Railroad Square brings Mardi Gras to Tallahassee

The City of Tallahassee will hold its Sixth Annual ArtiGras Festival on Railroad Square from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Bill Grace, events director of shops and studios at Railroad Square, said the event is meant to give community members a piece of the infamous festival.

It is our humble attempt to celebrate Mardi Gras in Tallahassee, Grace said. We will attempt to bring Jackson Square to Railroad Square. This event is free and open to the public.

Mardi Gras is celebrated in numerous countries around the world, but more people are familiar with the festival that takes place in New Orleans annually.

Jasmine Worley, 23, of Cleveland, has never attended ArtiGras but said she thinks its a good concept.

I have never been to an event such as this in Tallahassee, Worley said. But it is nice that they are doing something similar to New Orleans.

According to Grace, the event is sponsored by the City of Tallahassee and Community Redevelopment Agency.

There will be a parade comprising cultural organizations, ethnic clubs and local businesses. Also, eleven bands will perform.

Bands such as Hot Tamale, Jazz Masons and Charles Atkins will be in attendance, Grace said. Some parade participants include the Balloon Man, Men in Kilts and Vampires Next Door.

Dana Smith, 33, of Tallahassee, said she looks forward to attending this years event.

I have never been, but I will be sure to attend this year with my family because it sounds fun, Smith said.