Talk of the Town - January 2020
- Story by Lisa Monti, photos by Lionel Haynes, Jr.
The Krewe of CASA Mardi Gras Gala is one of the most popular parties of the year, and for good reason. It’s CASA of Hancock County’s biggest annual fundraiser, and it kicks off the local Carnival celebration in a big way. There’s lots of good food, a fabulous silent auction, and live musical entertainment that keeps everybody dancing well into the night at the Bay St. Louis Community Center.
For the ninth annual gala on January 25, CASA is taking its theme from the Chinese zodiac’s Year of the Rat and presenting – what else? – Year of the Bay Ratz. “Kismet” is how CASA board member and gala chairwoman Natalie Guess described the Year of the Rat/Ratz alignment in 2020.
Guests can count on a fun, full evening with Asian-themed decorations and decorative lighting, plus a large Chinese dragon making its way through the crowd.
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“We’re super excited,” Guess said of the evening, which kicks off with a patron party at 6 pm for “Children's Defender” and “Children's Champion” sponsors.
Patrons can enjoy special Mai Tai Punch, complimentary champagne, wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres while mingling and previewing the silent auction items.
Doors open at 7 pm for the Mardi Gras Gala that features a dinner menu of smoked meats, jambalaya and pasta salad prepared by members of the Coastal Conservation Association. The gala is BYOB, but beer will be sold and CASA will provide all the mixers for guests.
Music will be provided again this year by Got Groove, a dynamic New Orleans band that provides nonstop entertainment. Guess said dress for the gala runs the fashion gamut from cocktail attire to casual and she expects some will dress to match the Asian theme.
General admission tickets to the gala are $40 each for standing room only. To ensure you have a seat, CASA recommends reserving a table for eight starting at $600. Of the 50 tables in the venue only 15 are still available, so gather up some friends and reserve your table soon.
You’ll be in good company, said Guess, who’s chaired the gala for five years.
Besides locals, she said, “We have people from New Orleans, Slidell and Alabama who come. It’s a great cause, a fun event and the silent auction is amazing.”
To purchase tickets for the January 25 event call CASA Hancock County at (228) 344-0419, or go to www.casahancockcounty.org.