
» For more information: www.eventbrite.com/e/mardi-gras-ball-2019-presented-by-the-mystikal-krewe-of-indulgences-tickets-49121866826
The Mystikal Krewe of Indulgences is hosting its 24th annual Mardi Gras celebration. This year's party will benefit the American Haitian Foundation.
Nosh on Cajun food, enjoy hors d'oeuvres, beer and wine, liquor cash bar, party favors, dancing, live Dixieland band and the crowning of the Mardi Gras king and queen.
This party is black-tie optional.
Mardi Gras Brunch
» When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, March 3
» Where: The Walden Club, 633 Chestnut St.
» Admission: $50 per person
» For more information: 423-756-6686
It's no secret that Sonia Young loves animals just as much as she does the color purple. So Chattanooga's Purple Lady is partnering with the Walden Club to host an impressive buffet spread inspired by Commander's Palace in New Orleans, with proceeds benefiting McKamey Animal Center.
Some of the tempting dishes will include chicken and andouille gumbo, Commander's Palace Salad with creamy black pepper dressing, Cajun Caesar Salad, Eggs Sardou, pecan-crusted gulf fish over red beans and rice, New Orleans-style crab cake with Creole remoulade, Maple Bourbon Pain Perdue, bread pudding souffle with bourbon sauce and bananas foster flambe. A cash bar will be available.
Table decorations are being created by Mike Lees, and the Ralph Miller Band will play.
Reservation deadline is Thursday, Feb. 28.
— Compiled by staff writer Susan Pierce