Mardi Gras event awakens sleepy Saluda

Published 7:42 pm Friday, February 7, 2014

As part of Historic Thompson’s Store’s “Let the Good Times Roll” music series, organizers will host a Mardi Gras Masquerade party in the Boarding House venue upstairs of Historic Thompson’s Store and Ward’s Grill on Main Street in Historic Downtown Saluda.

“While traditionally found along the Gulf Coast, these festive occasions are beginning to spread to other sections of the country. It’s a different way of boosting community business as well as psyche’ during the dreary winter months,” said Thompson’s store owner and event organizer Clark Thompson. “Our own Mardi Gras party will reflect the casual nature of Cajun celebrations versus the more formal New Orleans style of elaborate costumes. Guests are welcome to come with or without a costume.”

The restored Boarding House Venue, which is located upstairs over the Historic Thompson’s Store, provides an event facility for hosting intimate parties such as the first Mardi Gras celebration.

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The Boarding House includes an elevator and handicap-accessible restrooms, but retains a historic charm, hearkening back to the early 1900s when the building’s second floor served as a boardinghouse for railroad workers.

“In addition to previously hosting such events as an opera and birthday parties, it is our goal to bring to Saluda on a regular basis more cultural type experiences not currently found in our immediate community,” said Clark Thompson.

The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. on March 1 with an hour and a half cash bar, followed by dinner at 7 p.m.

The menu will include file’ gumbo with sausage and chicken, red beans and rice, jambalaya, hush puppies and king cake. Recorded music throughout the evening will consist of Cajun, Zydeco music and New Orleans jazz with dancing. Saxophone player Darryl Oliver also will play soulful ballads and funky blues jazz.

Reservations are required. Call Judy Ward for details and ticket information at 828-749-2321.

Historic Thompson’s Store and Ward’s Grill is located at 24 Main Street, Saluda.

– article submitted by Judy Ward