By DEVIN WEEKS
COEUR d’ALENE — The Coeur d'Alene Arts and Culture Alliance is bringing a swinging Mardi Gras celebration to the Lake City next Saturday.
The space in The Resort Plaza Shops will be adorned in purple, green and gold as it is transformed into a local version of New Orleans' French Quarter.
"Traditionally, Mardi Gras is Fat Tuesday," said Arts and Culture Alliance executive director Ali Shute. "It's all about indulgence before Lent starts on Ash Wednesday."
Krewe d'Alene is named for the different "krewes," or groups, that participate in the Big Easy's Mardi Gras Parade. The Coeur d'Alene event is in its third year and serves as a benefit for the alliance.
"It’s all about art and expression and love of life," Shute said. "We felt like that was a really appropriate fundraising theme for the Arts and Culture Alliance because we’re able to incorporate art, musicians, the whole spectrum within our event. It really fits into our mission."
Seven local restaurants will serve New Orleans-style fare and those 21 and older can enjoy beverages in a recreation of Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar, the oldest pub in the United States.
Artists in action will be creating masterpieces on site. Live entertainment will include jugglers, stilt-walkers and music by the Gumbo Brass Jazz Quintet and Twisted Biscuit.
New this year will be caricaturist Bill Edge as well as a professional drag performance by Nova Kaine and Le Gurls.
The evening will also feature a fortune teller, an illusionist, people's choice voting, henna tattoo art, a silent auction for hand-crafted masks, hoop dancing, a prize for finding the baby figurine in the king cake and more.
Costumes are encouraged but not required.
The event goes from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Tickets are $45 at the door or $40 online at www.artsandculturecda.org.