Final preparations underway for Sherman Mardi Gras festival - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Final preparations underway for Sherman Mardi Gras festival

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SHERMAN -- The month-long Mardi Gras festival is now underway in New Orleans.

Hundreds of thousands of people will fill the French Quarter during the next few weeks, lining parade routes, catching beads and of course, sipping cocktails.

Lana Caswell-Garcia has never been to the annual celebration but is going to Sherman's version of the event this weekend.

"I think we'll probably have all that we need. I think this is going to be fun and we'll get the flavor of it," she said.

The first annual Red River Mardi Gras and Jazz Festival begins Friday in downtown Sherman.

Businesses are being decorated in the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, gold and violet.

Stores also stand to see a boost in sales from Mardi Gras themed accessories.

"We have beads and masks for sale. There's been a lot of interest and as they see the sun come out it's going to be packed down here," Jeannette Mayhugh, owner of A Touch of Class Antique Mall said.

The three-day event begins Friday with a black tie ball at Kelly Square.

Saturday, several streets will be shut down for the festival from 3-11 pm.

It's expected to draw a crowd of about 1,000 people.

The Mardi Gras festival in New Orleans can draw crowds of up to 800,000 people. While the celebration in Sherman will be on a much smaller scale, organizers say all the flare will still be there.

"On Saturday from three to eleven, this whole area is going to be covered with food vendors, with street performers," Karen Tooley said. Tooley is the executive director of Downtown Sherman Preservation and Revitalization Incorporated, the group sponsoring the event.

"We also have four stages going up," she said.

Lives band will feature jazz, Zydeco and Americana music.

The event ends Sunday with a brunch and more live music at Kelly Square.

Tickets to the festival are available online and at several stores in downtown Sherman.

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