Mardi Gras 2021

Great news!

Although the usual festivities of Mardi Gras were a little bit different this year,
the Northern Rhode Island Council of the Arts and the St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center did not want to let Mardi Gras pass us by without acknowledgement.

Thank you to everyone who joined us at the Taste of Mardi Gras event at Chelo's in Woonsocket on Sunday, February 21st.
We all had a great time and look forward to Mardi Gras next year!

The NRICA's Mardi Gras has always been a major community event supported by local businesses.
Again this year, local businesses helped out by distributing the certificates.
We want to thank the followin businesses:

A Cut Above Hair Salon ~ Bileau's Flowers ~ The Honey ShopsL'il General (Cumberland Hill Rd) ~ Missy's Family RestaurantTimeless Antiques ~ Vose True Value Hardware

Mardi Gras Committee

Romeo Berthiaume
Irene Blais

Sharon Charette
Lorraine Cloutier
Paul Collette
Dominique Doiron

Marlene Gagnon*
Joan R. Gahan

Bob Guernon

Clara L’Heureux
Tammy Irwin#

Ann Jalette

Wally Rathbun*
Madeleine Riendeau

Nicole Riendeau#

Angela Rondeau

Marianne Valentin

*Committee Co-Chairs
#Queen's Contest Co-Chairs

2021 Donors

(click on logo or link to visit our sponsors' websites)

490 Clinton Street | Woonsocket, RI | (401) 769-6622

84 Cumberland Street | Woonsocket, RI

Lori Caro

Sandi Cruthirds

Donna Dumais

Marlene Gagnon
North Smithfield

Bob and Denise Guernon
North Smithfield

The Honey Shop
6 Winthrop Street | Woonsocket, RI | (401) 597-6885

L'il General

575 Cumberland Hill Road | Woonsocket, RI

801 Clinton Street | Woonsocket, RI

Joe Nadeau

Wally Rathbun

Timeless Antiques & Collectibles

Tammy Irwin, Mardi Gras Princess, 2017

91 Main Street | Woonsocket, RI | (401) 257-5796

Vose True Value Hardware

849 Cumberland Hill Road | Woonsocket, RI


Robert Graves Leonard of Slippery Sneakers
Many of the traditions of Mardi Gras have their roots in a Roman festival called the Saturnalia which celebrated the end of winter and the coming of spring. Over time, and with the spread of Christianity, the festival became a final binge of feasting and self-indulgence before the sacrifice of Lent. In 17th century Paris, the celebration came to be known as Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday – a way for Christians to fatten up before the long Lenten season.

Mardi Gras 2007French settlers brought their traditions to Louisiana in 1766. By 1857, New Orleans began to develop its own traditions of masked balls, organized parades, and “throws” (favors such as beads, doubloons, and cups thrown from parade floats). In 1872, the King of Mardi Gras selected the celebration’s official colors of purple, green, and gold. The colors’ meanings were defined as justice (purple), faith (green), and power (gold) in 1892.

In 1954, the Mardi Gras tradition was started in Woonsocket by the Junior Chamber of Commerce. The four days of festivities earned the celebration the title of “Mardi Gras of the North.” The Jaycees’ involvement in Mardi Gras gave our king his name – King Jace.

Since 1995, the NRICA and the Mardi Gras Committee, with the invaluable help of our sponsors, have worked hard to bring the authentic feel and the fun of a traditional Mardi Gras celebration to Woonsocket.