Event to benefit Main Street program
By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - For those who don't want to wait until next February to attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Main Street Fort Pierce will hold a fundraiser on Aug. 18 that should tide residents over until next year.
"Mardi Gras - Carnival," the fundraiser, now in its 18th year, will feature jazz music, live and silent auctions and a special reverse raffle.
"It's a very popular event," said Pam Gillette, marketing manager for Main Street Fort Pierce.
"The last five or six years, we've made it more casual for people to come and have a good time. It's the party of the summer."
Ms. Gillette said this year, the attire will include a wide range of fashions.
"We are expecting casual clothes and sequined dresses," she said. "I have heard people have been looking into wearing the Mardi Gras masks."
Over the years, she has found people of all ages have come to enjoy the annual event.
"It's a wide variety," she said. "In the last few years, a lot of the people that are coming are bringing their adult children, so it's turned into a family event."
It takes about four months to plan each year's event, the highlight of which is the reverse raffle. The reverse raffle begins with 250 numbers. Each number corresponds to the number of tickets sold to the event.
At different times throughout the evening, ticket numbers will be called. The first number called, and every 50th number afterward, will win $100. The last 10 numbers called will each win a prize starting at $100, and the very last number called will win the grand prize of $2,000.
"You want to have the last number pulled," she said.
Only 250 tickets will be sold for the event, and the money raised will go toward Main Street Fort Pierce projects.
"While we are active in several community projects, this is the biggest fundraiser that Main Street Fort Pierce does for the organization," she said.
Tickets are $100 each, and each ticket is good for admittance for two people, one number, light appetizers, dancing and the auctions. There is advanced ticket purchase only, and no tickets will be sold at the door.
This year, the band Rowdy Roosters will entertain the crowd with Dixieland music.
"This is a true New Orleans band," Ms. Gillette said.
The doors open at 6 p.m. at the Pelican Yacht Club on Seaway Drive in Fort Pierce, where guests can register and begin the silent auction. The reverse raffle begins at 6:30 p.m., and the excitement begins as the numbers count down to the grand-prize winner.
The Mardi Gras Carnival will take place from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Pelican Yacht Club. For more information, call (772) 466-3880 or go online to http://mainstreetfortpierce.org.