Proving that Mardi Gras isn’t so much a date on the calendar, or a regional festival, but rather a state of mind and happy feet, the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge hosts a “Mardi Gras in March” dance and buffet to benefit the Lake Lure Classical Academy, a public charter school. Organizers encourage celebrants to attend in full Fat Tuesday regalia — including masks, beads, fanciful headgear and frippery of general outrageousness.
The $50 ticket price includes a fully loaded “Taste of the Gorge” Cajun spread, with classics such as bourbon chicken, jambalaya, and red beans and rice sponsored by local restaurants including Point of View, Lake Lure Grill, Esmeralda’s, Medina’s Village Bistro in Chimney Rock, and others.
Why have the fete this month instead of in January and February, the carnival’s traditional dates? (Though hardly a celebration for the strictly religious, Mardi Gras is centered around the Roman Catholic calendar — a winter hurrah stretching between the Epiphany, aka the last day of Christmas, and the beginning of Lent’s season of self-denial.)
“Well, we like to catch people when the weather’s better,” a chamber member delicately suggested to Bold Life. Because mountain-style Mardi Gras observes few rules.
“Mardi Gras in March” dance and buffet, March 9, 6:30–10pm. Tickets available at the Chamber of Hickory Nut Gorge or at April’s Boutique. The event takes place in Roosevelt Hall behind the Lake Lure Inn. 828-625-2725.