There's no better time to paint the town purple, gold, and green!
Mardi Gras is French for Fat Tuesday, a tradition that dates back thousands of years to pagan spring and fertility celebrations, including the boisterous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. It's the day that reflects the practice of eating rich, fatty foods on the last night before the Lenten season kicks off. Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, revelers would binge on all the rich, fatty foods that remained in their homes—meat, eggs, milk, lard, and cheese—in preparation for several weeks of eating only fish and various types of fasting.
But this year, we're celebrating Mardi Gras with a unique twist - dedicating it to music grants for schools in Decatur!
The Mead Road Mardi Gras Parade was founded by Oakhurst locals David and Emily Berg. They were looking for a way to celebrate Mardi Gras without traveling all the way to Louisiana. It started as a house party when their oldest started school, and as the kids grew older, so did the party. It is now a non-profit community event that raises funds to support music and arts education in Decatur City Schools.
This year, the parade will commence on Saturday, February 4, and all proceeds will be donated. It's part of their annual commitment to support music grants for children in Decatur. They have given $35,000 to the Decatur Education Foundation (DEF) since 2014 to fund music and arts grants in Decatur City Schools. The DEF has provided grants to purchase instruments for the band programs at Decatur High School (DHS) and Renfroe, as well as choral arrangements for the DHS and Renfroe choruses. They have also given out costumes for the DHS Drama program and instruments for the 4/5 Academy, Westchester, and Glennwood elementary schools.
If you want to sign up as a volunteer, sponsor, or join the Krewe, you can head over to the Mead Road Mardi Gras website.