Western Nevada Community College will be celebrating Mardi Gras throughout the day today with a variety of events.
A Mardi Gras Kids Carnival for children and their parents featuring crafts, costumes, parades and a raffle will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Later in the evening, a silent auction will be held, auctioning off items such as dinner and theater packages, paintings and antiques at the Ormsby House Hotel-Casino as part of The Magic of Mardi Gras, hosted by the WNCC Foundation.
Entertainment at the Magic of Mardi Gras, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will include tap dancers, a fortune teller, live music and authentic New Orleans-style food.
"We're going to have lots of great events: the silent auction, the crowning of the King of Mardi Gras and live music and dancing with the Jeff Leep Band," said Helaine Jesse, foundation spokeswoman. "We're encouraging black tie or costumes to get people into the spirit of the evening."
Virgie Miller, the special events chairwoman for the college said the key to finding a costume for the evening festivities is feathers.
"Feathers are always in at Mardi Gras," said Miller, who was raised in Pascagoula, Miss., about 60 miles from New Orleans, the hub of the Mardi Gras celebration.
Mardi Gras, which falls this year on March 7, was originally established by the early Catholic Church as a holiday with no religious significance for the sole purpose of entertainment.
It's all about fun," Miller said.
The cost is $50 per person and proceeds will benefit the planned Center for the Arts on the Carson City Campus. The 450-seat proscenium theater is still in the design phase.
"We want more recognition for the college and more support for our Center for the Arts," Miller said.
The Mardi Gras Kids Carnival will be hosted by the Child Development Center at WNCC. It is the first of what the center's director, Claudia Funk, said she hopes to become an annual event.
The day's activities will include a raffle where prizes such as passes to Walley's Hot Springs, dinner at Franktown Grill and a cajun cookbook.
Funk said the carnival is designed to raise funds for enhanced classroom activities and to improve community awareness.
The cost is $1 per child, with accompanying parents admitted at no charge.