Mardi Gras comes to Warwick

Feb. 12 celebration will be a fund raiser for ‘Back Pack Snack Attack’

Composer/recording artist Clarissa Cupero with singer/guitarist John Desibia, pictured here, and a committee of eight have organized the first Mardi Gras event in Warwick, a charitable event for Back Pack Snack Attack. Rear from left: Eric Callari; Clarissa Cupero; John Desibia; Shirley Puett, executive director of Backpack Snack Attack; and Will Orosz. Front from left: Committee Chair Allison Fox and Gayle Donnelly.

Composer/recording artist Clarissa Cupero with singer/guitarist John Desibia, pictured here, and a committee of eight have organized the first Mardi Gras event in Warwick, a charitable event for Back Pack Snack Attack. Rear from left: Eric Callari; Clarissa Cupero; John Desibia; Shirley Puett, executive director of Backpack Snack Attack; and Will Orosz. Front from left: Committee Chair Allison Fox and Gayle Donnelly.

Mardi Gras, which is French for Fat Tuesday, is the day before Ash Wednesday and it’s traditionally a time to celebrate and eat well before the season of Lent.Although celebrated throughout the world, most people in the United States associate the event with the City of New Orleans. But on Tuesday evening, Feb. 12, the Village of Warwick will play host to its first annual Mardi Gras for a Cause.

The lavish costumes and parades may not be part of this year’s event but it will be a celebration nonetheless.

According to composer/recording artist Clarissa Cupero, singer/guitarist John Desibia and a committee of other local musicians chaired by Allison Fox, the first Mardi Gras event in Warwick will be a charitable event for Back Pack Snack Attack.

Mardi Gras for a Cause was first dreamed up by a group of local musicians from Warwick who wanted to be able to celebrate the arts and the community. The event was designed to provide a unique and memorable opportunity for people of all ages to come together and enjoy local live music along with food and drink specials while giving back to the community.

Backpack Snack Attack is a non-profit organization that provides food on weekends and during the summer to nearly 300 needy children within the Warwick, Florida, and Greenwood Lake Public School Districts.

A group of volunteers fill backpacks each week with 13 to 14 food items for each child. They deliver the backpacks to the schools and the bags, only identified by number, are sent home with each needy child. One hundred per cent of all donations to the program are used to purchase food and backpacks.

Place and times Local restaurants that have agreed to participate in the event include Blarney Station, Caffé a la Mode, The Dautaj, Fetch, Fratello, Halligan’s Pub and Yesterdays.

Each restaurant will host musicians who will play for free from 7-10 p.m. Food and drink specials begin at 6 p.m.

Owners of the participating restaurants have agreed to allocate a percentage of that night’s earnings to Back Pack Snack Attack. Party-goers can also donate $10 for the charity to receive a Mardi Gras Golden Ticket, an all-access pass available in advance or at participating locations, which will entitle them to exclusive discounts, giveaways and entry into a grand prize raffle drawing. The grand prize is a gift basket valued at over $500, which was donated by sponsor Dana Distributors.

‘Laissez les bon temps rouler’ A “grand finale” event and grand prize raffle will take place at The Dautaj, which will host  “Laissez les bon temps rouler” (Let the good times roll) party where all of the event participants can come together. The music starts at 9 p.m. along with games, contests and crowning of the Mardi Gras King and Queen selected among those who were best dressed in accordance with the theme. The Grand Prize Raffle drawing for those holding Mardi Gras Golden Tickets will be at midnight.

“We are pretty excited about this,” said Cupero, “because this is the first time a charitable Mardi Gras event will take place in Warwick. We all feel very humbled that we can give back to the community and highlight one of the things that Warwick is known for- the arts. We are also lucky to have had so many wonderful sponsors, partners, and volunteers come forward to hopefully help make the inaugural, Mardi Gras for a Cause a huge success and a night that won’t soon be forgotten.”

Essential information For additional information visit: WarwickMardiGras.weebly.com.

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