NDDA hosts annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Gala, auction

Published 12:14 am Friday, February 17, 2012

LAUREN WOOD / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Christine Tims, left, and Yvonne Murray organize the silent auction items for the Mardi Gras Gala Thursday afternoon at Bisland Bed and Breakfast. Murray is on the board of the Natchez Downtown Development Association which hosts the annual gala.

NATCHEZ — Fat Tuesday may be the end of Mardi Gras, but Natchezians can still send off the festival of purple, green and gold at one last hoorah before Lent.

The Natchez Downtown Development Association is hosting its annual Mardi Gras Masquerade Gala from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday at The Prentiss Club.

NDDA President Yvonne Murray said the gala is the group’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Murray said all of the proceeds go toward NDDA’s efforts to promote downtown Natchez.

“The gala is a great way to finish up the Mardi Gras celebration and have fun for a good cause,” she said. “NDDA works very hard to promote downtown Natchez.”

NDDA volunteer Christine Tims said it is important that locals support downtown merchants because the downtown area benefits the entire city.

LAUREN WOOD / THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Donated items sit after being labeled and organized.

The royal courts of Natchez Mardi Gras krewes will be also be recognized at the gala.

“It’s a way for all the kings and queens to come celebrate together to end Mardi Gras,” she said. “It’s also a good way for merchants to come together and celebrate.”

Several items will be up for bid at the gala’s silent auction, including a two-night stay at the Cedar Grove Mansion Inn bed and breakfast in Vicksburg, a Rolland Golden print, Natchez Little Theatre season passes and gift certificates from various local restaurants and shops.

The gala will have a cash bar, New Orleans-style hors d’oeuvres and live music by BiGDL.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Bisland House Bed and Breakfast, Melancon Antique Emporium and M.Schon.

Dress is casual to formal, and NDDA encourages gala-goers to wear masks. Masks ranging from $2 to $15 can be purchased at the door.