First annual Almost Mardi Gras comes to Muscatine
by Margaret Hurlbert
February 17, 2020

MUSCATINE, Iowa—Almost Mardi Gras looks to bring some of the fun of Almost Friday Fest back a few months early. On Feb. 25, the first annual Almost Mardi Gras will provide a great way for Muscatine residents to celebrate and support Keep Muscatine Beautiful, which hosts Almost Friday Fest.

After the final Almost Friday Fest of 2019, organizers planned to have several popup events over the winter. They put on a dueling pianos night in November 2019 but wanted to add an additional event in February too. “Something to do with Mardi Gras seemed like an obvious choice,” said Brenda Christensen, a member of Keep Muscatine Beautiful and organizer of Almost Mardi Gras.

Beginning at 5 p.m. in the Merrill Hotel ballroom, guests can sample Cajun cooking from more than 12 chefs and enjoy a piece of King Cake. One lucky person will find a surprise in their slice and become king or queen of the night. Everyone may vote for their favorite dish, giving the cooks a shot at winning prizes. The Merrill Hotel will also provide an event exclusive, River Twister cocktail. Along with great food and drinks, Almost Marti Gras will provide great opportunities to socialize. Everyone who attends will receive beads and a mask to dress up in and pose in with their friends in the provided photo booth.

Tickets to Almost Mardi Gras cost $20 per person. Anyone interested can purchase them from Feather Your Nest, the Greater Muscatine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GMCCI), and the Merrill Hotel, or by calling Chris Boar at (563)-343-0359 or Christensen at (563)-299-6425. According to Boar, the proceeds from the event will fund Almost Friday Fest’s 2020 operating costs and support adding additional lighting and a community amphitheater to the riverfront.

Almost Mardi Gras will give attendees a taste of the fun they will have at Almost Friday Fest this summer from May through September. Along with bringing in many new and favorite bands, Almost Friday Fest looks to add family movie viewings and to have a special event on the Fourth of July in conjunction with the GMCCI

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