Carson City's Telegraph Square will be transformed into New Orleans' Bourbon Street on Saturday night for a free Mardi Gras celebration.
The square will come alive with large and heated tents, live jazz by the Millennium Bugs, Louisiana-style food, 40 dancers and a race car display. The event is sponsored by the Horseshoe Club casino and Capital Beverages. Mo & Sluggo's and Java Joe's will sell food and drinks.
The Horseshoe has taken the lead. It has rented two tents - 30-by-30 feet and 20-by-20. It will also supply a spotlight, space heaters, beads and masks, clowns and decorations.
Kristy Servati, the casino's marketing director, was inspired by her experience at the real Mardi Gras last year.
"It was amazing - everybody has to do it once in their life," she said. "There is so much to see in New Orleans you could stay a month and not see it all."
She figured this would be a good time to have a party because the downtown has been quiet for a while.
"A lot of people are going a little stir crazy," she said. "We thought it might be a good time to get out and have a party."
Capital Beverages will provide decorative flags, two serving booths, a banner spanning Carson Street at Telegraph Street and a live remote with KOZZ radio104.5 Alice FM.
Java Joe's will get a one-day alcohol license to serve hot toddies and Irish coffee.
"We're hoping this can become another featured downtown event," said Jon Davis, Java Joe's owner.
Juan's Kitchen at Mo & Sluggo's will host a food booth and sell drinks.
Inside the Horseshoe, there will be more going on. From its lunch counter, the casino will serve benéts - long, thin donuts with powdered sugar.
"And we'll have these really gorgeous pins that we'll be giving away," said Servati. They are 2 1Ú2 inches long, plated with 18-carat gold and colorful enamel.
"When I was in New Orleans, they had these same pins for sale for like $9."
The Carson Nugget Casino will offer its own, five-day Mardi Gras starting Monday. That celebration will include specials and cash drawings for Prospector's Club members. Nonmembers will get free beads for playing a multi-race keno ticket and drink specials. An Elvis impersonator will appear.
The Nugget has expressed interest in joining forces with the Telegraph Square Mardi Gras - if it goes well.
"Both the Nugget and Cactus Jack's said they wanted to be a part of this one, but they didn't have enough notice," Servati said.
She organized another Mardi Gras -which she pronounces "mahdi grah" - to raise funds for the San Diego Opera.
Even if it's cold Saturday, the warm tents will be comfortable, she said.
"A couple of people were worried about the weather, but you know what, they have it in New Orleans, rain or shine, so what can you say?"
Contact Karl Horeis at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.