Mardi Gras event returns this weekend

  • File photo Revelers take part in last year’s Mardi Gras event at the Welcome Center.
    File photo Revelers take part in last year’s Mardi Gras event at the Welcome Center.

CLAYTON—Laissez les bons temps rouler.

Let the good times roll.

Mardi Gras comes to Rabun County Saturday just in time for residents, visitors and merchants weary of bleary winter weather to shake off the doldrums and celebrate like it’s New Orleans for a day.

From coffee and beignets to king cake and cornhole, there will be a day’s worth of family activities for the second annual Mardi Gras in Rabun County event.

“Last year it was quite a bit smaller,” said Linda Scofield, Welcome Center Manager for the Chamber of Commerce and one of the original organizers of the event. “We had such a great response that we’ve moved (vendors) from the Welcome Center to the civic center and the Pavilions (located behind the civic center in Clayton).”

The original concept was to add some pizazz to the mid-winter slump that hits between the end of the previous tourist season and the start of the next.

“There is nothing going on after Christmas through March,” Scofield said. “We wanted to help retailers and get people out of their houses to have some fun. It brings in lots of visitors when you do a lot of different things. People will come from all over to see it.”

The concept will be the same as last year—doors open at the Rabun County Civic Center at 10 a.m. for coffee and beignets. That’s when “passports” will be given out which can be used to visit participating retailers, who will then stamp them.

At the end of the day, prizes will be awarded to those who collect the most stamps.

But wait, as they say in the infomercials, there’s more.

A cornhole tournament will be held for the first time, in association with the North Georgia Cornhole Association. The winner takes home a $500 prize for first place.

“The bags start flying at 12:30,” Scofield said.

Also new this year is a Walking Parade through the streets of Clayton, which starts at the Pavilions. You can come to watch or join in the fun by being a marcher.

There will be an exhibition of a unique craft called Bubbles Over Georgia that begins at the Pavilions at 12:30 that features giant bubbles and hands-on bubble making for the entire family.

There will also be a concession stand featuring Cajun food, wings and more for purchase.

Drawings for prizes will begin at the civic center around 4 p.m.

See elsewhere in today’s paper for a complete schedule of events.