Laissez les bons temps rouler! That is the saying in New Orleans every Mardi Gras, and that is what locals will hear Tuesday when the College Hill Alliance hosts Mardi Gras in Mercer Village.
The event is being organized by our office along with the Mercer Hill Merchants to create a block party in the spirit of Fat Tuesday, said Jessica Walden, director of communications for the College Hill Alliance. The merchants do several events like this per year, but this is the first time having a Mardi Gras event, so anything goes!
The Fat Tuesday celebration begins at lunch and goes through the evening.
Food, of course, is a big part of Mardi Gras, Walden said. Both food and music will be in abundance all during the day in Mercer Village. All of the restaurants that serve food in the village will become pop up Mardi Gras restaurants and will each serve specialties like crawfish, jambalaya, gumbo, beignets and hurricanes.
Live New Orleans style jazz music will play throughout the day.
During the day, we will have the Southern Gentlemen Dixieland Jazz Band, who will play during lunch and will kick off the dinner time festivities. Then, we have one of our local horn players, Harold Hurricane Thomas, who will be playing during the evening, Walden said. Closing out the night is another local act. The World Famous Walnut Street Dixie Racing and Marching Society Jazz Band will be the finale. We have a whole day planned around music and food.
In addition, there are a host of activities to tempt people out, including street performances, juggling, balloon making artists and fortune tellers. The Mercer Cheerleaders will be there, with a photographer on hand.
We have a lot of activities planned. We have hands-on arts and crafts during the day, including mask making. At 7 p.m., the walking parades will begin. We are featuring local krewes. People are registering still, but local organizations, business and groups of friends have put together these krewes and will be parading and throwing out beads and candy to the audiences, Walden said.
There will be three walking parades times: 7 p.m., 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. So far, there are six groups with hundreds of participants.
We will be awarding prizes to the best groups. We also have marching bands participating. Music will definitely lead the way, she said.
Walden said she hopes the event will grow into a signature Mardi Gras event for Macon that eventually expands from the Village into the surrounding neighborhoods. This is the year where just about anything goes with hopes that it will grow.
Mardi Gras in Mercer Village
When: Begins at 11 a.m. Tuesday
Where: Mercer Village, Montpelier Avenue across from Mercer University
Cost: Free to attend
Information: www.collegehillmacon.com, 301-2008