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Chamber Of Commerce Planning New Event: Mardi Gras Celebration, February 20



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Anyone in Newtown looking for an authentic, Creole-flavored Mardi Gras party without having to travel far should plan to be part of the inaugural Chamber of Commerce of Newtown event “The French Quarter: A Mardi Gras Celebration.” The special event is being planned for Thursday, February 20, from 6 to 9 pm, at Newtown Community Center, 8 Simpson Street.

Event co-organizer and Chamber Vice President Judith Miller pointed out that this will be the first major event by the chamber at the new community center.

“We’ve got room for several hundred to attend,” Ms Miller said. “We’re hoping this will be such a popular event right off the bat that we’ll make it an annual chamber activity along with our golf tournament and Martini Madness.”

Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. There is also a $15 designated driver ticket option ($20/door).

The event is for ages 21 and over; IDs will be checked at the door.

In addition to continuous party music, the ticket price includes heavily Louisiana-inspired appetizers by Lucas Local Oyster Bar, and an assortment of French delicacies and cream puffs infused with Litchfield Distillery Maple Bourbon crafted by Ms Miller’s daughter and pastry chef Samantha with S.S. Sweets.

Litchfield Distillery will also be providing two batched drinks, a vodka drink and a bourbon drink, along with a spirits tasting table.

Woodbury Brewing has signed up to pour its own Don’t Go Romanov, a Russian Imperial Stout. Woodbury Brewing will also offer its Champils, a pilsner-style beer brewed with hand-pressed chardonnay grape must and Tardif de Bourgogne hops.

“They say it is light, dry, and sparkling, with a pleasant aroma and flavor of white wine,” Ms Miller mentioned.

Chamber member Nick’s Chilled & Distilled will be providing wine selections.

“We’ll have continuous party music, including a good sampling of Cajun and Mardi Gras music from our emcee and DJ, ‘Dr John’ Voket of 99 Dollar DJ & Entertainment Service,” Ms Miller continued. Mr Voket is also an associate editor of this newspaper.

Local artist Robert Kaiser will be exhibiting at least one of the massive puppet heads he also displayed at several Newtown Arts Festivals and during local Halloween events, according to Ms Miller. Guests will have ample opportunity to take selfies with the puppet head, she said.

While not mandatory, masks and dressier/thematic attire are suggested. Ms Miller hosted a workshop last week, in fact, to help some people get into the spirit.

The two-hour event was held at Reverie Brewing Company on February 5. Ms Miller was joined by a half dozen others who wanted to get a jump on making Mardi Gras masks. Two tables were piled with starter masks, feathers, beads, ribbons, glitter, and anything else needed to create a mask suitable for any carnival-goer worth their gumbo.

By the end of the event, all but one had committed to following up with workshop with attendance at the Chamber event on February 20.

“It was a smaller turnout than expected, but we had fun,” Ms Miller said the following morning.

For more information and to reserve tickets, visit newtown-ct.com, call 203-426-2695, or e-mail chamber@newtown-ct.com.

Judith Miller, center, watches while two guests — Emily Kitson, left, and Richelle Malafronte — at a Mardi Gras mask workshop on February 5 decorate starter masks. Ms Kitson and Ms Malafronte had decided by the end of the workshop that they definitely wanted to continue the Mardi Gras spirit, and were planning to attend The Chamber of Commerce’s “French Quarter: Mardi Gras Celebration” next week at Newtown Community Center. —Bee Photo, Hicks
A partially completed mask waits for additional bling during Judith Miller’s Mardi Gras workshop. —Bee Photo, Hicks
Wayne Leiss of Danbury got his Mardi Gras groove on during a mask decorating workshop on February 5, ahead of a new event from the Chamber of Commerce being planned for February 20. —Bee Photo, Hicks
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