Mardi Gras 2018
24th Annual
Saturday, February 3rd
5:30 pm - 11:30 pm

(Doors open at 5 pm, Dinner served from 6-8 pm, Cash Bar)

Tickets: $30 ($35 at the door — CASH ONLY — if tickets are still available)
Call Lorraine Cloutier at (401) 762-9072 or

St. Ann Arts & Cultural Center
84 Cumberland Street,Woonsocket, RI

Live music by

Jeff Gamache and Runaway Train



The Squeezebox Stompers
(Zydeco, Blues & Soul, Cajun Waltzes)


Emceed by Jeff Gamache
Jeff Gamache



Mixed Greens Melange with Dressing Buffet

Artisan Breads & Whipped Butter
French Meat Pie
Chicken & Andouille Biscuits 
  Shrimp Jamabalya 
  Cajun Vegetable Sauté 
Whipped Yukon Potatoes
Pecan Pie with Whipped Cream

Coffee (Regular And De-Caf)


The Hall ... awaiting Mardi Gras revelers

St. Ann Art and Cultural Center



Was held on Friday, January 26, 2018 from 6-8 pm

at Savini's Pomodoro

476 Rathbun Street, Woonsocket, RI

Our Queen Contestants sold
raffle tickets
to benefit this year's Mardi Gras Raffle

King Jace contest sponsored by Dave Richards of WOON Radio
Dave Richards, WOON RadioWOON Radio

Clues to King Jace XXIV's Identity

1. King Jace has never met a fish he liked.

2. King Jace is an Outdoors Man.

3. King Jace often says "Pasta Bucatini"

4. King Jace has ridden the rails.

5. King Jace has a trashy side.

6. King Jace has sailed the seas.

7. King Jace might ticket you when you travel.

8. King Jace gets down to Rock 'n' Roll.

9. King Jace is happy when he's Blue.

10. When King Jace is here "The Doctor Is In."

The winner of the King Jace contest was Paul Ouellette.


And King Jace is ....

Bob Billington!

Mardi Gras Queen Contestants

Joyce LaPerle resides in Woonsocket and is employed at Oakland Grove Health Care Center for the past 16 years where she has earned the title of employee of the month.  She is coordinator of holiday celebrations, oversees all gardening and decorating throughout the building and entrance.  She loves listening to local residents reminisce about growing up and working in the mills of Woonsocket whose history should be preserved.  Her special interests are spending time at the ocean and boating.  She is an avid supporter for the Stadium Theatre, The Alzheimer's Association as well as New Beginnings, formerly known as Because He Lives.  She is also president of River Island Condo Association.  Joyce was Mardi Gras Queen in 2005 and believes her dedication and support for the NRICA and the Arts will again help in keeping the culture and traditions alive in the community.  In her spare time, she helps her sister, Jeanne Bis and Ralph Bileau at Bileau's Flowers in Woonsocket.

2018 Mardi Gras Queen
Joyce LaPerle


2018 Mardi Gras Princess

Kimberly Blais is the Executive Assistant to the Superintendent of Woonsocket Schools and is very active in the community. She is a committee member for the Milk Fund, secretary to the St. Jude’s Woonsocket Chapter and enjoys volunteering whenever needed. Kimberly is the mother to Kayla and Kasandra and aunt to Arianna Montanari. She says, “I am devoted to my city. I enjoy being active within the community, volunteering for causes that will make a difference in the lives of others. Having said this, I am honored to be part of the Mardi Gras and helping to support the arts.”
Tammy Irwin participated in last year’s contest and earned the title of Princess. She is owner and operator, with her husband Frank, of Timeless Antiques and Collectibles. She is also a member of the Woonsocket Historical Society, Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative and has participated in the Main Street Stroll committee. She loves the history of Woonsocket. She is very excited to be a part of Mardi Gras and its tradition and at the same time support the arts in the community.

2018 Mardi Gras Princess

Ellen Cloutier is participating in the contest for a second year. She is a resident of Woonsocket and is a published poet. She enjoys swimming, softball, reading and writing and wants to be involved in the community. Her grandmother, Jeanne Cloutier encouraged her to participate.
Amanda Girard has been involved with the Mardi Gras for several years as a contestant.  She is also a resident of Woonsocket and attends the Community College of Rhode Island.  She is a member of CCRI Players, International Club, and Student Government. Amanda has also performed in several productions at the Stadium Theatre. She loves helping out such an awesome cause for NRICA and being a part of doing something good for the city.

Previous Kings & Queens

(click on links to see Mardi Gras page from that year)


1954 •

Pauline (Nadeau) Miller

1955 •

Maureen (Mazzarella) Kennedy

1956 •

Beverly (DiCesare) Russell

1957 •

Pauline (Gagnon) Riendeau

1958 •

Rita (Laliberte) Nadeau

1959 •

Claire (Paul) Lafrance

1988 •

Michelle (Lefort) Wheeler

Owen Bebeau

•1995 •

Gloria Jean Roy

Roger Nault

• 1996 •

Paula Rezendes

Al Auclair

• 1997 •

Roxanne Menard

Leo Fontaine

• 1998 •

Dianna Glassey

Roger Jalette

• 1999 •

Donna Gallant

Ken Bianchi

• 2000 •

Nancy (Melvin) Beauregard

Noel Pincince

• 2001 •

Suzanne Beaulieu

Dave Richards

• 2002 •

Lorraine Jacob

Roger Petit

• 2003 •

Stacey (McCutcheon) Fitzsimmons

Roger Bouchard

• 2004 •

Roberta Baillargeon

Tom Ward

• 2005 •

Joyce LaPerle

Brian Blais

• 2006 •

Lorraine Guilbault

Marcel Desroches

• 2007 •

Nancy Phillips

• 2008 •

• 2009 •

• 2010 •

• 2011 •
• 2012 •
• 2013 •
Bob Phillips • 2014 • Sheylon Lawson
Paul Shatraw • 2015 • Tracey Parenteau
Edward Hunt • 2016 • Tammy Lamberto Roy
Joe Nadeau • 2017 • Nicole Riendeau
Bob Billington • 2018 • Joyce LaPerle

The king and his court -- Kim Blais, King Bob Billington and Queen Joyce LaPerle, and Tammy Irwin.
Photo by Judith Potter


Queen's Contest Raffle Prize Winners

First Prize, $500 won by Wayne Pandolfi of North Smithfield  
Second Prize, $300 Mohegan Sun Gift Card won by Donna Palreiro of Woonsocket
Third Prize, $100 Visa Gift Card won by Arnie Ferrante of Woonsocket
Fourth Prize, $50 Gift Card To Savini's Pomodoro Restaurant won by Rick Whitesell of Woonsocket

Mardi Gras Committee


Connie Anderson#

Romeo Berthiaume
Irene Blais

Sharon Charette
Lorraine Cloutier
Paul Collette
Marlene Gagnon*#
Joan R. Gahan

David Graham
Michelle Colette Graham
Clara L’Heureux
Jeanne Moulay
Ray Nolan
Wally Rathbun*
Madeleine Riendeau

Patrick Ryan

Marianne Valentin

Brenda Viscione

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




Costume Contest Winners Jason Badeau (Jester) and Tracey Belliveau (Goddess Mermaid)
A very special birthday was celebrated -- Clara L'Heureux (center) turns 95 on February 14th!
Helping her celebrate are Mardi Gras Co-Chairs Marlene Gagnon (left) and Wally Rathbun (alligator) assisted by Dominique Doiron.

Our Sponsors

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


Judith Potter Photography
281 Harris Avenue, Woonsocket, RI

Soucy Insurance Agency
362 Rathbun Street, Woonsocket, RI

American-French Genealogical Society

Athena's Home Novelties
640 Winter Street, Woonsocket, RI

Romeo & Diane Berthiaume
Uxbridge, MA

Bileau's Flowers
665 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket RI

Blackstone Valley Tourism
175 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI

John Boucher Real Estate Property Management
John Boucher Real Estate Property Management, Inc.

600 Cass Avenue, Woonsocket, RI


The Call

Careau Investment Group
68 Cumberland Street, Suite 202, Woonsocket, RI, (401) 765-8880


Catholic Financial Life
New England Regional Office
1300 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI


Cercle Laurier
165 East School Street, Woonsocket, RI


Club Lafayette
Club Lafayette
289 Aylsworth Avenue, Woonsocket, RI

10 Nate Whipple Highway, Cumberland, RI


Senator Marc A. Cote
Woonsocket, RI


1098 Diamond Hill Rd. Woonsocket, RI 02895
phone: (401) 769-0462, toll free: (877) 237-6993, fax: (401) 767-3806

Hunter Insurance
389 Old River Road, Manville, RI


Italian Workingmen's Club, 947 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket, RI

Manville Sportsmen's Rod and Gun Club

250 High Street, Manville, RI


Milford Federal Savings & Loan

Milford Federal Savings & Loan
246 Main Street, Milford, MA


Navigant Credit Union
1005 Douglas Pike Smithfield, RI 02917



Quota International of Woonsocket

Woonsocket Rotary Club

St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center


Vose True Value Hardware

849 Cumberland Hill Road, Woonsocket, RI


Gifts and Gift Certificates


Athena's Home Novelties
640 Winter Street, Woonsocket, RI


1992 Victory Highway, Glendale, RI


Bileau's Flowers, 665 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket RI


Cardi's Furniture
with locations in Rhode Island (South Kingstown, West Warwick),
Massachusetts (Braintree, Hyannis, South Attleboro, Swansea)


Sharon Charette
North Smithfield, RI

Lorraine Cloutier, Woonsocket, RI

Gift Certificate for Eggs Up Family Restaurant

2378 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI


Cumberland House of Pizza
2360 Mendon Road, Cumberland, RI 02864-3708, (401) 658-2626

34 Fournier Street, Woonsocket, RI


Excel Beauty Salon (Sue Beaulieu, Mardi Gras Queen 2001)
800 Providence Street, Woonsocket, RI


Marlene Gagnon
North Smithfield, RI


Joan Gahan
Woonsocket, RI


Clara Holding
"Life's Little Extras"
641 Blackstone Street, Uxbridge, MA


Image Makers Beauty Salon
37 Main Street, Albion, RI


La Navi Nails
800 Providence Street, Woonsocket, RI 



Piette Jewelers
1500 Diamond Hill Road, Woonsocket, RI


Wally Rathbun, St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center


Savini’s Pomodoro Restaurant
476 Rathbun Street, Woonsocket, RI 


Carolyn Picchiotti Smith
Cumberland, RI 


Stadium Theatre
Stadium Theatre
28 Monument Square, Woonsocket, RI


Nancy Sylvestre, East Thompson, CT


Sue Tessier MacKenzie, Seasonal Sweets
289 Summer Street, Woonsocket, RI


42 South Main Street, Garden Level Around Back, Woonsocket, RI



200 Woonsocket Hill Road, North Smithfield, RI



Read about the great time we had for Mardi Gras 2017!


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.