Mardi Gras 2023

28th Mardi Gras
Saturday, February 18th, 2023
5:30 pm - 10:30 pm

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

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


Live music by

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



with Cajun, Creole, and French Canadian food

French Coleslaw

Artisan Breads & Whipped Butter
French Meat Pie from Chelo's
New Orleans Chicken & Sausage over Pasta
Marque Choux

 Cajun Dirty Rice 
 Maple Green Beans 
Creole Garlic Roasted Potatoes
Mardi Gras Cake

Coffee Station


The Hall ... awaiting Mardi Gras revelers

St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center (available for rentals)


The Court at the Ball

Pictured (L-R) Princess Cynthia Henderson, King Jace XXVIIIth Adam Brunetti, Queen Tabitha Westerhuis, Princess Tonya Sawtelle

The Full Court with their chosen Princes




Sunday, February 12, 2023 from 5-7 pm

at Savini's Pomodoro

476 Rathbun Street, Woonsocket, RI

2023 Mardi Gras Court (left to right)
2nd Princess Geraldine Barclay-King, Queen Tabitha Westerhuis,
1st Princess Cynthia Henderson, and 3rd Princess Tonya Sawtell

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

Clues to King Jace XXVIII's Identity

1. Doesn't care how much eggs cost...he hates 'em!

2.  A world traveler, King Jace is Woonsocket born and raised.

3.  Would walk a mile for chicken tenders.

4.  Loves L.A.

5.  Would trade summer for winter any day.

6.  Wouldn't be caught dead in pink.

7.  Salt, pepper, and butter... and THAT'S IT!

8.  Is involved in "Everything."

9.  You won't see him on Broadway or the theater, but you will see him at karaoke or trivia night.

10. A fan of outdoor concerts and local businesses.

The King emerges!

Dave Richards, the King's Liaison, has documented appearances of
the Mysterious Monarch, King Jace XXVIIIth,
in and around landmarks in his kingdom of Woonsocket.
King Jace XXVIIIth, Adam Brunetti, after being unmasked by Queen Tabitha Westerhuis.



Mardi Gras Queen Contestants

2023 Mardi Gras Queen

Tabitha Westerhuis
is the daughter of Roland and Judy Beauchemin, the proprietors of Missy’s Family Restaurant in Woonsocket, previously known as Kevin’s Galley. Tabitha and her family are committed to serving the community particularly with the homeless, elderly and our veterans as they offered meals to those in need on Thanksgiving. Tabitha also volunteered with St. Ann Arts and Cultural Center, New Beginnings, Autumnfest and chaperoned field trips. She is the proud mother of two children and likes to be part of the community, creating a legacy for her children, family and community. She believes that family, community, and small business are the keys to success.

Mardi Gras Princess
Cynthia Henderson
is a resident of Woonsocket and is very active in the community. She is on the Autumnfest Steering Committee and is also the St. James Baptist Church Youth Praise Dance Coordinator and the Choir Director for St. James Church. Cynthia enjoys working with children in the community and is passionate about all she does. She wants to be Queen of Mardi Gras to show all the little girls to fulfill their dreams and have a part in the community. She is an employee as On Process Technology. Cynthia is running for Mardi Gras Queen to support the students who are looking to get scholarships through the NRICA.


Mardi Gras Princess

Geraldine Barclay-King is the owner of Geri's Bluffing Boutique, LLC and is an active member of the Downtown Woonsocket Collaborative, the Economic Progress Institute, and Saint James Baptist Church. She enjoys gardening and watching things bloom, listening to all genres of music, dancing, and spreading positivity and sunlight wherever she goes. She is and her husband Charles are the proud parents of Corine, Samantha, Charles Jr., and Arthur. She is running for Mardi Gras Queen to show other brown and black little girls that they, too, can be a Queen or Princess in a primarily French Canadian City and to help the Northern Rhode Island Council of the Arts raise funds to keep Mardi Gras going.

Mardi Gras Princess
Tonya Sawtelle
was born and raised in Woonsocket and has been living in Greenville for the past 16 years. She is the owner of Papo's Pub in Woonsocket and previously worked as a CNA at the Ballou Home. She loves helping people and getting involved in any cause that benefits the city. She also loves spending time with her grandchildren. Tonya has a daughter, Milleah, that attends UNE College of Osteopathic Medicine in Maine, and two adult stepchildren, Mateo and Alexis. She is the daughter of Phyllis and John Sawtelle. She is running for Mardi Gras Queen to help the Northern Rhode Island Council of the Arts to raise funds to continue this wonderful event in the community.

The crowns and sashes await their regal wearers at the Coronation.

The Queen and Princesses about to start their royal duties at the Ball.


1st prize  $500 cash

2nd prize  $300 cash

3rd prize  $100 cash


4th prize $50 gift card

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
Garrett Mancieri • 2019 • Ann Jalette
Dominique Doiron • 2020 • Lori Paul Thuot
Dan Gendron • 2022 • Desiree Archambault


Mardi Gras Committee

Irene Blais

Sharon Charette
Paul Collette
Dominique Doiron

Marlene Gagnon*

Bob Guernon

Denise Guernon

Tammy Irwin#

Ann Jalette

Barbara Ozanian#

Wally Rathbun*
Madeleine Riendeau

Angela Rondeau

Marianne Valentin

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


NRICA Members and Volunteers

2023 Donors

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


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

Sue Beaulieu
Mardi Gras Queen, 2001

North Smithfield, RI


Irene Blais
Mardi Gras Queen, 2009

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



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

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


Cercle Laurier
165 East School Street | Woonsocket, RI


Sharon Charette
North Smithfield, RI

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

Club Lafayette
Club Lafayette
289 Aylsworth Avenue | Woonsocket, RI


Paul and Jeannette Collette

Prudence Island, RI


Ann M. Fay

Canton, MA


Fournier & Fournier


Marlene Gagnon
North Smithfield, RI



Gator's Pub

1402 Victory Highway | North Smithfield, RI | 401-769-2220


285 Main Street | Woonsocket, RI | 401-488-4182


Clara Holding
"Life's Little Extras"
Narragansett, RI

Hunter Insurance
389 Old River Road, Manville, RI



Ann Jalette

2019 Mardi Gras Queen

Cumberland, RI


L'il General

575 Cumberland Hill Road | Woonsocket, RI

Manville Sportsmen's Rod and Gun Club

250 High Street | Manville, RI



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


Piette Jewelers
1500 Diamond Hill Road | Woonsocket, RI


70 Pine Swamp Road | Cumberland | (401) 658-1100



3344 Mendon Road | Cumberland, RI

Judith Potter Photography
281 Harris Avenue | Woonsocket, RI



Wally Rathbun

Woonsocket, RI


Danielle Rondeau

Woonsocket, RI




84 Cumberland Street | Woonsocket, RI


2 Southwick Street | Mendon, MA



Timeless Antiques & Collectibles

Tammy Irwin, Mardi Gras Princess, 2017

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

Ann Jalette, 2019 Mardi Gras Queen

Vose True Value Hardware

849 Cumberland Hill Road | Woonsocket, RI






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


200 Woonsocket Hill Road | North Smithfield, 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.