Mardi Gras festivities continued Saturday night with a masquerade ball sponsored by members of the Waxahachie International Order of the Odd Fellows and sister Rebekah Lodge.
The annual party is the fourth for the groups.
The charity event was attended by about 200 guests, with the event a fundraiser for the many charities sponsored by the organizations.
“This is the largest fundraising event we have all year,” Grand Noble Jeff Mintz said.
“One hundred percent of the funds, after expenses, raised by this event go back into the community,” Mintz said, saying the goal was to raise about $6,000.
Organizations supported by the group include Hope Clinic and Waxahachie Care’s food pantry. They also sponsor two $1,500 scholarships to graduating Waxahachie seniors and other forms of support throughout the community for families in need.
As the crowds began to gather, the bands began playing an assortment of country and rock. The evening’s bands were Back to Blue followed by Los Polles de Pallentas. Back to Blue is made up of members of the Lodge. As the evening wore on and the dance floor started to fill, sounds of Zydeco music adding to the Mardi Gras theme music filled the hall.
Joining Back to Blue was Horace Bratcher. Following his first song, the oldest lodge member treated the crowd with a encore.
The Mardi Gras ball was complete with a buffet line that had traditional food as well as Cajun favorites. The guests lined up for gumbo, beans and rice, jambalaya as well as barbecue, sausage and brisket.
“We have several really good cooks in the lodge,” Mintz said.
While the food preparations were in progress, members of the Rebekah Lodge decorated the hall for the evening in traditional Mardi Gras style with lights and beads.
Besides the dance and food, the combined lodges also put together a silent auction.
“Most of the money raised comes from the silent auction. The merchants and community really supported us making donations for the auction,” Mintz said.
The annual Mardi Gras Ball is held the Saturday before Fat Tuesday.
“We work with the Downtown Merchants Association to hold the annual event in conjunction with their parade and other Mardi Gras activities,” Mintz said.