LAKE DALLAS — A little bit of New Orleans will take over Lake Dallas today as city officials attempt to recreate an atmosphere that’s unique to the city known as the Big Easy.
The city is having a Mardi Gras-themed event at 5 p.m. today at City Hall, 212 Main St. The family-friendly event, which ends at 8:30 p.m., is free to attend.
Meteorologists predict that today’s rainfall should end just before the parade begins, but city officials said rain won’t ruin their parade.
“We agreed that the party will go on even if it continues to rain,” Mayor Tony Marino said.
The event will start with the parade, which will begin at the intersection of Hundley Drive and Falcon Drive at 5:30 p.m. The parade will head south on Falcon Drive, west on Main Street, north on Shady Shores Drive and then end on Hundley Drive.
The city’s parks board officials selected former City Manager Earl Berner, who retired in December, and his wife, Gwen, to serve as the parade’s grand marshals.
Celebrating Mardi Gras in Lake Dallas is a tradition that began at the Duck Inn Restaurant, which closed in 2007, community relations director Julie Chapman said.
Berner helped the city continue the community Mardi Gras celebrations after the restaurant closed.
Marino said this is the city’s 10thMardi Gras celebration.
“And each year it just get bigger and bigger,” he said. “Last year was just incredible. I’m not sure how many people attended last year but just based off my own observations, it was probably in the thousands.”
With the help of food truck vendors that specialize in serving New Orleans-themed cuisine and a jazz band set to headline the entertainment, officials said they hope that residents will forget they’re in Lake Dallas.
“We just want people to come out and have a good time,” Marino said.
The event is free to attend, but residents must pay for food.
In addition to the New Orleans dishes, other food choices include wood-fired artisan pizza, American-Greek gyros, fried short ribs and festival favorites such as funnel cake and kettle corn.
Vendors will also turn the City Hall parking lot into an area for arts and crafts.
The N’awlins Gumbo Kings, a six-man band, will return to entertain the crowd with New Orleans-style jazz.
The Lake Dallas High School Jazz Band will open for the Gumbo Kings.
From 6:45 to 7:30 p.m., a Mardi Gras Costume Contest — which is open to all ages — will begin. Judging will be based on creativity, style and how well participants can conceal their identity.
After the costume contest, people can compete for this year’s Lake Dallas Crawfish Eating crown.
For more information, call 940-497-2226.
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .