Plenty of options for celebrating Mardi Gras

Lent is just around the corner and soon there will be parties a plenty. Here’s a look at some Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) fun happening around the region.

On Saturday, up in Swiss village of Helvetia, West Virginia they will celebrate in the European style with the annual Fasnacht celebration.

Celebrate this Swiss, pre-lenten festival with community members and folks from around the region who don homemade masks, parade through the streets of Helvetia by candlelit lampions, dance at the masquerade, and burn an effigy of old man winter. The Masquerade Ball is $10 per person (includes entry into masked dance, light refreshments, and attendance to bonfire for the burning of Old Man Winter.)Bring cash because many local businesses don’t accept Credit Cards. There is limited housing in the town. Kultur Haus (304-924-9100) and Beekeeper Inn (304-924-6435). At Star Band Hall - on the day of the event you may purchase floor space in the Star Band Hall (limited to 30 sleepers). Must bring own cot or sleeping bag. Indoor bathroom available. $10/person. Purchase tickets during the open Mic at the Star Band Hall.

The Ohio River is flowing so fast we could actually be in New Orleans in a few days but there’s a safer way to get down to N’awlins than down flooded muddy rivers.

Of course, Tuesday, March 5 is Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, and you can get a zesty taste of the Crescent City right here in H-town starting at 3 p.m. Buddy’s All American BBQ, 1537 3rd Ave., Huntington, kicks it up a notch with a one-day only serving of some authentic New Orleans cuisine. They will be serving jambalaya, po’ boys, king cake and beignets. And watch out for Pat O’Brien’s Hurricanes as well as some other happy hour specials.

At 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, St Johns Episcopal Church in Huntington, 3000 Washington Blvd., will be hosting a Mardi Gras dinner with red beans, rice, cornbread and bread pudding and bring your own beverage. Beads and music will be provided.

If you want to learn to make your own, there’s a Fat Tuesday Cooking Class at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Pastor’s Pantry Cooking School in Wheelersburg, Ohio, The cost is $35 per person and whoever finds the baby in the king cake gets a free cooking class.

This class is one evening, and an intimate, demonstration event where students may get to assist in preparation and eat what is cooked. Classes have limited seating so that everyone can enjoy the interactive experience. If there are others attending the class that you would like to sit with, please list their names in the comments when checking out. Reservations close 48 hours prior to the class or when sold out, whichever comes first. Go online at to book the class.

From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., Healthy in the Hills will be hosting a special Junior Chef Mardi Gras Party at the Parents as Teachers - Able Families group, 100 Lincoln St., in Kermit. Come learn the real origins of the Mardi Gras celebration. There will be a short history lesson, make a traditional Mardi Gras “King Cake” and put on party hats with some traditional music. This class is very limited as the after school program at ABLE families is participating too.

From 5 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 5, there will be a Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday) Pancake Supper hosted by Beverly Hills United Methodist Church, 2600 Washington Blvd, Huntington. Join in the celebration Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) with pancakes and fellowship. Your donations will be used to support the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry, which serves needy families in our community.