CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- If in need of a break from the winter blahs, head to the Mardi Gras Celebration at St. Mark's Episcopal Church in St. Albans.
"It's a big event and keeps getting bigger every year," said Rebecca Rickaby, an organizer of the event. "We have lots of fun. This is a family friendly event. We hope more people will come, enjoy the music and eat the food."
The year's celebration is set for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday in the parish hall. The church is at 405 B St. in St. Albans.
There will be Cajun dishes, live New Orleans music, arts and crafts, a used book sale, free face painting, a parade and a bake sale. Lunch will feature a choice of sausage and chicken gumbo, red beans and rice, and pork barbecue. Lunch is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Lunch includes slaw, a beverage and dessert.
Admission to the Mardi Gras Celebration is free.
Among vendors on hand will be Norma Newbrough, pottery; Martha Kessinger, crochet; Bill Evans, photography and fine art prints, and R.L. Stickley, wooden pens and desk items. Jewelry will be sold in vintage, antique and costume.
The Episcopal Church Women of St. Mark's will have their home-baked goods for sale.
The ECW plan the traditional celebratory event each year prior to the Lenten season, a time of spiritual preparation from Ash Wednesday to Easter.
Organizers decided to replace the annual Christmas bazaar with the Mardi Gras Celebration to raise funds for ministries.
Church member Eleanor "Ditty" Reed came up with the idea for the fundraising switch.
The ECW readily accepted it because the Christmas season is a busy time while not much happens in February, Rickaby said.