Newcomers Club of Greater Park City to celebrate Mardi Gras
The Newcomers Club of Greater Park City wants to celebrate Mardi Gras. But instead of traveling the 1,800 miles to New Orleans, the local nonprofit will host its own Mardi Gras gala complete with king cake, live music and hurricane punch.“This is a brand-new adventure, and we hope this will be our first annual Mardi Gras party,” club co-president Araby Leary said.
The event will be held on Saturday, March 2, at Temple Har Shalom, and $65 advance tickets can be purchased now by mailing a check made out to Newcomers Club of Greater Park City to Karen Caldwell, 912 W. Abigail Dr., Kamas, UT 84036. The payments need to be postmarked by Friday, Feb. 22, according to Leary.
The Mardi Gras gala replaces the Newcomers’ Christmas gala, which was discontinued last year.
“That party conflicted with so many things that happen in the community,” Leary said. “So we looked around and tried to figure out the next big thing we could do after Sundance Film Festival and before people leave after the ski season.”
The festival will be held on the Saturday of Mardi Gras weekend.
“We figured it was the end of winter, and throwing a party would be a way to get rid of our winter ‘blahs,’” Leary said. “While we know snow is great and skiing is wonderful, the party will be held at a time when many people will be ready for something else.”
Partygoers are encouraged to dress up in festive green, purple and gold Mardi Gras “bling,” Leary said.
“We’ll also have masks and beads ready to hand out for those who join us,” she said.
The evening will include a buffet dinner provided by Fat Boy Catering. The menu will include hurricane punch, chicken and sausage gumbo, jambalaya, Cajun-grilled salmon, specialty salads and sides and kings cake.
“We’ve already tasted the buffet, and it’s delicious,” Leary said.
The admission price will include two drink tickets for Mardi Gras cocktails. Wine will also be available for purchase at a cash bar, and there will be coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
The evening’s live entertainment will be performed by Take 5, a jazz, blues and R & B band from Salt Lake City.
“We’ll also have a teacher on site who will give lessons for people who want to learn how to dance,” Leary said.
The Mardi Gras gala isn’t a fundraiser.
“The only way we raise funds is through our memberships,” Leary said. “We’re throwing the Mardi Gras party just for the fun of it.”
Newcomers Club memberships are $35 per household, or $55 if members want to receive a mailed newsletter, according to Leary.
The club organizes a host of social activities that include games like bunko to canasta, bridge and mahjongg, she said.
Club members also participate in yoga, fine dining and an array of outdoor activities, as well as a writing circle and a “wanderlust” travel group, Leary said.
“Despite the club’s name, though, members don’t have to be new to the area to join,” she said. “While we do have many new members, our club includes longtime residents who have just retired and others that joined many years ago.”
Though Leary has never been to New Orleans, she looks forward to celebrating Fat Tuesday with friends new and old.
“We want to get as many people as possible to attend the party,” she said. “It’s just going to be fun.”
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