PORT ANGELES — The bon temps, or “good times,” will roll in Port Angeles on Saturday, as the Port Angeles Downtown Association leads a Mardi Gras celebration with music, food and, of course, a parade.
The celebration centers on The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave., and runs from noon to 6 p.m.
The event will be decidedly more family friendly than a New Orleans-style celebration of “Fat Tuesday,” which marks the eve of the Catholic Lenten season.
It’s traditionally one last chance for a bacchanal before settling down to a month-plus of austerity leading up to Easter.
In this case, it’s also a good excuse for a party to break up the winter blues.
“It’s designed for fun,” Barbara Fredericks, PADA executive director, said. “Bring the family down and have a great day.”
There is no charge for the activities or parade.
Downtown businesses will participate in hosting a children’s tour of the history of Mardi Gras, with different elements highlighted.
The mall will be transformed into “Bourbon Street,” with a “carnivale” set up in the mall from noon to 4 p.m. with games for all ages, Cajun cooking by Smuggler’s Landing, a wine and beer garden and music by three local bands.
People and pets are encouraged to get into costume for a parade through the downtown, starting at the mall at 2 p.m.
April Bellerud, parade organizer, said parade walkers will wend their way through the downtown area in a large circle, traveling west on Railroad Avenue, south on Laurel Street, east on First Street, north on Lincoln Street, then west on Front Street and north on Oak Street, ending up back on Railroad Avenue.
There is no preregistration, and everyone is welcome to participate.
Fredericks said this is the second year in a row that the group has sponsored the event, but the first time it includes a parade.
“What’s Mardi Gras without a parade?” she said.
Music will be provided by Rollin’ Waters from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., the newly formed group known as “bdumpbump!” from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. and the Ed Donohue Quartet from 4:45 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The appearance by Rollin’ Waters marks the band’s return from a two-year hiatus and features the soulful vocals of Stephanie Batson and the guitar flat-picking of Barry Burnett.
Bdumpbump!, as in the sound of a drumbeat and cymbal crash, is Marty Kaler on guitar and strings, Kevin McCartney on woodwinds and “assorted other gizmos,” Jim Rosand on keyboards and Tom Svornich on drums.
McCartney, Rosand and Svornich are also three-quarters of the Ed Donohue Quartet.
Mardi Gras participants can pick up a “passport” at The Landing to have stamped at participating downtown businesses. Completed passports can be turned in for a prize drawing at Necessities & Temptations, 217 N. Laurel St.
Businesses participating are:
• White Crane Martial Arts, 129 W. First St., history of the marches;
• Veela Cafe, 133 E. First St., face painting and history of costumes;
• Steppin’ Out Salon, 125 W. First St., pinata and history of krewes (Mardi Gras parade organizers);
• Rick’s Place, 120 W. Front St., serving “dirty rice” and king’s cake;
• Odyssey Bookshop, 114 W. Front St., history of parades;
• NW Fudge and Confections, 108 W. First St., colors;
• Aglazing Art Studio, 207 W. First St., jesters;
• Tiger Lily Clothing, 106 N. Laurel St., doubloons;
• Cottage Queen, 119 W. First St., Mardi Gras royalty;
• Art Supplies Unlimited, 124B W. First St., masks;
• Sterling Impressions, 103 W. First St., beads;
• Pacific Northwest Games, 112 S. Lincoln St., games;
• Dazzled by Twilight, 135 E. First, themes.
Features Editor Marcie Miller can be reached at 360-417-3550 or [email protected]