Laissez les bons temps roulez, dear readers,
Join me Tuesday, Feb. 12 for the Havre de Grace Mardi Gras Parade at 6:30 p.m. down Bourbon Street from the high school, to Washington Street into downtown, ending on St. John and Warren streets at Legion Square and the American Legion Post 47 parking lot. Grab some beads! The party continues at downtown restaurants and taverns. For details, phone the Office of Tourism, 410-939-2100 or me at the phone number printed here.
Mardi Gras will also be celebrated at the Havre de Grace public library, Union Avenue, Tuesday, Feb. 12 during library hours. Come in and make a craft. Flash your library card and get a necklace of beads.
Entitled Mardi Gras, Carnivale, Pancake Day, Fat Tuesday and Shrove Tuesday, the holiday is celebrated in many parts of the world. Known as Fasting, Fasenacht or Karneval along the Rhine, in Bavaria and Austria, schools, banks and most businesses will be closed. Parades, costumes, dances and merry-making take over, led by the Fasching sprinz or Prince Carnival. Other cities with flamboyant festivities include New Orleans and Mobile, Rio de Janeiro, Venice, Italy and Havre de Grace. Customs include wearing beads, donning elaborate masks and costumes, attending balls and parades and feasting and frolicking far into the night.
After and before the parade, join us in Havre de Grace at Tidewater Grille, Coakley's Pub, Laurrapin Grille, MacGregor's and Silks Restaurant at Bulle Rock. All have floats and units in the parade. A King and Queen of Mardi Gras, chosen through Silks Restaurant, will open the parade. Line the streets to observe the fun and catch some beads!
Ash Wednesday follow Mardi Gras on Feb. 13 with the commencement of Lent.
February is snack food month. Anyone in need may snack at Grace Place Serving Center at St. John's Episcopal Church, 114 N. Union Ave., 410-939-2107, for its regular Tuesday luncheon from 11:15 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Feb. 12. Volunteers will provide a free, hot meal to those who enter.
Happy February birthday wishes to: Priscilla Richardson (Feb. 8); Madelyn Shank (Feb. 10); Patrick Sypolt (Feb. 13); and Mary McLhinney (Feb. 14). Feb. 12, 1809 is the official birthdate of President Lincoln and Charles Darwin.
It's Chinese New Year, Sunday, Feb. 10. Chinese New Year has been celebrated for more than 4,000 years dating to 2697 BC. Determined by the Chinese lunar calendar, the ancient celebrations marked the end of winter and the commencement of spring. On New Year's Eve (Feb. 10), Chinese family members visit and share meals.
A Chinese gift for the New Year may be Chinese good fortune envelopes with coins, given to bring good luck, prosperity and happiness to the recipient, as well as the giver.
Plan your Oriental feast with a Chinese meal at home or go authentic at one of our local restaurants for a taste of Chinese Cuisine: The China Kitchen at 1020 Pulaski Highway (410-939-9026); Tor he China Palace at 800 Pulaski Highway at the Hatem Bridge (410-939-9398). All honor carryout orders and the China Palace offers delivery service. The creation of your own dragon costume is optional for the celebration. More moo goo gai pan, anyone?
Terri Glenn wants you to know that the Havre de Grace Senior Activity Center, Lewis Lane, 410-939-5121 will host Women's Heart Presentation by Dr. Anabel Facemire of Upper Chesapeake Cardiac Center and tea party (Feb. 11, 1 p.m.; call Andrea to reserve 410-638-4040); Book Club meeting to discuss "Defend Jacob" by William Landay (Feb. 14, 10 a.m.); fitness orientation (Feb. 15, 11 a.m., $5); understanding food labels by Andrea Pomilla (Feb. 15, 11 a.m.); and Jewelry Workshop (Feb. 19, 1 p.m., $15 fee). The center is closed Feb. 18 for Presidents Day.
We were sorry to learn that Diane K. Ford passed away Jan. 24. Deepest regrets to her husband, Volney, family and friends.
Are you missing your flea market/yard sale fix? An indoor flea market will be held Feb. 9, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. (snow date Feb. 16) at Good Shepherd School, 800 Aiken Ave., Perryville. Food and drink will be available for purchase. 410-802-4302 for details.
Cathy Vincenti informed me that the Havre de Grace Chamber of Commerce will hold its monthly luncheon on Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Bayou Restaurant, on Route 40. The guest speaker is Lyle Sheldon, CEO of Upper Chesapeake Health System. Reserve by phoning 410-939-3303 or email email@example.com.
Celebrate the War of 1812 bicentennial by buying and flying your 15 stars and 15 stripes flag from Haxel Flags, Route 40, $20.
A newly expanded Havre de Grace Office of Tourism and Visitor Center at 450 Pennington Ave. was dedicated Jan. 31, including a special War of 1812 miniaturized map of Havre de Grace on the morning of May 3, 1813 before the British landed, seized and burned the city.
February is Black History (African-American) Month. Begun in 1926 by Black scholar and historian Carter B. Woodson, Black History was originally celebrated as a weeklong event. In 1976, Congress expanded the observance to the entire month of February. African-American resources include http://www.visionaryproject.com, http://www.inmotionaame.org and http://www.thebannekerinstitute.org.
Happy Valentine's Day, Feb. 14. Don't forget your sweetie! For last minute sweets, visit Bomboy's Home Made Candies, 322 Market St. (410-939-2924) and Lyon's Pharmacy, 328 St. John St., (410-939-4545). Both are embellished with red and pink hearts, Chocolates and valentines.
February is International Friendship Month. Our city is linked with Sillamae, Estonia and Le Havre (de Grace), France in friendship.
A Valentine's dinner is planned Feb. 16, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Havre de Grace American Legion Post 47, 501 St. John St., 410-939-0234. The menu includes filet mignon, crab cake, potatoes, vegetables and dessert for $20 per person. Reservations must be made in advance.
Time is wasting. Prepare that Mardi Gras parade costume now for Feb. 12, Keep me posted at 410-939-6562 or 226 N. Union Ave. See ya at the parade!