By Steve Gillespie / Managing Editor
The Meridian Star
Meridian Mardi Gras promises to offer a warm reception to participants this Saturday.
"Last year it was bitterly cold," said Debby Delshad, program manager with Meridian Main Street. "The weather looks like it will be good this year."
In 2012 the event was held the same week Meridian recorded it's coldest temperatures of the year. The National Weather Service forecast for Saturday calls for partly sunny skies with a high in the lower 60s.
The festivities are scheduled for 11 a.m.to 5 p.m., and will be centered around Dumont Plaza in downtown Meridian. There is still time to register for the Gumbo Cook Off, the Krewe of Barkus Pet Parade and the Krewe of Midas Parade.
Delshad said first place prizes for the Gumbo Cook Off include a 60 quart Bayou Classic stock pot with basket and cover, a Stock Pot LP gas burner, a stainless steel 36-inch mixing paddle and a stainless steel 21-inch long solid spoon. Second place cookers will receive a 42 quart Bayou Classic Stock Pot with basket and cover. The third place prize is a 32 quart aluminum stock pot with a cover.
Live entertainment Saturday will include music by Gypsy Carnes, Indiana, No Requests, Southern Drive, and Crash Hamilton and the Stuntmen.
"We'll also have the largest on-site Mardi Gras store in the area," Delshad said. "With beads, crowns, boas, everything Mardi Gras available."
Magnolia Beverage Company will have a beer garden set up, and various concessions, craft vendors, and food vendors will have items for sale.
The deadline to pre-order king cakes has passed, but Delshad said some cakes will be available for purchase on Saturday. King cake flavors include: traditional; pecan praline; Mississippi mud; and strawberry cheese cake.