Unknown Tongues

The Unknown Tongues perform at the Gloucester Community Center for the 2018 Gloucester Mardi Gras. The event will return to the center and grounds Saturday at 11 a.m. (Dylan Ray photo)

Each year, folks Down East celebrate their own version of a beloved tradition: Mardi Gras.

The 28th annual Gloucester Mardi Gras is set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15 at the Gloucester Community Club at 476 Piggot Road.

Sponsored by Unknown Tongues Cajun Zydeco band, Gloucester Mardi Gras features live music all day from six to seven bands.

The children’s King and Queen march and Zydeco dance starts at 3 p.m. featuring the Unknown Tongues.

According to Barbara Garrity-Blake, with Unknown Tongues, those who attend Gloucester Mardi Gras will be able to take in the sights of bold colors, costumes and smiling faces.

However, Ms. Garrity Blake said the event might look different than what people expect from Mardi Gras.

“We model it after the rural Cajun-style Mardi Gras,” she said. “(There is) less emphasis on beads and more raggedy costumes with brightly colored strips of cloth. Some people will have traditional Mardi Gras mask and hat.”

Ms. Garrity-Blake said community is a big theme of rural Mardi Gras.

“The rural Mardi Gras is all about community, fellowship and food, as well as music and dance,” she said.

During Gloucester Mardi Gras, participants can enjoy a day of fun and food. Seafood gumbo with local shrimp and crabs, chicken and sausage gumbo, red beans and rice and deep-fried turkey will be served in the early afternoon, announced by the “Fool’s Procession” people’s parade. All are encouraged to join.

“I think I like the fool’s procession the best because everybody is in it,” Ms. Garrity-Blake said. “I love being in a parade where there’s no spectators. It’s fun to take to the streets, and that’s a way to announce that food is almost ready.”

Ms. Garrity-Blake said the event is a popular one among members of the community.

“I think it’s because people love the community spirit of Gloucester Mardi Gras,” she said. “All the food is donated by people in the community. They help prepare the food and make the gumbo. It’s by the people for the people.”

In the community spirit of southwest Louisiana’s rural Mardi Gras, this event is open and free to the public. There will be boxes set up for people to make donations.

A portion of the proceeds goes to the Gloucester Community Club’s Woodrow and Mary Dudley Price Scholarship for graduating East Carteret High School seniors.

Donations can be made on site or online at unknowntongues.com/gmg.htm.

The event will be held rain or shine.

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