Good times roll for PARC

Partygoers will gather on Fat Tuesday for fun and a worthy cause.

By Mary Jane Park
Published February 18, 2007

ST. PETERSBURG - Tuesday's Mardi Gras celebration for PARC will borrow from longtime New Orleans traditions, but it is unconventional in several respects, taking place in a private home and on a weekday.

Committee members Phyllis Eig, Carol Monti and Elaine Wides made at least two trips to the Big Easy last year, purchasing beads, masks, aprons and other paraphernalia to set the stage for the event, which will take place in the Tierra Verde home of Lisa and Marc Jacobson.

It is an elaborate party that will feature lots of beads, zydeco music, Dixieland jazz, palm and tarot readings, handwriting analysis and stilt walkers. Guests can expect to sample cornbread prepared with a recipe from New Orleans' House of Blues, and beignets made famous through Cafe du Monde.

"They're going to be in the mood before they ever get out of the car," Eig said.

Everything has been donated, from the invitations, which were printed on pearlized paper and had purple feathers attached, to the food, prepared by some of the Tampa Bay area's favorite restaurants.

That means that all the money coming in will go to the Pinellas Association for Retarded Children, specifically for PARC's Discovery Learning Center, which offers early intervention services to children with developmental disabilities and delays.

Event chairs are Monti and Lisa Crimella.

For the uninitiated, Mardi Gras means "Fat Tuesday," a splurge before the penitential Christian liturgical season of Lent, which begins on Wednesday. Mardi Gras is the last day of Carnival, a celebration that begins on Jan. 6, or Twelfth Night.

If you go

Good times for PARC

What: Mardi Gras Celebration benefiting PARC.

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Home of Lisa and Marc Jacobson, Tierra Verde.

Tickets: $125 per person. Reservations limited and required in advance of event.

Call: 341-6909.