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Meridian set to celebrate Mardi Gras

By By Penny Randall/staff writer
Feb. 1, 2002
The sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans will once again come alive in downtown Meridian as the second annual Mardi Gras celebration gets underway tonight.
The event will be at Dumont Plaza in downtown Meridian.
Chappell hopes the celebration will be even bigger this year.
Featured entertainment will include the local band, Kabana, which kicks off festivities at 6 p.m.; Rose Ledet, "The Zydeco Sweetheart," will follow at 8.
Ledet, a Louisiana native, has performed throughout the United States, Canada and in four European countries.
She has appeared at the New Orleans Jazz &Heritage Festival, the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, Southwest Zydeco Festival and the St. Louis Blues Festival in Fredrickton, N.D.
One of only a few women in Zydeco, Ledet also writes and sings some of her own material in Creole French.
Food venders at the event will include D.T. Grinders, Cafe Latt and Jack's Sandwich Shop. The Bead Island will be selling Mardi Gras merchandise.
Admission is free and the event is sponsored by the Lauderdale County Tourism Bureau, Main Street Meridian, Amtrak, the Greater Meridian Jaycees, Meridian Downtown Association and Bud Light.
The public is welcome to bring lawn chairs and blankets.
What does Mardi Gras mean?
Mardi Gras means Fat Tuesday in French, a full day of merrymaking, parties and parades the day before Ash Wednesday and Lent.
The official colors of Mardi Gras are purple, green and gold. Purple represents justice, green represents faith and gold represents power.
Other celebrations
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will host their Mardi Gras Ball from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Saturday at the Council of Organizations Building. The best female and male dancer will be crowned at the ball.
Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served. Proceeds will benefit the sorority's Relay for Life cancer teams.
For information, call 482-5438.

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