Dozens of local children headed down to the Mardi Gras Festival, a celebration put together by St. Lawrence the Martyr Church in Sayville in the Parish Hall. This was the 24th annual celebration, which was started by Sister Elaine.
“This was always the great party before Ash Wednesday – it’s the feast before the fast and it is all about the kids,” said Kathy Milone, who is part of the church’s Mardi Gras committee along with Patty Eremita, Terry Brennan and Angela O’Leary. Together, the group organized and successful executed the fun-filled event that Sister Elaine ran until she left the parish a few years ago.
There was a $2 admission at the door per person and for $5 attendees could purchase 10 coins that were used for all kinds of goodies. The admission price is used to cover the cost of the party.
Seventh and eighth grade volunteers ran many of the stations, making cotton candy, manning the games for the kids and painting faces.
“The kids that volunteer are approaching their Confirmation, and they also use it for community service hours. They have a blast every year; they have all been here since 4 p.m. setting up and they will probably be here until past 9 p.m. cleaning up,” Milone said.
The bouncing castle was a big hit as usual, with a line headed nearly out the door. The DJ was spinning kid-friendly tunes for the youngsters as well. And let’s not forget about the food. Baked goods were donated by attendees and there were plenty of cookies, cupcakes, brownies, donuts and muffins from which to choose. Middle school volunteers were also helping out with the hot dog stand, the pizza station and the cotton candy machine.
Guests could also munch on pretzels, churros and other snacks. A 50/50 raffle was also available to help raise money for the church’s outreach program. Any leftover food after the event was also donated to the outreach program for hungry families.